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WikiProject Novels / Short story / Sci-fi (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
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Someone who's remembers the book better than me should really clean this up and add in the stories I've missed.
- Lifefeed 19:42, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)

I have borrowed this book from my school library. It's AWESOME, maybe I can help to expand this

The Distance of the Moon[edit]

This edit, removing "the fact that the moon used to be much closer to the earth" and adding "the moon was closer to the earth at some times of the year than at others" [emphases added], is highly dubious. Mr. Lightman may have said so in the cited source (I don't find a transcript, and can't play the media file), but this is just wrong.

In my edition (tr. William Weaver, 1968, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) the story's preamble clearly and explicitly refers to the long term phenomenon of tidal acceleration; and this is what provides the primary dramatic impetus for the story as the moon's inexorable retreat bears the protagonist's love away, "forever beyond my reach". The moon's monthly orbit also figures in the story, but it has absolutely nothing to do with any annual periodicity.

Can anyone verify that the above linked edit correctly expresses what the secondary source says? If so, how are we to handle a situation where a seemingly reputable secondary source appears to misrepresent the primary work? ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

if 'it may have said - but this is wrong" - why does it say on wp: Moon : "The distance between the Moon and the Earth varies from around 356,400 km to 406,700 km at the extreme perigees (closest) and apogees (farthest). On 19 March 2011, it was closer to the Earth while at full phase than it has been since 1993.[1] Sayerslle (talk) 14:45, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
What is wrong is the assertion that the story takes its impetus from periodic fluctuation, whether monthly, annual , or otherwise. It is not a story of seasonal loss and renewal, it is about ultimate loss from irrevocably drifting apart.

It would probably also be true to say Calvino knew that 2+2=4, but it would not be true to say he builds up that fact into this story: it is not what the story is about. He tells us explicitly that the story is based on tidal acceleration in the opening sentences: "At one time [...] the Moon was very close to the Earth. Then the tides gradually pushed her far away..."

I have moved the {{dubious}} tag to a different position in the sentence, in an attempt to clarify that what is in dispute is not what science Calvino may have known, but which scientific idea he used for the basis of the story. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:33, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

P.S. – Have you read the primary source? Is the translation wrong? ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:45, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Having received no further response for a month, I will go ahead and remove the disputed interpretation. I will also rewrite the story description to reflect the theme mentioned above. If you still disagree, feel free to request a third opinion. ~ Ningauble (talk) 19:03, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Full moon tonight is as close as it gets". The Press Enterprise. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.