Six Memos for the Next Millennium

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9780224033114: Six Memos for the Next Millennium

“One of the most rigorously presented and beautifully illustrated critical testaments in all of literature.”—Boston Globe

“A brilliant, original approach to literature, a key to Calvino’s own work and a thoroughly delightful and illuminating commentary on some of the world’s greatest writing.”—San Francisco Chronicle


At the time of his death, Italo Calvino was at work on six lectures setting forth the qualities in writing he most valued, and which he believed would define literature in the century to come. Here, in Six Memos for the Next Millennium, are the five lectures he completed, forming not only a stirring defense of literature, but also an indispensable guide to the writings of Calvino himself. He devotes one “memo” each to the concepts of lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity, drawing examples from his vast knowledge of myth, folklore, and works both ancient and modern. Readers will be astonished by the prescience of these lectures, which have only gained in relevance as Calvino’s “next millennium” has dawned.

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Review:

Italo Calvino cast his lofty thoughts toward the pending millennium long before the rest of us. Now that the zeitgeist has caught up with him, it seems a good time to revisit his Six Memos for the Next Millennium, an investigation into the literary values that he wished to bequeath to future generations. Calvino, the author of Invisible Cities, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, and other postmodern fictional works, was to deliver these five "memos" (there was to be a sixth) as Harvard's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures in 1985-86, but he died before doing so. These lectures are dense, rigorous, and seemingly full of contradiction. The first is a paean to lightness (though "light like a bird," as Paul Valéry wrote, "and not like a feather"). Lightness is followed by quickness (without "presum[ing] to deny the pleasures of lingering"), exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. The perfect antidote to writerly laziness.

From the Back Cover:

The fate of literature and the book in the so-called postindustrial age is being questioned . . . My faith in the future of literature rests on the knowledge that there are things that only literature, with its particular capacities, can give us. from Six Memos for the Next Millennium

At the time of his death, Italo Calvino was at work on six lectures setting forth the qualities in writing he most valued and which he believed would define literature in the century to come. Six Memos for the Next Millennium is Calvino s testament, containing the five lectures he completed. Now in a new translation by poet Geoffrey Brock, these memos form a stirring defense of literature and an indispensable guide to Calvino s own writings. He devotes one lecture each to the concepts of lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity, drawing examples from his vast knowledge of myth, folklore, and works both ancient and modern. Readers will be astonished by the prescience of these lectures, which have only gained in relevance as Calvino s next millennium has dawned.

Italo Calvino(1923 1985) attained worldwide renown as one of the twentieth century s greatest storytellers. Born in Cuba, he was raised in San Remo, Italy, and later lived in Turin, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere. Among his many works are Invisible Cities, If on a winter s night a traveler, The Baron in the Trees, and other novels, as well as numerous collections of fiction, folktales, criticism, and essays. His works have been translated into dozens of languages.

Geoffrey Brock is an award-winning translator and poet whose translations include works of Umberto Eco, Cesare Pavese, and others.
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Calvino, Italo
Editore: Jonathan Cape, London (1992)
ISBN 10: 0224033115 ISBN 13: 9780224033114
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Descrizione libro Jonathan Cape, London, 1992. New. Condizione libro: New. 1st Ed. lectures "defending" literature .new paperback, can reduced postage as light in weight. Paper covers. Codice libro della libreria 001819

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