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Video – Animated short film (by Shulamit Serfaty) based on Italo Calvino‘s story “The distance from the moon“, in Le Cosmicomiche (Cosmicomics), 1st edition, Einaudi, Italy, 1965.

[…] In reality, from the top of the ladder, standing erect on the last rung, you could just touch the Moon if you held your arms up. We had taken the measurements carefully (we didn’t yet suspect that she was moving away from us); the only thing you had to be very careful about was where you put your hands. I always chose a scale that seemed fast (we climbed up in groups of five or six at a time), then I would cling first with one hand, then with both, and immediately I would feel ladder and boat drifting away from below me, and the motion of the Moon would tear me from the Earth’s attraction. Yes, the Moon was so strong that she pulled you up; you realized this the moment you passed from one to the other: you had to swing up abruptly, with a kind of somersault, grabbing the scales, throwing your legs over your head, until your feet were on the Moon’s surface. Seen from the Earth, you looked as if you were hanging there with your head down, but for you, it was the normal position, and the only odd thing was that when you raised your eyes you saw the sea above you, glistening, with the boat and the others upside down, hanging like a bunch of grapes from the vine. […], in Italo Calvino, The distance from the moon“, Le Cosmicomiche (Cosmicomics), 1st edition, Einaudi, Italy, 1965.

Picture – (on the cover) “Calvino does what very few writers can do: he describes imaginary worlds with the most extraordinary precision and beauty…” – Gore Vidal, The New York Review of Books.

Finally one of the most recent Pixar animated short films, “La Luna” released last year. Directed by Enrico Casarosa, Pixar, June 2011:

A couple of years ago, while G.W. Bush was comfortably seated at the White House, Gore Vidal, the American novelist, was invited by the Canadian TV show THE HOUR (June 6, 2007). What follows is an amazing first response by Gore Vidal to a trivial question. I suspect that Gore Vidal on his spare time, do thinks a lot on the nature of what complex systems really are. Here is an extract from the introductory part of that interview:

THE HOUR – Here’s Mr. Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal (GV) – Nice too see you. See you good.
THE HOUR – How are things?
GV – … Things, … aaahhhh, … fall apart. That’s what things do. And we are things… so I promise not to crumble on the program.

(…) later on;

GV – … they have demonized the word “liberal”. We were a liberal republic, to start with. What does the liberal word mean? It comes from those who favour legislation tending towards greater democracy.

[...] People should learn how to play Lego with their minds. Concepts are building bricks [...] V. Ramos, 2002.

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