La formica argentina

La formica argentina[Read] ➫ La formica argentina By Italo Calvino – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk سه داستان مورچه‌ی آرژانتینی، مه‌دود و ناظر، به نوعی باز تابنده‌ی نگاه نیچه‌ای کالوینو به مناسبات انسانی و ن سه داستان مورچه‌ی آرژانتینی، مه‌دود و ناظر، به نوعی باز تابنده‌ی نگاه نیچه‌ای کالوینو به مناسبات انسانی و نفرت او از میان مایگی است او با این داستان‌ها، انفعال، رفتار واکنشی La formica Kindle - و عدم خلاقیت افعال برآمده از افعال بردگان را نشان می‌دهد البته کالینو با اختیار کردن راوی خویش از میان همین بردگان، طنز سرخوشی خاصی به داستان می‌بخشد این داستان‌ها ترکیبی از روایت و تأمل است که به‌ویژه در ناظر، فضاسازی و شخصیت پردازی به عناصر غالب داستان بدل می‌شود، و خرده روایت‌ها جای روایت اصلی را می‌گیرد، و آن‌چه در این میان مهم است، نوع برخورد انسان‌های مختلف با حوادث بیرونی است و خود این حوادث تقریباً موضوعیت خود را از دست می‌دهد: هجوم مورچه‌ها، آلودگی هوا، اعتصاب، انتخابات واین سه داستان به نوعی تمامی مضامین و دلبستگی‌های کالوینو را در خود خلاصه کرده است، علم، فولکلور، طنز، زندگی روزمره و داستان‌سرایی‏. The Argentine ant, Italo calvino
The stories are selected by Translator: The Argentine Ant, Smog and The watcher. The book is published under the name The Argentine Ant. Originally published: 1952.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یکم ماه آگوست سال 2006 میلادی
عنوان: مورچه ی آرژانتینی: مجموعه سه داستان (مورچه ی آرژانتینی، مه دود، ناظر)؛ اثر: ایتالو کالوینو؛ برگردان: شهریار وقفی پور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، کاروان، 1385، در 187 ص، شابک: 9789647033640؛ چاپ چهارم 1386؛ چاپ هفتم: نشر قطره 1393؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان ایتالیایی - سده 20 م
ا. شربیانی

*edited on 27.02.2020

The ants are eating us alive. . . . Ants in the bed, ants in the dishes, ants every day, ants every night. We’ve little enough to eat anyway and have
to feed them too. . . .”

The word “ants” for us then could never have suggested the horror of our present condition. If he had mentioned ants, as perhaps he had—I won’t exclude the possibility—we would have imagined ourselves up against a concrete enemy that could be numbered, weighed, crushed. Actually, now I think about the ants in our own parts, I remember them as reasonable little creatures, which could be touched and moved like cats or rabbits. Here we were face to face with an enemy like fog or sand, against which force was useless.



Italo Calvino- the names sound like a poetry to me but one which is infused with melancholy and irony of life. It was a serene, quite morning wherein the sun was about to embark upon the horizon of planet earth, to spread its reddish bliss and I came upon this little beauty by Calvino- The Argentine Ant. It is like embarking on voyage which I’m familiar with (of course with previous reading experiences of books by him) however, still at heart you know that you would find some surprises on that voyage given the ingenuity of Calvino. His exemplified method of using fantasy to address reality which is at once ironic and at the same time quite serious. Calvino’s universe could be said to marked with an atmosphere of melancholy and increasing pessimism. Images of the end of the world recur with obsessive regularity, and even terror is present in a significant minority of his works. We see that his books underline his passion for beginnings and mistrust of endings, positions that perhaps explain why he habitually moved from one obsession to another, looking for the next impossible thing to write. The force of reality which bursts forth into fantasy. As he once mentioned- “Instead of making myself write the book I ought to write, the novel that was expected of me, I conjured up the book I myself would have liked to read, the sort by an unknown writer, from another age and another country, discovered in an attic.

The Argentine Ant is one of the numerous jewels in the fantastical, absurd but realistic universe of Calvino. It is one of most prodigious achievements from the literary pen of the author. As you put your first step in to this absurd land of Calvino, you find a man, woman and baby who move to a new village filled with hope, being told by the narrator's Uncle Augusto that this area affords a good lifestyle and plenty of opportunity for work – the promise of a new beginning, that core Calvino theme, only to find that their house, indeed the entire locality, is infested with ants. The very moment you enter into the house of the narrator you realize that it’s a universe built upon Kafkaesque elements- the surreal and horrific world wherein your existence is crushed to such might you start questioning the life itself and how meaningless and pulverizing it could be. The nothingness of in-authentic existence stare into your somber eyes and shake your inner (non) being. Calvino portrays the horrid universe with using a language so transparent that it reaches a hallucinatory level. The narrator wonders if perhaps his own circumstances do not permit him to be happy, as he is responsible for a wife and child, while his uncle lived a carefree existence.

I couldn’t get used to the idea of so much art and perseverance being needed to carry out such a simple operation as catching ants; but I realized that the important thing was to carry on continually and methodically. Then I felt discouraged as no one, it seemed to me, could ever equal this neighbor of ours in terrible determination.



