The Paris Review interviews offer a wonderful insight into how writers and poets go about their art. Amidst the plethora of interviews, I had missed the one of Italo Calvino until now. Calvino is asked about how he writes (‘by hand, making many, many corrections’), when he writes (‘afternoon’), his influences (Kipling, Stevenson, Stendhal) , among others. Near the end of his interview, when asked whether he has ever been bored, he brings up this keen difference between the ways children and adults experience boredom:

Yes, in my childhood. But it must be pointed out that childhood boredom is a special kind of boredom. It is a boredom full of dreams, a sort of projection into another place, into another reality. In adulthood boredom is made of repetition, it is the continuation of something from which we are no longer expecting any surprise.

One of Calvino’s talents evident in his works is his ability to draw you into a lucid insight on a topic or observation one might disregard as mundane. There appears to be little that has crossed his mind that he has not given enough thought, distilled its essence, and stowed away for future reference. Like being asked about being bored.