The Written World And The Unwritten World: Essays (Paperback)
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I fell in love with Italo Calvino in college. This collection brought us back together. Each piece made me feel like a doe-eyed college student listening to a lecture by a favorite professor. He argues for translating texts rather than reading ones translated by others. He makes me want to live in his world, “a world made up of horizontal lines…” even if it means learning Italian.— Ashby
“Wonderful… 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.” —Publishers Weekly
A rich collection of essays offering an extraordinary global view of Calvino’s approach to writing, reading, and interpreting literature.
An extraordinary collection of essays, forewords, articles, and interviews, The Written World and the Unwritten World displays the remarkable intelligence and razor-sharp wit of prolific Italian writer Italo Calvino as he explores the meaning of literature in a rapidly changing world. From classics to contemporary literature, from tradition to the avant-garde, Calvino masterfully explores reading, writing, and translating through careful and illuminating discussion of the works of Bakhtin, Brecht, Cortázar, Thomas Mann, Octavio Paz, Georges Perec, Salman Rushdie, Gore Vidal, and more. Drawn from Mondo scritto e mondo non scritto (2002), Sulla fiaba (1988), and other uncollected essays, this volume of previously untranslated work—now rendered in English by acclaimed translator Ann Goldstein—is a major statement in literary criticism.
Italo Calvino (1923-1985) was born in Cuba and grew up in San Remo, Italy. He began as an essayist and a journalist but is best known for his fiction, including Invisible Cities, If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, Marcovaldo, and Mr. Palomar.
"Italo Calvino was, word for word, the most charming writer to put pen to paper in the twentieth century...yet The Written World and the Unwritten World, translated with no-nonsense precision by Ann Goldstein, remind us how enamored Calvino was of the craftsmanship of the pre-modern era."
— The New Yorker
“Calvino, that artisan of possibilities, is of his time and our time, as is this collection, which is a necessary addition to our knowledge of and conversations about him, one hundred years after his birth.”
“Wonderful… 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.” — Publishers Weekly
“The Written World and the Unwritten World reminds us why we write, why we read, and how that makes us human.”
— New York Journal of Books