The universe of Calvino lies on very coarse and lean thread of cosmos wherein rumors lead the life of people among the absurd paths which demand men to put forward their authentic and best foot since the fire of non-being surrounds that lean thread of cosmos and works with its entire strength to crush them under weight of nothingness. The rumors compels the narrator too to see Captain Brauni, whom the Reginaudos designate as the individual most capable of solving the ant problem. When the narrator visits the captain, he finds an extensive and impressive apparatus used to poison the ants. These rumors take the narrator through the hell of nothingness towards the ‘ant-man’ who happens to visit his house to coat the narrator’s house with poisoned molasses. The narrator slips off the thin thread of cosmos and meets an accident, here you see the Kafkaesque elements manifest themselves into the horrors of real life guided by the rumors, of course. The ant-man may be responsible for the event or perhaps not, essentially it’s the rumors which are omnipotent and omnipresent and escort the narrator through this spiteful universe of Calvino and further lead town’s people towards combined hallucination, as if such thing may be possible, only to realize that perhaps it may be and which delivers a profound testimony to the strength of mentality of the society. The beliefs which are carried by majority become acts of gods and laws out of which culture and religion take birth- our entire history may provide evidence to the claim.

“What will the employees of the corporation do when there are no more ants?

Watching him like that, I realized why he had made such a strange impression on me at first sight; he looked like an ant. It’s difficult to tell exactly why, but he certainly did; perhaps it was because of the opaque black of his clothes and hair, perhaps because of the proportions of that squat body of his, or the trembling at the corners of his mouth corresponding to the continuous quiver of antennae and claws.



The Argentine Ant could be said to be an epitome of neo-realism which is built upon assiduous elements in which simple language is used to convey the meaning precisely and clearly to the reader who may have no apprehensions about the events themselves though their meaning can only be found by uncovering layers of absurd and fantastic fiction. It is what Brauni's exercises connote that is baffling: Are they activities for the good of their own, or do they speak to something general in human instinct or human culture? Along these lines, Signor Baudino, the nearby agent of the Argentine Ant Control Corporation, is portrayed in a short, exact vignette, making him an effectively possible person. And there are those people too who may be at discomfort owing to manifestations of alien objects in to their lives but they show neither any pain nor any sort of irritation as if the discomfort, they may be having, would make them appear weak to the world and perhaps appearance matters more than authenticity of existence.

It occurred to me that the darkness, the ornaments, the size of the room and her proud
spirit were this woman’s defenses against the ants, the reason why she was stronger
than we were in face of them, but that everything we saw round us, beginning with her
sitting there, was covered with ants even more pitiless than ours: some kind of African
termite, perhaps, which destroyed everything and left only the husks, so that all that
remained of this house were tapestries and curtains almost in powder, all on the point of
crumbling into smithereens before her eyes.


Calvino’s universe is open to multiple interpretations as any universe may be or perhaps universes embedded in a universe which itself may be implanted in the other one as he aims to raise the target with which literature sets itself: he challenges literature to describe the indescribable, from macrocosm to microcosm, from the Big Bang to the division of cells. The language he uses to achieve this is striking, delivering concrete descriptions and an apprehension that obliteration lies at the heart of each individual consciousness.



The influence of Kafka is obvious in the universe of Calvino as he himself mentioned -My author is Kafka, when asked about his influences, and his presence is discernible throughout Calvino's works. The story really is, as Gore Vidal stated, as minatory and strange as anything by Kafka, and the way it builds its air of threat and mystery with plain, undemonstrative language recalls Calvino's own. Small, seemingly docile, naïve objects (here we are reducing ants to objects, as we human usually do since we perceive nature from our point of view) like ants may creep up existential horror into core of your being but what can you in front of army of those small beings crawling up to catch you off breath in number of crores; perhaps we can’t stop ants, however at least we can write fiction about them. And someone may write as good as Calvino could, then it’s definitely worth an attempt. The story may be termed as an allegory about how small irritants come to dominate our lives (which may appear as epitome of heaven however only at careful investigation we may realize the existential malaise lying underneath them) and preoccupy our waking consciousness wherein ants may be transformed into minute iridescent, mundane issues of day to day life- the combination of our anxieties.

And standing up there we could forget that all those places were black with ants; now we could see how they might have been without that menace which none of us could get away from even for an instant. At this distance it looked almost a paradise, but the more we gazed down the more we pitied our life there, as if living in that wretched narrow valley we could never get away from our wretched narrow problems.



Our hands were now covered with them, and we held them out open in front of our eyes, trying to see exactly what they were like, these ants, moving our wrists all the time to prevent them crawling up our arms. They were tiny wisps of ants, in ceaseless movement as if urged along by the same little itch they gave us. It was only then that a name came to my mind : “Argentine ants,” or rather, “the Argentine ant,” that’s what they called them, and now that I came to think of it I must have heard someone saying this was the sense of “the Argentine ant.” It was only now that I connected the name with a sensation, this irritating tickle spreading in every direction, which one couldn’t get rid of by clenching one’s fists or rubbing one’s hands together as there always seemed to be some stray ant running up one’s arm, or on one’s clothes. When the ants were crushed, they became little black dots which fell like sand, leaving a strong, acid smell on one’s fingers.

