The Uses of Literature by Italo Calvino

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In these widely praised essays, Calvino reflects on literature as process, the great narrative game in the course of which writer and reader are challenged to understand the world. Calvino himself made the selection of pieces to be included in this volume. Translated by Patrick Creagh. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
 

About Italo Calvino

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Novelist and short story writer Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923, and grew up in Italy, graduating from the University of Turin in 1947. He is remembered for his distinctive style of fables. Much of his first work was political, including Il Sentiero dei Nidi di Ragno (The Path of the Nest Spiders, 1947), considered one of the main novels of neorealism. In the fifties, Calvino began to explore fantasy and myth as extensions of realism. Il Visconte Dimezzato (The Cloven Knight, 1952), concerns a knight split in two in combat who continues to live on as two separates, one good and one bad, deprived of the link which made them a moral whole. In Il Barone Rampante (Baron in the Trees, 1957), a boy takes to the trees to avoid eating snail soup and lives an entire, fulfilled life without ever coming back down. Calvino was awarded an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1984 and died in 1985, following a cerebral hemorrhage.
 
Published October 1, 1986 by Harcourt. 341 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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From an Italian writer we might expect insights into Manzoni and Montale, yet Calvino was also a Francophile and had intriguing thoughts about Stendhal, Fourier, and Voltaire.

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uses of Literature

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