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Encyclopedia > Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino, on the cover of Lezioni americane: Sei proposte per il prossimo millennio
Italo Calvino, on the cover of Lezioni americane: Sei proposte per il prossimo millennio

Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923September 19, 1985) (pronounced [ˈiː.ta.lo kalˈviː.no]) was an Italian writer and novelist. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). His style defies easy classification; sometimes his writing has an air of fantasy reminiscent of fairy tales (the trilogy, Cosmicomics), but sometimes his writing is more "realistic" and in the scenic mode of observation ("Difficult Loves", for example). Some of his novels have been called postmodern, while some have been labeled magical realist, others fables, others simply "modern." Twelve years before his death, he was invited to and joined the Oulipo group of experimental writers. Image File history File linksMetadata Calvino-italo. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Calvino-italo. ... October 15 is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years). ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years). ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Not to be confused with the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... Our Ancestors (Italian: I Nostri Antenati) is the name of Italo Calvinos heraldic trilogy that comprises The Cloven Viscount (1952), The Baron in the Trees (1957), and The Nonexistent Knight (1959). ... Cosmicomics is a book of short stories by Italo Calvino. ... Invisible Cities is a book by Italo Calvino that sets out to explore the meaning and symbols of cities that as the title indicates, exist on another level of perception, via interpretation of symbols, or signs. ... If on a Winters Night a Traveler (Se una notte dinverno un viaggiatore) is a novel published in 1979 by Italo Calvino. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Oulipo stands for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, which translates roughly as workshop of potential literature. It is a loose gathering of French-speaking writers and mathematicians, and seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques. ...

Contents

Biography

Born in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba, to botanists Mario Calvino and Evelina Mameli and brother of Floriano Calvino, a famous geologist, Italo Calvino soon moved to his family's homeland of Italy, where he lived most of his life. This article needs to be updated. ... the are cool The Geologist by Carl Spitzweg A geologist is a contributor to the science of geology, studying the physical structure and processes of the Earth and planets of the solar system (see planetary geology). ...


He stayed in Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera, for some 20 years and enrolled in the Avanguardisti (a fascist youth organisation of which membership was practically compulsory) with whom he took part in the occupation of the French Riviera. He suffered some religious troubles, his relatives being followers of the Waldensian Protestant Church. He met Eugenio Scalfari (later a politician and the founder of the major newspaper La Repubblica), with whom he would remain a close friend. Country Italy Region Liguria Province Imperia (IM) Mayor Claudio Borea Elevation 15 m Area 54 km² Population  - Total (as of 2004) 56,903  - Density 936/km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Coordinates Gentilic Sanremesi or Sanremaschi Dialing code 0184 Postal code 18038 Frazioni San Romolo, Poggio, Bussana, Bussana Vecchia, Coldirodi... Liguria and the Italian Riviera Portofino’s small harbour on the Italian Riviera The Italian Rivera ( ) is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines. ... Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB) was a Italian Fascist youth organization functioning, as an addition to school education, between 1926 and 1937 (the year it was fused into the Gioventù Italiana del Littorio, GIL, a youth section of the National Fascist Party). ... Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests inferior to the needs of the state, and seeks to forge a type of national unity, usually based on ethnic, religious, cultural, or racial attributes. ... A Youth organization is a formal organization aimed at children and adolescents for education and socialization. ... The Quai des États-Unis in Nice on the French Riviera at night. ... The Waldensians were followers of Peter Waldo (or Valdes or Vaudes); they called themselves the Poor men of Lyon, the Poor of Lombardy, or the Poor. ... La Repubblica (meaning: The Republic) is an Italian daily newspaper. ...


In 1941 he moved to Turin, after a long hesitation over living there or in Milan. He often humorously described this choice, and used to describe Turin as "a city that is serious but sad." For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Torino redirects here. ... Milan (Italian: ; Lombard: Milán (listen)) is one of the biggest cities in Italy, located in the plains of Lombardy. ...