4.5/5


The Argentine Ant - an overlooked classic of absurdist, fabulistic fiction by the master of the absurd and fabulous, Italo Calvio.

At forty pages, The Argentine Ant could be classified as either a brief novel or a long short story, but no matter how you look at it, this tale packs a serious punch, a tale aptly described by Goodreads friend Paul as both funny and menacing at the same time.

The first line features foreshadowing with a vengeance: When we came to settle here we did not know about the ants. The unnamed first-person narrator moves into a tiny rustic house with his wife and baby boy, a house built on a rough seedbed where they have been given permission to grow vegetables by the seller of the house, Signora Mauro, who lives up the hill.

In the evening, after putting their baby to sleep, Alessandro and Benedetta (my names for the narrator and his wife) venture out to visit their nearby neighbors. They hail Signor Reginaudo who is busy spraying around his house with bellows. The Signor lets off spraying and calls to his wife Claudia to come out to meet the new couple. Following an exchange of pleasantries, Alessandro asks Signor Reginaudo what he is doing with the bellows. Oh . . . the ants . . . these ants . . . the Signor replies with a laugh as if not wishing to make it sound important. Ants? Benedetta asks in a rather detached voice but the group's brief conversation quickly moves on to another topic.

Once back home, exhausted from their day's journey, our young couple decides to go straight to bed. But before lights out, Benedetta walks to the kitchen for a glass of water. Hearing Benedetta scream, Alessandro rushes to the kitchen and turns on the light.

Ants. Ants crawling all over the faucet, a thick stream of ants coming up the wall, ants now covering both their hands, so many ants Benedetta and Alessandro must vigorously shakes their wrists to prevent the ants from crawling up their arms. Finally, ridding their hands of the ants, they return to bed and, completely exhausted, doze off. But they are awoken in the middle of the night by their baby's cries. Benedetta rushes to his basket to find their baby boy covered in ants. The next morning Alessandro resolves he must initiate an immediate battle against the persistent imperceptible enemy which had taken over our house.

Our house, you say. Oh, Alessandro, like so many other humans who view the world in anthropocentric terms, it might be more accurate to recognize that you have moved into a territory belonging to Argentine ants.

In his alarm, Alessandro consults Signor Reginaudo and his wife about a remedy for the ants. Their reply is vintage Italo Calvino: A remedy, ha, ha, ha! The Reginaudos laughed louder than ever. Have we a remedy? We've twenty remedies! A hundred . . . each, ha, ha, ha, each better than the other!

Poor Alessandro! The Reginaudos are little help. He's sent off to see a Captain Brauni, the man who really knows how to deal with those ants. Upon arrival to the good Captain's abode, Alessandro scans all varieties of odd contraptions with streams of ants moving back and forth until, in one case, dropping into a sort of meat can at the bottom of a wire.

HIs question anticipated, here's the explanation Alessandro is given: An average of forty ants are killed per minute, said Captain Brauni, twenty-four hundred per hour. Naturally, the gasoline must be kept clean, otherwise the dead ants cover it and the ones that fall in afterward can save themselves.

Next stop has Alessandro dealing with the ant man who pays a visit to his own house and surrounding properties. Perfect. Now that the Argentine Ant Control Corporation is on the case, the ant problem will surely be solved. Sorry, Alessandro. Perhaps predictably, the ant man does more to exacerbate the problem than solve it.

Ah, those ants! How should we most effectively deal with the problem? Answers are various: laugh it off, have a drink and forget about it. blame it all on the ant man, Italo Calvino proves himself a master by taking one issue and constructing a rich, forty-page tapestry of humans confronting a hostile non-human world. Again, a tale that's both humorous and menacing at the same time.

The Argentine Ant is included in The Watcher and Other Stories and can also be read online: https://classic.esquire.com/article/1



