I’m currently in the midst of an Italo Calvino kick. I’ve just finished reading If on a winter’s night at traveler and am about to start re-visiting Cosmicomics, which, although I’ve read as individual stories, I’ve never read them together as a united work (post coming soon).
I remember reading Calvino many years ago, and absolutely falling in love with the seeming ease with which he told a story. His words seemed to play with me, pulling me effortlessly through the narrative. With a lightness unique to him, he could relate incredibly profound meaning. I’ve never smiled so much while reading any one else, and that is as true today as it was when I first encountered him.
Apparently I’m in pretty good company with this opinion, as is evidenced by this New York Times Audio Special: Celebrating Italo Calvino, where literary luminaries such as Umberto Eco, Carlos Fuentes, and Salman Rushdie, Wallace Shawn, and many others met to read from and sing the praises of this writer. Another big fan of his is Gore Vidal, who, from what I’ve read doesn’t seem to be a “big fan” of many. He had this to say of Calvino,
Where Calvino was there was literature. Like it or not.
Below is the interview where Vidal explains why Calvino, at least for him, holds such a remarkable place in the modern literary world.
- Calvino on Bookstores (myintelligentlife.wordpress.com)
- Cosmicomics (Calvino, Italo) (psriblog.wordpress.com)
- Italo Calvino on re-reading (cruciality.wordpress.com)
- Artist’s mission is to depict all 55 of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities [Mad Urbanism] (io9.com)
- Italo Calvino: Mr Palomar (theasylum.wordpress.com)