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Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 [Format Kindle]

Italo Calvino , Michael Wood , Martin McLaughlin

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Présentation de l'éditeur

This is the first collection in English of the extraordinary letters of one of the great writers of the twentieth century. Italy’s most important postwar novelist, Italo Calvino (1923-1985) achieved worldwide fame with such books as Cosmicomics, Invisible Cities, and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. But he was also an influential literary critic, an important literary editor, and a masterful letter writer whose correspondents included Umberto Eco, Primo Levi, Gore Vidal, Leonardo Sciascia, Natalia Ginzburg, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Luciano Berio. This book includes a generous selection of about 650 letters, written between World War II and the end of Calvino’s life. Selected and introduced by Michael Wood, the letters are expertly rendered into English and annotated by well-known Calvino translator Martin McLaughlin.

The letters are filled with insights about Calvino’s writing and that of others; about Italian, American, English, and French literature; about literary criticism and literature in general; and about culture and politics. The book also provides a kind of autobiography, documenting Calvino’s Communism and his resignation from the party in 1957, his eye-opening trip to the United States in 1959-60, his move to Paris (where he lived from 1967 to 1980), and his trip to his birthplace in Cuba (where he met Che Guevara). Some lengthy letters amount almost to critical essays, while one is an appropriately brief defense of brevity, and there is an even shorter, reassuring note to his parents written on a scrap of paper while he and his brother were in hiding during the antifascist Resistance.

This is a book that will fascinate and delight Calvino fans and anyone else interested in a remarkable portrait of a great writer at work.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1380 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 636 pages
  • Editeur : Princeton University Press (17 juin 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°326.199 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Almost at his Shoulder 15 juin 2013
Par The Ginger Man - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This book is a beautifully produced collection which includes a third of the items that appeared in Luca Baranelli's Lettere in 2000. Calvino's correspondence in this volume focuses on the literary and political rather than family and personal matters, and more on international than on narrowly Italian issues.

During his life, Calvino avoided both interviews and discussions of his work. In a letter dated September 1954, he suggests that "autobiography is something that one writes by doing a kind of violence to oneself." The author asks that his writing stand on its own: "A text must be something that can be read and evaluated without reference to the existence or otherwise of a person whose name and surname appear on the cover."

Calvino's letters do not display a writer practicing for his fiction or essays, nor do they give evidence of a man with an eye on posterity. Instead the reader observes a man living in the present. Michael Wood, who selected and introduces the correspondence, says that it gives "the sense of direct communication, of a man being as clear as he can about a host of matters." In his letters, Calvino, "tells rather than shows his correspondents what he means - with great and often moving success," observes Wood.

There is, however, plenty here for readers who have followed this giant of post war Italian literature. Calvino talks of his preference for the creation of short stories, "rounded and perfect like so many eggs, stories that if you add or remove a single word the whole thing goes to pieces." The author gives us a hint of the curious creative process for Mr. Palomar in a letter from 1983: "For a long time, I thought some philosophy of mine (even though I was not able to expound it intentionally) would emerge from the book (and would take on a shape also for me) from the juxtaposition and intersection of problems." In the end, Calvino admits, "I knew less than at the beginning." In a July 1978 letter, the author includes the fascinating revelation that the idea for his classic If on a Winter's Night a Traveller came from a Peanuts poster next to his desk which shows Snoopy typing, "It was a dark and stormy night..."

There are some individual treats among his letters such as a missive to Umberto Eco in which Calvino lists "elements of interest" in reading Name of the Rose. It is interesting to see Calvino advocate the Italian publication of Midnight's Children in 1982 as he he discusses "the influence of Naipaul but also of Gunter Grass and perhaps of Gabriel Marquez" on Rushdie's work. But the true value of this collection is that it puts the reader at Calvino's shoulder as he goes about the daily work of writing, editing, translating and reacting.

Calvino is serious about his role. "The writer," he submits in 1951, "is someone who tears himself to pieces in order to liberate his neighbor." Eight years later, he concludes that "we are people, there is no doubt, who exist solely insofar as we write, otherwise we don't exist at all."

Calvino advises in a 1984 letter that "an author's poetics must be derived a posteriori from his works." As readers, we should first look for Calvino in his fiction and essays. To this, however, we are now fortunate to be able to add his correspondence which contributes greatly to our understanding of the man while, despite his warning, expanding our view of his poetics.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ultimate Voyeuristic Pleasure for Calvino Readers 30 août 2013
Par Jillian Igarashi - Publié sur Amazon.com
The bizarre thing about reading other people's letters, is you get to thinking that they're writing letters to you... Then you start developing some kind of strange celebrity obsession with those people, maybe more like an infatuation, or maybe like True Love. Not saying that happened to me or anything! But with Italo Calvino: Letters 1941-1985, it's hard not to fall in love (or fall in respect, whatever) with this magnificent writer, Italy's premier postmodern author, and one of my personal favorites.

Read the full review here: [...]
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Calvino turned into excellent idiomatic English prosell 22 août 2013
Par Experienced Audiophile - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The letters themselves are fascinating of anyone who has read a great deal of modern Italian literature. If you have not, you will miss the important assessment of Fenoglio, and much else of importance. Remarkable translation, and a good selection, less expensive than the Mondadori complete letters. If you haven't read the Italian originals, you will not appreciate the quality of the translation.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Letters of Italo Calvino 5 octobre 2013
Par Mary Pat O'Kelly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Italo Calvino is writer in whom I have been interested for years. Have read, I think, all of his novels, in Italian. He had one of the cleverest minds of anyone I can think of. He died in Siena and was one of the last people to die in the old hospital (Santa Maria Della Scala). This happened while I was in language school there.
Was delighted when I discovered that his letters had been collected and I could read them.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 if you want to get insight into Calvino genius and ... 24 décembre 2014
Par Lamar - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
if you want to get insight into Calvino genius and illuminate some hidden aspects of his writing this is real treat. Perhaps, english translation is not as saucy as Italian but it carries a lot of ammo.
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