Italian author Italo Calvino, 1923-1985

As for the actual killing of the ants, that, if they had ever attempted it, they seemed to have given up, seeing that their efforts were useless; all they tried to do was bar them from certain passages and turn them aide, frighten them or keep them at bay. They always had a new labyrinth traced out with different substances which they prepared from day to day, and for this game ants were a necessary element. - Italo Calvino, The Argentine Ant. کتاب مورچه آرژانتینی بیشتر و بهتر از هر اثر دیگر کالوینو،دیدگاه کالوینو به جهان،انسان ها و روابط بینشان را نشان می دهد.مترجم نیز در مقدمه می گوید که این سه داستان به نوعی بازتابنده نگاه نیچه ای کالوینو به مناسبات انسانی و نفرت او از میان مایگی ست. مورچه آرژانتینی و ناظر نسبت به مه دود از جذابیت و همینطور عمق بیشتری برخوردارند.شاید علت این امر،مربوط به ساختار داستان ها باشد.مورچه آرژانتینی ساختاری داستانی دارد و ناظر نیز به نوعی نیمه داستانی محسوب می شود،اما مه دود به طور کل ساختاری ژورنالیستی دارد.هر سه داستان برای مخاطب فضایی تهدید کننده و ناآرام دارند.هر سه داستان با موضوعی خاص شروع می شوند،اما آن موضوع در طول داستان در بطن آن حل شده و دیگر چیزی که اهمیت پیدا می کند،روابط انسان ها با یکدیگر در مقابل حوادث خارجی ست،در داستان اول معضل مورچه ها کمرنگ شده و نحوه مبارزه انسان ها با وضعیت و واکنش آن ها پررنگ می شود،در داستان دوم نیز معضل مه دود پس از چندی جای خود را به بیان رابطه راوی و کلودیا و افکار راوی می دهد.کالوینو در این امر تبحر خاصی به خرج داده است که در داستان ناظر به اوج خود می رسد.مورچه های آرژانتینی،اولین داستان این مجموعه،صحنه رویارویی انسان ها با اصلی ترین رقیبشان در طبیعت،مورچه هاست. داستان با سکنی گزیدن خانواده 3 نفره (که راوی جوان، پدر این خانواده است) آغاز می شود.خانواده ای که به پیشنهاد عمو آگوستو به دنبال کار و زندگی بهتر به منطقه ای مهاجرت کرده اند که در اصل متعلق به مورچه هاست.سرزمینی ملقب به زادگاه مورچه ی آرژانتینی.کالوینو از این حقیقت که مورچه های آرژانیتی به واقع رقیبی برای انسان ها جهت تسلط بر زمین هستند در داستان خود بهره می جوید،اما این حقیقت از میانه داستان(همانطور که پیش تر گفته شد و این روند در دو داستان دیگر نیز تکرار می شود)کمرنگ شده و چگونگی برخورد انسان ها با آن اهمیت می یابد
ا توصيفات دقيق از اشياء، شخصيت ها و فضاها شايد اولين ويژگي بارز داستان نويسي به قلم كالوينو باشه، اما گاهي فضا سازي ها چنان دقيق ميشن كه خسته كننده به نظر ميان. تقابل و كشمكش بين انسان و محيط اطرافش، تلاش براي تنازع بقاء و سر آخر عادت به شرايطي كه درش قرار ميگيريم رو ميشه در داستان ها به ويژه داستان اول ديد. اينكه چطور روند زندگي كم كم افراد رو قانع ميكنه كه با داشته ها سر كنن و جهان بينيشون رو منطقي تر ميكنه كه هميشه نميتونن به همه مشكلات چيره بشن و گاهي فقط بايد كنار بيان. حتي شايد اين حقيقت رو بشه در رابطه زناشويي زوج داستان اول ديد، كه با تمام پيش بيني هاي درست در مورد رفتار همسرش باز سعي كرده به اون ها عادت كنه و گريزي براي مواجه شدن با اون پيدا كنه. El universo simbólico que construye Calvino es ensordecedor. En esta novela corta, sutil y tal vez metafóricamente política, la angustia se extiende a todo lo encuadrado y se lee ante todo en los detalles nimios. Un borroneo y un desfile de figuras inertes, un barrunto de estética personal, el horror como materia controladora, un escamoteo de emoción auténtica.

Eso no es todo; Calvino rescata la belleza, la poética como una especie de resistencia, de metralla contra todo mal. یه جمله ی خوبی در مورد وودی آلن شنیده بودم که به نظرم در مورد کالوینو هم صدق می کنه : خدا یک وودی آلن بزرگ است
اعتراضی است به سبک کالوینو به سه معضل دنیای جدید؛ آلودگی محیط زیست، آلودگی هوا و دموکراسی. آمیخته است با کمی طنز اجتماعی. همین کافی است تا کالوینو به نویسندگان محبوب من اضافه شود. کتاب سه تا قصه داره از سه آدم متفاوت در سه فضای متفاوت. مورچه آرژانتینی ، مه دود ، ناظر.
این دفعه این سه تا هیچ جای داستان این سه تا داستان از هم رد نمی شن و کاری با هم ندارن.شخصیت اصلی هر سه داستان مرد هستند. هر کدام اما زنی رو در زندگی خودشون یا که در حاشیه ی زندگیه خودشون - حاشیه اما مرکز ثقل خودشون شاید -
دارن. روایتی معمولی از روزهای عادی زندگی این سه مرد که درگیر همون دغدغه های همیشگی غیر روزمرن. ترجمه روان ، داستان ها راحت و قابل فهم
اما باید که حوصله شنیدن دغدغه ها رو داشته باشی. خصوصا تو قصه آخر که گاهی حوصلت از شعارا ممکنه سر بره. اما خب چه انتظاری از ذهن یک رفیق چپ ناظر انتخاباتی می شه داشت که نگران سیاست گوش بریه!
فضای داستانا بی نهایت خودمونیه. ولی توصیفی که از ردیف مورچه ها تو داستان اول می شه تمام تنم رو به خارش انداخت، روایتی که از خانه به دوش سکنی گزیده تو مه دود خوندم منو به شدت یاد خودم انداخت و البته که قصه ی ناظر یادآور درگیری همیشگی بین ایده پردازی و عملگرایی بود.
خوندنش تجربه جالبی بود. خدا می داند روزی چند بار به آنجا سر میزدم. اما میخواستم احساس کنم گذری هستم، امروز اینجا و فردا جای دیگر. وگرنه این جای خاص اعصابم را داغان می کرد. - مه دود

