2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Love-Making and Sign-Making, But Not in That Order: The Semantics of Desire in Italo Calvino's "Cosmicomics"
Jennifer C. Jalack
Dr. Sarah Mohler, Faculty Mentor

Italo Calvinos collection of stories entitled Cosmicomics is a literary anomaly that utilizes the universe as a play space to toy with several preconceived notions of objective reality. By anthropomorphizing of the universe, the authors fictions continually generate multiple philosophical and theoretical discussions of astrophysics, postmodern metaphysics, linguistics, and gender. The stories A Sign in Space and All At One Point even acknowledge and respond to the publications of renowned academes Ferdinand de Saussure and Edwin Hubble, respectively. The causal, or perhaps cyclical, links Calvino makes between the markedly human thoughts and behaviors exhibited by all of his characters/forms prove the most basic and pervasive of these behaviors are love-making and sign-making. And, despite the conceptually simplistic nature of the two, they give rise to all things complex.

Keywords: Italo Calvino, Cosmicomics, semantics

Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 7-5
Location: VH 1432
Time: 9:00

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