In 1943, he joined the Partisans in the Italian Resistance, in the Garibaldi brigade, with the battlename of Santiago, and with Scalfari he created the MUL (liberal universitarian movement). He then entered the (still clandestine) Italian Communist Party. 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... Partisans parading in Milan The Italian resistance movement was a partisan force during World War II. It became massive after the capitulation of the Italian Royal Army on September 8, 1943. ... Garibaldi in 1866. ... The Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI) or Italian Communist Party emerged as Partito Comunista dItalia or Communist Party of Italy from a secession by the Leninist comunisti puri tendency from the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) during that bodys congress on 21 January 1921 at Livorno. ...


In 1947, Calvino graduated from Turin's university with a thesis on Joseph Conrad and started working with the official Communist paper L'Unità; he also had a short relationship with the Einaudi publishing house, which put him in contact with Norberto Bobbio, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese and Elio Vittorini. With Vittorini he wrote for the weekly Il Politecnico (a cultural magazine associated with the university). He then left Einaudi to work mainly with L'Unità and the newborn communist weekly political magazine Rinascita. 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... Joseph Conrad. ... Einaudi may refer to; Luigi Einaudi (1874—1961), an Italian politician Luigi R. Einaudi (1936—), an American diplomat Ludovico Einaudi (1955—), an Italian pianist and composer Category: ... Norberto Bobbio (October 18, 1909 – January 9, 2004) was an Italian philosopher of law and political sciences and an historian of political thought. ... Natalia Ginzburg née Levi (July 14, 1916, Palermo—October 7, 1991, Rome) was an Italian author whose work explored family relationships, politics, and philosophy. ... Cesare Pavese Cesare Pavese (September 9, 1908 – August 27, 1950) was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator. ... Elio Vittorini (July 23, 1908 - February 12, 1966) was an Italian writer and novelist. ...


He worked again for the Einaudi house from 1950, as responsible for the literary volumes. The following year, presumably in order to verify a possibility of advancement in the communist party, he visited the Soviet Union. The reports and correspondence he produced from this visit were later collected and earned him literary prizes. 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


In 1952 Calvino wrote with Giorgio Bassani for Botteghe Oscure, a magazine named after the popular name of the party's head-offices, and worked for Il Contemporaneo, a Marxist weekly. 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Giorgio Bassani (March 4, 1916 - April 13, 2000) was a novelist, poet, essayist, editor, and international intellectual. ... Marxismtakes its name from the praxis — the synthesis of philosophy and political action — of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ...


In 1953 Calvino unexpectedly left the Communist party, and his letter of resignation (soon famous) was published in L'Unità. 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ...


He found new outlets for his periodic writings in the magazines Passato e Presente and Italia Domani. Together with Vittorini he became a co-editor of Il Menabò di letteratura, a position that he held for many years.


Despite the previously severe restrictions for foreigners holding communist views, he was allowed to visit the United States, where he stayed six months (four of which he spent in New York), after an invitation by the Ford Foundation. Calvino was particularly impressed by the "New World": "Naturally I visited the South and also California, but I always felt a New Yorker. My city is New York." In the States he also met Esther Judith Singer, whom he married a few years later in Havana, during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and met Ernesto Che Guevara. NY redirects here. ... The Ford Foundation is a charitable foundation based in New York City created to fund programs that promote democracy, reduce poverty, promote international understanding, and advance human achievement. ... Nickname: Ciudad de las Columnas (City of the Columns) Position of Havana in Cuba Coordinates: Country Cuba Province Ciudad de La Habana Founded 1515 Government  - Mayor Juan Contino Aslán Area  - City 721. ... Che Guevara Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna (May 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967), commonly known as Che Guevara, was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary and Cuban guerrilla leader. ...


Back in Italy, and once again working for Einaudi, he started publishing some of his cosmicomics in Il Caffè, a literary magazine.


