Italo Calvino’s Bookmark Interview 1985

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The Door

Too little
has been said
of the door, its one
face turned to the night’s
downpour and its other
to the shift and glisten of firelight.

Air, clasped
by this cover
into the room’s book,
is filled by the turning
pages of dark and fire
as the wind shoulders the panels, or unsteadies that burning.

Not only
the storm’s
breakwater, but the sudden
frontier to our concurrences, appearances,
and as full of the offer of space
as the view through a cromlech is.

For doors
are both frame and monument
to our spent time,
and too little
has been said
of our coming through and leaving by them.

from Selected Poems 1955-97 (OUP, 1997), Charles Tomlinson

Alienation is a concept describing both the process and the results of converting, in definite historical conditions, of the products of human and social activity (products of labour, money, social relations, etc.) and also man”s properties and capabilities into something independent of them and dominating over them; also the transformation of some phenomena and relations into something different from what they are in themselves, the distortion in people”s minds of their actual relations in life. Alienation of the subject is the creation of the world by the abstract Ego. The objective world appears as the “alienated spirit”. The purpose of development is to overcome this Alienation in the process of cognition. At the same time the understanding of Alienation contains rational surmises about some distinctive features of labour in an antagonistic society.