چیز خاصی نبود اما برای من که فقط در جستجوی تصاویری برای حفظ کردنشان در چشمهایم بودم شاید همین کافی بود. - مه دود

La formica argentina ePUB Õ La formica  Kindle -
    EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the epub می‌دهد البته کالینو با اختیار کردن راوی خویش از میان همین بردگان، طنز سرخوشی خاصی به داستان می‌بخشد این داستان‌ها ترکیبی از روایت و تأمل است که به‌ویژه در ناظر، فضاسازی و شخصیت پردازی به عناصر غالب داستان بدل می‌شود، و خرده روایت‌ها جای روایت اصلی را می‌گیرد، و آن‌چه در این میان مهم است، نوع برخورد انسان‌های مختلف با حوادث بیرونی است و خود این حوادث تقریباً موضوعیت خود را از دست می‌دهد: هجوم مورچه‌ها، آلودگی هوا، اعتصاب، انتخابات واین سه داستان به نوعی تمامی مضامین و دلبستگی‌های کالوینو را در خود خلاصه کرده است، علم، فولکلور، طنز، زندگی روزمره و داستان‌سرایی‏. The Argentine ant, Italo calvino
    The stories are selected by Translator: The Argentine Ant, Smog and The watcher. The book is published under the name The Argentine Ant. Originally published: 1952.
    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یکم ماه آگوست سال 2006 میلادی
    عنوان: مورچه ی آرژانتینی: مجموعه سه داستان (مورچه ی آرژانتینی، مه دود، ناظر)؛ اثر: ایتالو کالوینو؛ برگردان: شهریار وقفی پور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، کاروان، 1385، در 187 ص، شابک: 9789647033640؛ چاپ چهارم 1386؛ چاپ هفتم: نشر قطره 1393؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان ایتالیایی - سده 20 م
    ا. شربیانی

    *edited on 27.02.2020

    The ants are eating us alive. . . . Ants in the bed, ants in the dishes, ants every day, ants every night. We’ve little enough to eat anyway and have
    to feed them too. . . .”

    The word “ants” for us then could never have suggested the horror of our present condition. If he had mentioned ants, as perhaps he had—I won’t exclude the possibility—we would have imagined ourselves up against a concrete enemy that could be numbered, weighed, crushed. Actually, now I think about the ants in our own parts, I remember them as reasonable little creatures, which could be touched and moved like cats or rabbits. Here we were face to face with an enemy like fog or sand, against which force was useless.



    Italo Calvino- the names sound like a poetry to me but one which is infused with melancholy and irony of life. It was a serene, quite morning wherein the sun was about to embark upon the horizon of planet earth, to spread its reddish bliss and I came upon this little beauty by Calvino- The Argentine Ant. It is like embarking on voyage which I’m familiar with (of course with previous reading experiences of books by him) however, still at heart you know that you would find some surprises on that voyage given the ingenuity of Calvino. His exemplified method of using fantasy to address reality which is at once ironic and at the same time quite serious. Calvino’s universe could be said to marked with an atmosphere of melancholy and increasing pessimism. Images of the end of the world recur with obsessive regularity, and even terror is present in a significant minority of his works. We see that his books underline his passion for beginnings and mistrust of endings, positions that perhaps explain why he habitually moved from one obsession to another, looking for the next impossible thing to write. The force of reality which bursts forth into fantasy. As he once mentioned- “Instead of making myself write the book I ought to write, the novel that was expected of me, I conjured up the book I myself would have liked to read, the sort by an unknown writer, from another age and another country, discovered in an attic.

    The Argentine Ant is one of the numerous jewels in the fantastical, absurd but realistic universe of Calvino. It is one of most prodigious achievements from the literary pen of the author. As you put your first step in to this absurd land of Calvino, you find a man, woman and baby who move to a new village filled with hope, being told by the narrator's Uncle Augusto that this area affords a good lifestyle and plenty of opportunity for work – the promise of a new beginning, that core Calvino theme, only to find that their house, indeed the entire locality, is infested with ants. The very moment you enter into the house of the narrator you realize that it’s a universe built upon Kafkaesque elements- the surreal and horrific world wherein your existence is crushed to such might you start questioning the life itself and how meaningless and pulverizing it could be. The nothingness of in-authentic existence stare into your somber eyes and shake your inner (non) being. Calvino portrays the horrid universe with using a language so transparent that it reaches a hallucinatory level. The narrator wonders if perhaps his own circumstances do not permit him to be happy, as he is responsible for a wife and child, while his uncle lived a carefree existence.

    I couldn’t get used to the idea of so much art and perseverance being needed to carry out such a simple operation as catching ants; but I realized that the important thing was to carry on continually and methodically. Then I felt discouraged as no one, it seemed to me, could ever equal this neighbor of ours in terrible determination.