Vittorini's death in 1966 had a heavy influence on Calvino and caused him to experience what has been defined as an "intellectual depression", which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: "...I ceased to be young. Perhaps it's a metabolic process, something that comes with age, I'd been young for a long time, perhaps too long, suddenly I felt that I had to begin my old age, yes, old age, perhaps with the hope of prolonging it by beginning it early". 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


He then started to frequent Paris (where he was nicknamed L'ironique amusé). Here he soon joined some important circles like the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and met Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the fermenting atmosphere that was going to evolve into 1968's cultural revolution (the French May); in his French experience he also became fond of Raymond Queneau's works, which would sensibly influence his later production. City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Floating not submerging) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Oulipo stands for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, which translates roughly as workshop of potential literature. It is a loose gathering of French-speaking writers and mathematicians, and seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques. ... Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced ) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Claude Lévi-Strauss Claude Lévi-Strauss (IPA pronunciation ); born November 28, 1908) is a Jewish-French anthropologist who developed structuralism as a method of understanding human society and culture. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... May 1968 poster: Be young and keep quiet In May 1968 a general insurrection broke out across France. ... Raymond Queneau (February 21, 1903 – October 25, 1976) was a French poet and novelist. ...


Calvino also had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at Urbino's university. His interests included classical studies (Honoré de Balzac, Ludovico Ariosto, Dante, Ignacio de Loyola, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergérac, Giacomo Leopardi) while at the same time, not without a certain surprise from the Italian intellectual circles, he wrote novels for Playboy's Italian edition (1973). He became a regular contributor to the important Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. The Sorbonne, Paris, in a 17th century engraving The historic University of Paris (French: ) first appeared in the second half of the 12th century, but was in 1970 reorganised as 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII). ... Panorama of Urbino with the cathedral and the palazzo ducale Urbino is a city in the Marche in Italy, southwest of Pesaro, a World Heritage Site with a great cultural history during the Renaissance as the seat of Federico da Montefeltro. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... Balzac redirects here. ... Statue of the poet in Reggio Emilia. ... Dante in a fresco series of famous men by Andrea del Castagno, ca. ... Ignatius of Loyola Saint Ignatius of Loyola (December 24, 1491? – July 31, 1556), baptized Íñigo López de Loyola, was the founder of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order commonly known as the Jesuits that was established to strengthen the Church, initially against Protestantism. ... Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (September 29, 1547 – April 23, 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Cyrano de Bergerac Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac (March 6, 1619 – July 28, 1655) was a French dramatist and duellist born in Paris, who is now best remembered for the many works of fiction which have been woven around his life story, most notably the play by Edmond Rostand which... Giacomo Leopardi, Count (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) is generally considered, along with such figures as Dante, Ariosto and Tasso, to be among Italys greatest poets and one of its greatest thinkers. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... The first issue of Playboy. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Corriere della Sera (Evening Mail) is the most important Italian daily newspapers (first in sales [1]), printed in Milan. ...


In 1975 he was made Honorary Member of the American Academy, the following year he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He visited Japan and Mexico and gave lectures in several American towns. 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... The American Academy in Berlin is a non-partisan academic institution in Berlin. ...


In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious French Légion d'Honneur. 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Chiang Kai-sheks Légion dhonneur. ...


In 1983 at his home in Rome (Piazza Campo Marzio), Calvino granted a series of filmed interviews on his work to Canadian director Damian Pettigrew. The transcriptions were published in The Paris Review in 1992, in La Repubblica in 1995, and in book form in Italy under the title, Uno scrittore pomeridiano in 2003. These video rushes now serve as the basis of a major Calvino documentary produced by ARTE France to be aired in 2008. A unique recording of Calvino reading from his last novel, Mr Palomar (recorded by Pettigrew on the writer's Rome terrace in 1983), is also featured. 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Paris Review is a literary magazine started in 1953 by Peter Matthiessen, Thomas H. Guinzburg, and Harold L. Humes, and edited until his death in 2003 by George Plimpton. ... La Repubblica (meaning: The Republic) is an Italian daily newspaper. ...


