This woman was perhaps the beauty of the city; even now I feel, seeing her for the first time, she could be called an attractive woman; but if I imagine looking at her with the eyes of the other customers at the bar, then a kind of weariness settles on her, perhaps only the shadow of their weariness (or my weariness, or yours). They have known her since she was a girl, they know everything there is to know about her, some of them may have been involved with her, now water under the bridge, over and done with; in other words, there is a veil of other images that settles on her image and blurs it, a weight of memories that keep me from seeing her as a person for the first time, other people's memories suspended like the smoke under the lamps. --Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler

This is very close to my own idea. The woman stands there, alone, and those who view her bring their own contexts and meanings to her.

Back to Theory
Back to the Center