    The universe of Calvino lies on very coarse and lean thread of cosmos wherein rumors lead the life of people among the absurd paths which demand men to put forward their authentic and best foot since the fire of non-being surrounds that lean thread of cosmos and works with its entire strength to crush them under weight of nothingness. The rumors compels the narrator too to see Captain Brauni, whom the Reginaudos designate as the individual most capable of solving the ant problem. When the narrator visits the captain, he finds an extensive and impressive apparatus used to poison the ants. These rumors take the narrator through the hell of nothingness towards the ‘ant-man’ who happens to visit his house to coat the narrator’s house with poisoned molasses. The narrator slips off the thin thread of cosmos and meets an accident, here you see the Kafkaesque elements manifest themselves into the horrors of real life guided by the rumors, of course. The ant-man may be responsible for the event or perhaps not, essentially it’s the rumors which are omnipotent and omnipresent and escort the narrator through this spiteful universe of Calvino and further lead town’s people towards combined hallucination, as if such thing may be possible, only to realize that perhaps it may be and which delivers a profound testimony to the strength of mentality of the society. The beliefs which are carried by majority become acts of gods and laws out of which culture and religion take birth- our entire history may provide evidence to the claim.

    “What will the employees of the corporation do when there are no more ants?

    Watching him like that, I realized why he had made such a strange impression on me at first sight; he looked like an ant. It’s difficult to tell exactly why, but he certainly did; perhaps it was because of the opaque black of his clothes and hair, perhaps because of the proportions of that squat body of his, or the trembling at the corners of his mouth corresponding to the continuous quiver of antennae and claws.



    The Argentine Ant could be said to be an epitome of neo-realism which is built upon assiduous elements in which simple language is used to convey the meaning precisely and clearly to the reader who may have no apprehensions about the events themselves though their meaning can only be found by uncovering layers of absurd and fantastic fiction. It is what Brauni's exercises connote that is baffling: Are they activities for the good of their own, or do they speak to something general in human instinct or human culture? Along these lines, Signor Baudino, the nearby agent of the Argentine Ant Control Corporation, is portrayed in a short, exact vignette, making him an effectively possible person. And there are those people too who may be at discomfort owing to manifestations of alien objects in to their lives but they show neither any pain nor any sort of irritation as if the discomfort, they may be having, would make them appear weak to the world and perhaps appearance matters more than authenticity of existence.

    It occurred to me that the darkness, the ornaments, the size of the room and her proud
    spirit were this woman’s defenses against the ants, the reason why she was stronger
    than we were in face of them, but that everything we saw round us, beginning with her
    sitting there, was covered with ants even more pitiless than ours: some kind of African
    termite, perhaps, which destroyed everything and left only the husks, so that all that
    remained of this house were tapestries and curtains almost in powder, all on the point of
    crumbling into smithereens before her eyes.


    Calvino’s universe is open to multiple interpretations as any universe may be or perhaps universes embedded in a universe which itself may be implanted in the other one as he aims to raise the target with which literature sets itself: he challenges literature to describe the indescribable, from macrocosm to microcosm, from the Big Bang to the division of cells. The language he uses to achieve this is striking, delivering concrete descriptions and an apprehension that obliteration lies at the heart of each individual consciousness.



    The influence of Kafka is obvious in the universe of Calvino as he himself mentioned -My author is Kafka, when asked about his influences, and his presence is discernible throughout Calvino's works. The story really is, as Gore Vidal stated, as minatory and strange as anything by Kafka, and the way it builds its air of threat and mystery with plain, undemonstrative language recalls Calvino's own. Small, seemingly docile, naïve objects (here we are reducing ants to objects, as we human usually do since we perceive nature from our point of view) like ants may creep up existential horror into core of your being but what can you in front of army of those small beings crawling up to catch you off breath in number of crores; perhaps we can’t stop ants, however at least we can write fiction about them. And someone may write as good as Calvino could, then it’s definitely worth an attempt. The story may be termed as an allegory about how small irritants come to dominate our lives (which may appear as epitome of heaven however only at careful investigation we may realize the existential malaise lying underneath them) and preoccupy our waking consciousness wherein ants may be transformed into minute iridescent, mundane issues of day to day life- the combination of our anxieties.

    And standing up there we could forget that all those places were black with ants; now we could see how they might have been without that menace which none of us could get away from even for an instant. At this distance it looked almost a paradise, but the more we gazed down the more we pitied our life there, as if living in that wretched narrow valley we could never get away from our wretched narrow problems.



    Our hands were now covered with them, and we held them out open in front of our eyes, trying to see exactly what they were like, these ants, moving our wrists all the time to prevent them crawling up our arms. They were tiny wisps of ants, in ceaseless movement as if urged along by the same little itch they gave us. It was only then that a name came to my mind : “Argentine ants,” or rather, “the Argentine ant,” that’s what they called them, and now that I came to think of it I must have heard someone saying this was the sense of “the Argentine ant.” It was only now that I connected the name with a sensation, this irritating tickle spreading in every direction, which one couldn’t get rid of by clenching one’s fists or rubbing one’s hands together as there always seemed to be some stray ant running up one’s arm, or on one’s clothes. When the ants were crushed, they became little black dots which fell like sand, leaving a strong, acid smell on one’s fingers.

    4.5/5


    The Argentine Ant - an overlooked classic of absurdist, fabulistic fiction by the master of the absurd and fabulous, Italo Calvio.

    At forty pages, The Argentine Ant could be classified as either a brief novel or a long short story, but no matter how you look at it, this tale packs a serious punch, a tale aptly described by Goodreads friend Paul as both funny and menacing at the same time.