In 1985, during the summer, Calvino prepared some notes for a series of lectures to be delivered at Harvard University in the fall. However, on 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, where he died during the night between the 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as Six Memos for the Next Millennium in 1988. 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Founded in 1636,[2] Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning still operating in the United States. ... A physician visiting the sick in a hospital. ... This page is not about the form of limonite clay called sienna. ... A cerebral hemorrhage is a bleed into the substance of the cerebrum. ... Six Memos for the Next Millennium is a book based on a series of lectures written by Italo Calvino for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, but never delivered as Calvino died before leaving Italy. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Bibliography

(dates are of original publication)

  • The Path to the Nest of Spiders (Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno, 1947)
  • Ultimo viene il corvo (1949)
  • I giovani del Po (1951)
  • The Cloven Viscount (Il Visconte dimezzato, 1951)
  • The Argentine Ant (La formica Argentina, 1952)
  • L'entrata in guerra (1954)
  • Italian Folktales (Fiabe Italiane, 1956, retelling of traditional stories)
  • La panchina (1956, libretto for the opera by Sergio Liberovici)
  • La nuvola di smog (1958)
  • I racconti (1958)
  • The Baron in the Trees (Il barone rampante, 1957)
  • The Nonexistent Knight (Il cavaliere inesistente, 1959)
  • Our Ancestors (I nostri antenati, 1959, collection of Il cavaliere inesistente, Il Visconte dimezzato and Il barone rampante)
  • Marcovaldo (1963)
  • The Watcher (La giornata di uno scrutatore, 1963)
  • La speculazione edilizia (1963)
  • Cosmicomics (Cosmicomiche, 1965)
  • t zero (Ti con zero, 1967)
  • Difficult Loves (Gli amori difficili, 1970, stories from the 1940s and 1950s)
  • Invisible Cities (Le città invisibili, 1972)
  • The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Il castello dei destini incrociati, 1973)
  • Il nome, il naso (1973)
  • Autobiografia di uno spettatore (1974)
  • La corsa delle giraffe (1975)
  • The Watcher and other stories (1963, short story collection)
  • If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore, 1979) (English translation ISBN 0-919630-23-5)
  • The Uses of Literature (1980, 1982, essays)
  • La vera storia (1982, libretto for the opera by Luciano Berio)
  • Mr. Palomar - Palomar (1983)
  • Fantastic Stories (Racconti Fantastici Dell'Ottocento, two volumes, 1983)
  • Science et métaphore chez Galilée (1983, lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne)
  • Collezione di sabbia (1984, essays)

Posthumous editions: The Path to the Nest of Spiders is one of most famous writings of Italian 20th century writer Italo Calvino. ... Italian Folktales (Fiabe Italiane) is a collection of 200 Italian folktales published in 1956 by Italo Calvino. ... The New Opera in Oslo, Norway The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... The Baron in the Trees (Italian: ll Barone Rampante) is a novel written by Italo Calvino. ... Our Ancestors (Italian: I Nostri Antenati) is the name of Italo Calvinos heraldic trilogy that comprises The Cloven Viscount (1952), The Baron in the Trees (1957), and The Nonexistent Knight (1959). ... Marcovaldo is a collection of twenty short stories written by Italo Calvino It was initially published as Marcovaldo ovvero Le stagione in città (Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City). ... Cosmicomics is a book of short stories by Italo Calvino. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... // Recovering from World War II and its aftermath, the economic miracle emerged in West Germany and Italy. ... Invisible Cities is a book by Italo Calvino that sets out to explore the meaning and symbols of cities that as the title indicates, exist on another level of perception, via interpretation of symbols, or signs. ... Spoiler warning: The Castle of Crossed Destinies is a curious novel by Italo Calvino that details a journey through a forest and a meeting between travelers (with hommage to Geoffrey Chaucer) who are inexplicably struck dumb. ... If on a Winters Night a Traveler (Se una notte dinverno un viaggiatore) is a novel published in 1979 by Italo Calvino. ... Luciano Berio (October 24, 1925 – May 27, 2003) was an Italian composer. ... Mr. ... KDFSAJFKASJDKFJASDKLJFDKLASJFLKJASKLFJLAKSJFLKSJALFKJSKLJFto the Sun-centered solar system which Galileo supported. ...

