At one time, according to Sir George H. Darwin, the Moon was very close to the Earth. Then the tides gradually pushed her far away: the tides that the Moon herself causes in the Earth’s waters, where the Earth slowly loses energy.
I’ve always loved Italo Calvino, and needless to say, the moon has always attracted my attention and excited my imagination in almost magical ways. Last night, after a particularly sad and difficult evening, I was longing for a bit of both and set out in search for a particular short story of his titled “The Distance from the Moon,” part of his Cosmicomics collection. It’s a sad yet beautiful tale of impossible love and loss. I had long since lost the book, and was looking for the text online, when instead I came across this magnificent, animated retelling.
Calvino’s beautiful little story has always resonated with me, and this animation brought it to life. Watch for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
The full text can be found here.
A few weeks ago, just as this blog was getting started (I think it was after I wrote the “Philosophical Sex” post), I was referred to as “sort of a reverse whore of Mensa” (I was the reverse because in this blog, I was effectively “giving it away for free”). “The Whore of Mensa” is, of course, that wonderfully funny short story by Woody Allen, originally written for the New Yorker in 1974, and later published in his collection of short stories Without Feathers. It’s basically about a man being blackmailed by a decidedly less-than-traditional “escort” service. These call girls, instead of their bodies and sex, sell their minds and intellects.
…Seconds later, a silky voice answered and I told her what was on my mind. ‘I understand you can help me set up an hour of good chat,’ I said.
‘Sure, honey. What do you have in mind?’
‘I’d like to discuss Melville.’‘
Moby Dick, or the shorter novels?’
‘What’s the difference?’
‘The price. That’s all. Symbolism’s extra.’
‘What’ll it run me?’
‘Fifty, maybe a hundred for Moby Dick. You want a comparative discussion — Melville and Hawthorne? That could be arranged for a hundred.’
‘The dough’s fine,’ I told her and gave her the number of a room at the Plaza.
‘You want a blond or a brunette?’
‘Surprise me,’ I said, and hung up…
You can read more here. I hadn’t read the story in years, and earlier today, remembering the conversation, I decided to look it up and I came across this video. It’s a short version (more of a trailer, really), and the quality isn’t fantastic, but still worth a watch.
Now wouldn’t it be something if we really did, as a culture, value intellect and intelligence this much? A girl can dream…