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The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino

The Complete Cosmicomics (original 1997; edition 2015)

by Italo Calvino (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7601221,873 (4.06)20
"In Italo Calvino's cosmicomics, primordial beings cavort on the nearby surface of the moon, play marbles with atoms, and bear ecstatic witness to Earth's first dawn. Exploring natural phenomena and the origins of the universe, these beloved tales relate complex scientific concepts to our common sensory, emotional, human world."--from publisher's description.… (more)
Title:The Complete Cosmicomics
Authors:Italo Calvino (Author)
Info:Mariner Books (2015), Edition: Reprint, 432 pages
Collections:Your library, printbooks

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The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino (1997)


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English (10)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
It's okay. This didn't quite reach the heights of other works of Calvino's that I've read, but it has its moments. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Calvino is a favorite author, but these stories are too much for me. They are at the same time simplistic and demanding, asking me to pay attention to vast details while I'm trying to find some grounding for each different tale. I'm alternately feeling interested in some phrase, and then bored at the continuing slow development of - something. They exhaust me, so I have read a scattered few to ponder over, considering whether I'm done with them or maybe will return for another try, but not until some later time. ( )
  mykl-s | Jan 31, 2021 |
Poetic exploration of the galaxy, from the Big Bang to Mitosis. The main character "Qfwfq" resides in the chapters exploring the scientific, fantastic, and his own emotions at various states in the cosmos. The chapter, World Memory, was like an Edgar Allen Poe story crossed with Philip K Dick, the protagonist collecting memories and world history for prosperity, in order to preserve the human experience for eternity, but altering the recorded parts he did not like about himself to an extent that it affected reality. I enjoyed the inclusion of mythology, Eurydice and Pluto, (the true terrestrials of Earth); and Calvino's own play on language, sometimes forcing the reader's mind to visualise his stories in the form of a comic strip. Overall fiction akin to Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott. ( )
  AChild | Jan 9, 2021 |
31/2020. These short stories are well written but didn't especially engage my interest, so I read the original Cosmicomics stories (about 150 pages) but not this whole book because I decided I'd be better investing my time in If On A Winter's Night A Traveller than another 250 pages of cosmicomics.

Read as part of my desultory attempt to read my way around the EU.

Currently reading: Italy.

Read: Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden.

Remaining unread countries: Austria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.

Reading notes

This is embarrassingly like a literary rorschach test.

- The Distance of the Moon is a well written pseudo folktale but a bit too whimsical for my personal taste (rorschach: sex). 4/5
- The second story, At Daybreak, didn't engage me. 3/5
- A Sign in Space reeks of self-aware creative competitiveness (rorschach: The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered), and 1960s style speculative fiction. I'm not sure I have the strength of purpose required to wade through 400 pages of this, so I might have to abandon spaceship after the first book or two. 3/5
- All at One Point doesn't quite work for me, again mostly because of the whimsicality, although I do like the idea that the material universe came into being due to desire for pasta (and the whole process of making and eating pasta). 4/5
- Without Colours finally breaks out towards full mythology. 5/5
- Games Without End (rorschach: the tedious pointlessness of creativity as a competitive sport). 3/5
- The Aquatic Uncle is back in folktale territory (or anti-terra-tory). 4/5
- How Much Shall We Bet (rorschach: academia meta). 3/5
- The Dinosaurs reads most like speculative fiction (rorschach: subtle satire, maybe?). 3/5
- The Form of Space, well written but nah. 2.5/5
- The Light-Years is amusing, even in its embrace of death (rorschach: holding up a sign saying, "It me!"). 5/5

On human relationships: "the nexus of my actions didn’t emerge, and a new action was unable to explain or correct an old one, so they remained one next to the other, with a plus or minus sign, like a long, long polynomial which cannot be reduced to a more simple expression."

- The Spiral is a well-told tale but still didn't do much for me as a reader. 5/5 ( )
  spiralsheep | Feb 21, 2020 |
Calvino is brilliant. Having said that, this book would be better if it was shorter. There is beautiful language. Wonderfully presented philosophical ideas. A strong call out to physics and science. But, it does start to feel redundant. If you're the kind of person who can do this sort of thing, I think it'd be perfect to keep on your night stand and read a story every so often. ( )
  ZephyrusW | Sep 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Calvino, Italoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McLaughlin, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLaughlin, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parks, TimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The Complete Cosmicomics" contains almost twice as much material as the original 1965 edition "Cosmicomics". Please keep the two editions separate.
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"In Italo Calvino's cosmicomics, primordial beings cavort on the nearby surface of the moon, play marbles with atoms, and bear ecstatic witness to Earth's first dawn. Exploring natural phenomena and the origins of the universe, these beloved tales relate complex scientific concepts to our common sensory, emotional, human world."--from publisher's description.

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Penguin Australia

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