The written world and the unwritten world Essays

Italo Calvino

Book - 2023

Available in English for the first time, a collection of essays offering an extraordinary global view of this great Italian master's approach to writing, reading, and interpreting literature.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 854.914/Calvino Checked In
New York : Mariner Classics [2023]
Main Author
Italo Calvino (author)
Other Authors
Ann Goldstein, 1949- (translator)
First edition
Physical Description
369 pages ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
  • Reading, writing, translating
  • Good intentions
  • Characters and names
  • The failure of the Italian novel
  • The fates of the novel
  • Questions on realism
  • Answers to nine questions on the novel
  • Industrial themes
  • Correspondence with Angelo Guglielmi regarding 'The Challenge to the Labyrinth'
  • On translation
  • Letter from a 'minor' writer
  • Sitting-down literature
  • Art thefts (conversation with Tullio Pericoli)
  • Translating a text is the true way of reading it
  • Literature and power (on an essay by Alberto Asor Rosa)
  • The last fires
  • Gian Carlo Ferretti, bestseller Italian-style
  • The written world and the unwritten world
  • A book, books
  • Why do you write?
  • On publishing
  • Notes for a book series on moral inquiry
  • Plan for a journal
  • A new series, Einaudi's Centopagine series
  • Einaudi Biblioteca Giovani (Einaudi Young People's Library)
  • The Mondadori Biblioteca Romantica
  • On the fantastic
  • The knights of the Grail
  • Fantastic tales of the nineteenth century
  • Seven flasks of tears
  • The fantastic in Italian literature
  • Notturno Italiano
  • Science, history, anthropology
  • The genealogical forest
  • Cosmological models
  • Montezuma and Corťs
  • Cannibals and Kings by Marvin Harris
  • Carlo Ginzburg, 'Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm'
  • Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, La Nouvelle Alliance
  • Arnold van Gennep, The Rights of Passage
  • Long Journey to the Center of the Brain by Renato and Rosellina Balbi
  • Disturbing the Universe by Freeman Dyson
  • Giovanni Godoli, The Sun: Story of a Star
  • Essay on Love by Ortega y Gasset
  • The View from Afar by Claude Ľvi-Strauss
  • Pietro Redondi, Galileo Heretic
  • Ancient and Modern Ideas of Fate by Giorgio de Santillana.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Essays, reviews, and a few letters come together in this wonderful collection from novelist Calvino (1923--1985) that surveys his varied interests and discerning style. The first section, on reading, writing, and translating, contains his musings on autobiographical writing ("I'm in favor of it") and on the fate of the novel: "The important thing is that good books be written, and, in particular, good stories: whether they are novels or not, what does it matter?" A section on publishing outlines his plans to create a literary journal for discourse on "very 'Italian' problems"; the third section sees his thoughts on "the fantastic tale... one of the most meaningful for us, in the sense that it says many things about the inner life of the individual and about collective symbology." The collection closes with reflections on science, history, and anthropology, including his review of the 1977 book Cannibals and Kings (which offers many "satisfactions"). Calvino's prose is sparkling as ever, and he approaches ideas with wit and an open mind, always ready to challenge a stale point of view. This anthology will delight Calvino fans old and new. (Jan.)

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