My motto for the first part was “simple solid”. I chose this because I like strong, simple stories. I don’t need them to be packed full of magic, but instead I just need realistic characters who want something.
The Assistant perfectly fits the motto “simple solid”. As I have stated on the other pages, it is a perfect example of the classic story arc. It is neatly bundled into a beginning, middle, and end. Each character has a history and has wants and needs that propel their actions. Frank Alpine is wandering through life looking for meaning. He has not found it, he does not understand trust because he never experienced trust or love from his parents. Morris Bober trusts Frank. However, Frank is not able to be trustworthy until the end of story as he builds a relationship with the Bober family. Helen Bober wants to go to school, but there is no money for school and she feels guilty not helping her aging parents. These types of situations happen everyday in real life. The story is solid. The story is believable.
I believe Calvino would think of The Assistant as a great example of literature. The book is an easy, light read. It does not get bogged down in length. Instead, it quickly and precisely tells a great story. The story holds a lot of multiplicity. On the surface it is just a story about a struggling grocer and his interaction with an dishonest man. However, the story has underlying themes of spirituality and comments on antisemitism and big business.
And of course, since there are no images, the book challenges the reader’s imagination. The story gives you the characters and descriptions of those characters, but it is the readers responsibility to visualize the story in their mind. The use of layers were especially helpful in creating a visualization of the book. By using different images I was able to juxtapose images next to each other. The use of juxtaposition was very important to Cornell and the surrealists. By putting two images that don’t usually go next to each together, you can create new relationships and ideas. It is also useful when depicting your aesthetic. By placing two items together I am creating new relationships that exhibit my own visual aesthetic and that of the stories.