    The first line features foreshadowing with a vengeance: When we came to settle here we did not know about the ants. The unnamed first-person narrator moves into a tiny rustic house with his wife and baby boy, a house built on a rough seedbed where they have been given permission to grow vegetables by the seller of the house, Signora Mauro, who lives up the hill.

    In the evening, after putting their baby to sleep, Alessandro and Benedetta (my names for the narrator and his wife) venture out to visit their nearby neighbors. They hail Signor Reginaudo who is busy spraying around his house with bellows. The Signor lets off spraying and calls to his wife Claudia to come out to meet the new couple. Following an exchange of pleasantries, Alessandro asks Signor Reginaudo what he is doing with the bellows. Oh . . . the ants . . . these ants . . . the Signor replies with a laugh as if not wishing to make it sound important. Ants? Benedetta asks in a rather detached voice but the group's brief conversation quickly moves on to another topic.

    Once back home, exhausted from their day's journey, our young couple decides to go straight to bed. But before lights out, Benedetta walks to the kitchen for a glass of water. Hearing Benedetta scream, Alessandro rushes to the kitchen and turns on the light.

    Ants. Ants crawling all over the faucet, a thick stream of ants coming up the wall, ants now covering both their hands, so many ants Benedetta and Alessandro must vigorously shakes their wrists to prevent the ants from crawling up their arms. Finally, ridding their hands of the ants, they return to bed and, completely exhausted, doze off. But they are awoken in the middle of the night by their baby's cries. Benedetta rushes to his basket to find their baby boy covered in ants. The next morning Alessandro resolves he must initiate an immediate battle against the persistent imperceptible enemy which had taken over our house.

    Our house, you say. Oh, Alessandro, like so many other humans who view the world in anthropocentric terms, it might be more accurate to recognize that you have moved into a territory belonging to Argentine ants.

    In his alarm, Alessandro consults Signor Reginaudo and his wife about a remedy for the ants. Their reply is vintage Italo Calvino: A remedy, ha, ha, ha! The Reginaudos laughed louder than ever. Have we a remedy? We've twenty remedies! A hundred . . . each, ha, ha, ha, each better than the other!

    Poor Alessandro! The Reginaudos are little help. He's sent off to see a Captain Brauni, the man who really knows how to deal with those ants. Upon arrival to the good Captain's abode, Alessandro scans all varieties of odd contraptions with streams of ants moving back and forth until, in one case, dropping into a sort of meat can at the bottom of a wire.

    HIs question anticipated, here's the explanation Alessandro is given: An average of forty ants are killed per minute, said Captain Brauni, twenty-four hundred per hour. Naturally, the gasoline must be kept clean, otherwise the dead ants cover it and the ones that fall in afterward can save themselves.

    Next stop has Alessandro dealing with the ant man who pays a visit to his own house and surrounding properties. Perfect. Now that the Argentine Ant Control Corporation is on the case, the ant problem will surely be solved. Sorry, Alessandro. Perhaps predictably, the ant man does more to exacerbate the problem than solve it.

    Ah, those ants! How should we most effectively deal with the problem? Answers are various: laugh it off, have a drink and forget about it. blame it all on the ant man, Italo Calvino proves himself a master by taking one issue and constructing a rich, forty-page tapestry of humans confronting a hostile non-human world. Again, a tale that's both humorous and menacing at the same time.

    The Argentine Ant is included in The Watcher and Other Stories and can also be read online: https://classic.esquire.com/article/1



