1) Italo Calvino, If on a winter’s night a traveler
3) Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
4) Benjamin claim’s, “All works of art reproduce the aura of a lonely child in a red hat who has lost their yarn” (34) [note: this is not one of B’s claims.]
5) While Calvino’s novel can be read as suggesting that art and artifice are indistinguishable from the real, where the real is connected with material space, reading it with Benjamin’s idea of the “lonely child” in mind encourages a reader to think of reality in terms of time rather than space. Instead of only recording a competition between the real and the unreal, the text may now be read as emphasizing the change between now and then. Thus, through Benjamin’s idea–which emphasizes art’s connection to the occurrence of loss and innocence–we can see Calvino as commenting on how art registers a key experience, not so much a shift in space (or what is) but rather a shift in time (or when is).