In this world where every object was thrown away at the slightest sign of breakage or aging, at the first dent or stain, and replaced with a new and perfect substitute, there was just one false note, one shadow: the moon. It wandered through the sky naked, corroded, and gray, more and more alien to the world down here, a hangover from a way of being that was now outdated.
The Beloved insists that I get rid of the stack of New Yorkers crowding the corner of the bedroom, and so I shall, so I shall. The New Yorker is a guilt-inducing publication, richly stuffed with complex and compelling articles that I never seem to find time to consume before the next one arrives. I always manage to get to the back-page comics, and flip through for the rest of the comics and book reviews, but too often I save articles and stories for a later that never arrives.
I finally got to the February 23, 2009, New Yorker (some of which I had read already), and read the Italo Calvino story, Daughters of the Moon, at last. And what a story it is! Calvino riffs on an observation about the battered state of the moon to craft a fable of a decaying moon, its legion of Diana protectresses, and a Thanksgiving Day Parade gone strange.
The article on Ian McEwan’s use of contemporary psychological research, Daniel Zalewski’s “The Background Hum,” is compelling, too, and was called out as the best article of the issue by The New Yorkerest, but I stand by Calvino and his moon maidens.