    Italian author Italo Calvino, 1923-1985

    As for the actual killing of the ants, that, if they had ever attempted it, they seemed to have given up, seeing that their efforts were useless; all they tried to do was bar them from certain passages and turn them aide, frighten them or keep them at bay. They always had a new labyrinth traced out with different substances which they prepared from day to day, and for this game ants were a necessary element. - Italo Calvino, The Argentine Ant. کتاب مورچه آرژانتینی بیشتر و بهتر از هر اثر دیگر کالوینو،دیدگاه کالوینو به جهان،انسان ها و روابط بینشان را نشان می دهد.مترجم نیز در مقدمه می گوید که این سه داستان به نوعی بازتابنده نگاه نیچه ای کالوینو به مناسبات انسانی و نفرت او از میان مایگی ست. مورچه آرژانتینی و ناظر نسبت به مه دود از جذابیت و همینطور عمق بیشتری برخوردارند.شاید علت این امر،مربوط به ساختار داستان ها باشد.مورچه آرژانتینی ساختاری داستانی دارد و ناظر نیز به نوعی نیمه داستانی محسوب می شود،اما مه دود به طور کل ساختاری ژورنالیستی دارد.هر سه داستان برای مخاطب فضایی تهدید کننده و ناآرام دارند.هر سه داستان با موضوعی خاص شروع می شوند،اما آن موضوع در طول داستان در بطن آن حل شده و دیگر چیزی که اهمیت پیدا می کند،روابط انسان ها با یکدیگر در مقابل حوادث خارجی ست،در داستان اول معضل مورچه ها کمرنگ شده و نحوه مبارزه انسان ها با وضعیت و واکنش آن ها پررنگ می شود،در داستان دوم نیز معضل مه دود پس از چندی جای خود را به بیان رابطه راوی و کلودیا و افکار راوی می دهد.کالوینو در این امر تبحر خاصی به خرج داده است که در داستان ناظر به اوج خود می رسد.مورچه های آرژانتینی،اولین داستان این مجموعه،صحنه رویارویی انسان ها با اصلی ترین رقیبشان در طبیعت،مورچه هاست. داستان با سکنی گزیدن خانواده 3 نفره (که راوی جوان، پدر این خانواده است) آغاز می شود.خانواده ای که به پیشنهاد عمو آگوستو به دنبال کار و زندگی بهتر به منطقه ای مهاجرت کرده اند که در اصل متعلق به مورچه هاست.سرزمینی ملقب به زادگاه مورچه ی آرژانتینی.کالوینو از این حقیقت که مورچه های آرژانیتی به واقع رقیبی برای انسان ها جهت تسلط بر زمین هستند در داستان خود بهره می جوید،اما این حقیقت از میانه داستان(همانطور که پیش تر گفته شد و این روند در دو داستان دیگر نیز تکرار می شود)کمرنگ شده و چگونگی برخورد انسان ها با آن اهمیت می یابد
    ا توصيفات دقيق از اشياء، شخصيت ها و فضاها شايد اولين ويژگي بارز داستان نويسي به قلم كالوينو باشه، اما گاهي فضا سازي ها چنان دقيق ميشن كه خسته كننده به نظر ميان. تقابل و كشمكش بين انسان و محيط اطرافش، تلاش براي تنازع بقاء و سر آخر عادت به شرايطي كه درش قرار ميگيريم رو ميشه در داستان ها به ويژه داستان اول ديد. اينكه چطور روند زندگي كم كم افراد رو قانع ميكنه كه با داشته ها سر كنن و جهان بينيشون رو منطقي تر ميكنه كه هميشه نميتونن به همه مشكلات چيره بشن و گاهي فقط بايد كنار بيان. حتي شايد اين حقيقت رو بشه در رابطه زناشويي زوج داستان اول ديد، كه با تمام پيش بيني هاي درست در مورد رفتار همسرش باز سعي كرده به اون ها عادت كنه و گريزي براي مواجه شدن با اون پيدا كنه. El universo simbólico que construye Calvino es ensordecedor. En esta novela corta, sutil y tal vez metafóricamente política, la angustia se extiende a todo lo encuadrado y se lee ante todo en los detalles nimios. Un borroneo y un desfile de figuras inertes, un barrunto de estética personal, el horror como materia controladora, un escamoteo de emoción auténtica.

    Eso no es todo; Calvino rescata la belleza, la poética como una especie de resistencia, de metralla contra todo mal. یه جمله ی خوبی در مورد وودی آلن شنیده بودم که به نظرم در مورد کالوینو هم صدق می کنه : خدا یک وودی آلن بزرگ است
    اعتراضی است به سبک کالوینو به سه معضل دنیای جدید؛ آلودگی محیط زیست، آلودگی هوا و دموکراسی. آمیخته است با کمی طنز اجتماعی. همین کافی است تا کالوینو به نویسندگان محبوب من اضافه شود. کتاب سه تا قصه داره از سه آدم متفاوت در سه فضای متفاوت. مورچه آرژانتینی ، مه دود ، ناظر.
    این دفعه این سه تا هیچ جای داستان این سه تا داستان از هم رد نمی شن و کاری با هم ندارن.شخصیت اصلی هر سه داستان مرد هستند. هر کدام اما زنی رو در زندگی خودشون یا که در حاشیه ی زندگیه خودشون - حاشیه اما مرکز ثقل خودشون شاید -
    دارن. روایتی معمولی از روزهای عادی زندگی این سه مرد که درگیر همون دغدغه های همیشگی غیر روزمرن. ترجمه روان ، داستان ها راحت و قابل فهم
    اما باید که حوصله شنیدن دغدغه ها رو داشته باشی. خصوصا تو قصه آخر که گاهی حوصلت از شعارا ممکنه سر بره. اما خب چه انتظاری از ذهن یک رفیق چپ ناظر انتخاباتی می شه داشت که نگران سیاست گوش بریه!
    فضای داستانا بی نهایت خودمونیه. ولی توصیفی که از ردیف مورچه ها تو داستان اول می شه تمام تنم رو به خارش انداخت، روایتی که از خانه به دوش سکنی گزیده تو مه دود خوندم منو به شدت یاد خودم انداخت و البته که قصه ی ناظر یادآور درگیری همیشگی بین ایده پردازی و عملگرایی بود.
    خوندنش تجربه جالبی بود. خدا می داند روزی چند بار به آنجا سر میزدم. اما میخواستم احساس کنم گذری هستم، امروز اینجا و فردا جای دیگر. وگرنه این جای خاص اعصابم را داغان می کرد. - مه دود

    چیز خاصی نبود اما برای من که فقط در جستجوی تصاویری برای حفظ کردنشان در چشمهایم بودم شاید همین کافی بود. - مه دود "/>
  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • La formica argentina
  • Italo Calvino
  • Persian
  • 14 February 2019
  • 9786001192036