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Lezioni americane by Italo Calvino
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Lezioni americane (original 1988; edition 2002)

by Italo Calvino (Author)

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1,775147,445 (4.08)18
"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"--… (more)
Member:ottoran
Title:Lezioni americane
Authors:Italo Calvino (Author)
Info:European Schoolbooks Ltd (2002)
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Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino (1988)

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» See also 18 mentions

English (8)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Een pak droger dan ik verwacht had.
Calvino schreef de lezingen maar overleed net voor hij ze ging geven. Dat draagt waarschijnlijk bij aan de uitstraling van het boek en de lezingen zelf. Calvino probeert 6 essentiële zaken uit literatuur aan te raken (uiteindelijk zijn het er 5, de zesde lezing ging hij ter plaatse schrijven) die moeten meegenomen worden naar het volgende millennium. Zes zaken waarvan hij vindt dat literatuur ze beter kan dan enige andere kunst of communicatievorm.
Ik had de inhoud universeler verwacht en ben dus niet helemaal objectief. Calvino graaft zich en en werpt zo een licht op zijn eigen schrijven en literatuur in het algemeen. Boeiend, en soms erg goed aangetoond, of dan weer verrassende verbanden boven gehaald.
Maar soms evenzeer wat te droog of academisch naar mijn zin. (dat ik naar het einde toe passages oversloeg is niet echt een goed teken :) ) ( )
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
Calvino's lectures, prepared but not delivered late in his career, are just as thought-provoking as his fiction. He discusses some key, broad aspects of literature, and his personal discoveries of certain propulsive forces in writing. His discussion of Multiplicity I found most interesting, and the way he categorized encyclopedic and plural texts. It will certainly aid your understanding if you are already familiar with Flaubert, Gadda, Balzac, Ovid, Dante, Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Mann, Goethe, Poe, Borges, Calvino, Leopardi, Eliot, Joyce, Perec, da Vinci and more, but familiarity is by no means required for enjoyment. Skillfully, Calvino ropes in the work of all of these authors, outlines their methods in some measure and suggests how precisionism or autodidacticism or lightness and suggestion led into the completion or success of the work. By handling a wide range of styles and general approaches, Calvino offers a splendid viewpoint of artistic achievements of the mind.

There are many quotes, especially from the Zibaldone, which could have used some condensation. But it is easy to see how Calvino's own work, such as If On a Winter's Night, Cloven Viscount, Baron in the Trees, Nonexistent Knight, Invisible Cities, Palomar, Cosmicomics and other books, were inspired by literary predecessors, and he even reveals the sparks of intuitive imagination that led to their shape and form. ( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
I would not be so drastic. I think we are always searching for something hidden or merely potential or hypothetical, following its traces whenever they appear on the surface. I think our basic mental processes have come down to us through every period of history, ever since our Paleolithic forefathers, who were hunters and gatherers. The word connects the visible trace with the invisible thing, the absent thing, the thing that is desired or feared, like a frail emergency bridge flung over an abyss.

Calvino's posthumous lectures are a grand gallop across a cherished earth of letters. The Six Memos For The Next Millennium are a celebration of Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility and Multiplicity (the sixth was never written at the time of Calvino's passing). The ruminations and citations extend from Ovid and Lucretius onward through Dante, Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cyrano, Valery, Flaubert, Musil and, especially, Borges. This is a wonderful construction, one without grandiosity, but teeming with an organic eloquence.

Were I to choose an auspicious image for the new millennium, I would choose that one: the sudden agile leap of the poet-philosopher who raises himself above the weight of the world, showing that with all his gravity he ahs the secret of lightness, and that what many consider to be the vitality of the times--noisy, aggressive, revving and roaring--belongs to the realm of death, like a cemetery for rusty old cars.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Ho riletto in una nuova versione digitale il classico di Italo Calvino "Lezioni Americane, sei proposte per il prossimo millennio". Il libro porta la data del 1985. A distanza di 30 anni Italo Calvino aveva previsto giusto. Il nuovo millennio ha bisogno di "leggerezza, rapidità, esattezza, visibilità, molteplicità." Ogni parola ha però bisogno di approfondimenti e chiarimenti. Cermanete ogni lettore avrà i suoi punti di vista. Ci sarà tempo e modo di riparlarne, anzi riscriverne ... ( )
  AntonioGallo | Nov 2, 2017 |
This book is tiny, but it was thoughtful and engaging and made me want to research about a million other things. My copy is full of notes- books to read, people to research- and left me with a burning desire to someday be as well read as Calvino (wowwowwow). The places this man goes to make his point! Impressive, though admittedly it was hard to keep things straight at times. ( )
  eevoss | Apr 21, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Calvino, Italoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Creagh, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I will devote my first lecture to the opposition between lightness and weight, and will uphold the values of lightness.
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"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 written language."
"If I prefer writing, it is because I can revise each sentence until I reach the point where-if not exactly satisfied with my words-I am able at least to eliminate those reasons for dissatisfaction that I can put a finger on."
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"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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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