  • Under the Jaguar Sun (Sotto il sole giaguaro, 1988, short story collection)
  • Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Lezioni americane, 1988, lectures)
  • The Road to San Giovanni (La strada di San Giovanni, 1990, autobiographical stories)
  • Why Read the Classics? (Perché Leggere i Classici, 1991, essays)
  • Numbers in the Dark (1993)

Under the Jaguar Sun is a collection of short stories by Italo Calvino. ... Six Memos for the Next Millennium is a book based on a series of lectures written by Italo Calvino for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, but never delivered as Calvino died before leaving Italy. ...

Quotations

Italo Calvino

I set my hand to the art of writing early on. Publishing was easy for me, and I at once found favor and understanding. But it was a long time before I realized and convinced myself that this was anything but mere chance.
Everything can change, but not the language that we carry inside us, like a world more exclusive and final than one's mother's womb.
Your first book already defines you, while you are really far from being defined. And this definition is something you may then carry with you for the rest of your life, trying to confirm it or extend or correct or deny it; but you can never eliminate it. (preface to The Path to the Nest of Spiders)
In an age when other fantastically speedy, widespread media are triumphing and running the risk of flattening all communication onto a single, homogeneous surface, the function of literature is communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not blunting but even sharpening the differences between them, following the true bent of the written language. (Six Memos for the Next Millennium)
Then we have computer science. It is true that software cannot exercise its powers of lightness except through the weight of hardware. But it is the software that gives the orders, acting on the outside world and on machines that exist only as functions of software and evolve so that they can work out ever more complex programs. The second industrial revolution, unlike the first, does not present us with such crushing images as rolling mills and molten steel, but with "bits" in a flow of information traveling along circuits in the form of electronic impulses. The iron machines still exist, but they obey the orders of weightless bits.
(Six Memos for the Next Millennium {Lightness})

Gore Vidal

Italo Calvino has advanced far beyond his American and English contemporaries. As they continue to look for the place where the spiders make their nests, Calvino has not only found this special place but learned how himself to make fantastic webs of prose to which all things adhere.

Authors he helped publish

Mario Rigoni Stern (b. ... Gianni Celati is an Italian writer, translator and literary critic. ... Andrea De Carlo (born in December 11, 1952 in Milan) is a popular Italian writer. ...

References

  • McLaughlin, Martin. Italo Calvino. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998.
  • Bernardini, F. (Francesca Bernardini Napoletano). I segni nuovi di Italo Calvino. Roma: Bulzoni, 1977.
  • Bonura, Giuseppe. Invito alla lettura di Calvino. Milano: U. Mursia, 1972.
  • Di Carlo, Franco. Come leggere I nostri antenati. Milano: U. Mursia, 1958.
  • Pettigrew, Damien. Uno scrittore pomeridiano: Intervista sull'arte della narrativa a cura di William Weaver e Damien Pettigrew con un ricordo di Pietro Citati. Roma: minimum fax, 2003

External links

Excerpts and essays

  Results from FactBites:
 
Italo Calvino - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1382 words)
Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923 – September 19, 1985) was an Italian writer and novelist.
Vittorini's death in 1966 had a heavy influence on Calvino and caused him to experience what has been defined as an "intellectual depression", which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: "...I ceased to be young.
Calvino also had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at Urbino's university.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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