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Word Count: 725
An enchanting series of stories about the evolution of the universe Calvino makes characters out of mathematical formulae and simple cellular structures They disport themselves amongst galaxies experience the solidification of planets move from aquatic to terrestrial existence play games with hydrogen atoms -- and have time for a love life Cosmocomics is a phantasmagoria on Creation an enchantingly ingenious idea which translates theories about the evolution of the Universe into stories and makes characters out of mathematical formulas and simple cellular structures The narrator Qfwfq spends his childhood in the soundless timeless void among the incandescent colors of stellar explosions he plays with hydrogen atoms like marbles and sitting astride a galaxy chases his friend Pfwfp around the firmament Or as an adolescent on the new Earth he has his first shy love affairs with Ayl Lll and Mrs Vhd Vhd climbs up to the moon on a ladder as it looms hypnotica lly bright over him watches the planet flood with its first color as an atmosphere forms migrates as an adventurous young vertebrate from sea to land or wanders the deserted plateaus as the last lonely dinosaur desperately wanting to belong Most dazzling of all Qfwfq thinks back on his state as a mollusk evolving eyeless himself a shell to delight all eyes The result of this entrancing union of mathematics and poetic imagination is pure delight But more than this the infinities of time and space contract becoming momentarily acceptable to the finite mind and the reader glimpses his own infinitesimal significance as part of the complex vastness of the cosmos This is Italo Calvinos Le Cosmicomiche translated from Italian by William Weaver Two of the stories originally appeared in Playboy Calvino was a fantasist Here his imagination runs with the accepted theories of the origin and evolution of the Universe formation of matter our own Solar System life and evolution on Earth He prefaces each tale with a scientific
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