This does not mean that I consider the virtues of weight any less compelling, but simply that I have more to say about lightness. After forty years of writing fiction, after exploring various roads and making diverse experiments, the time has come for me to look for an overall definition of my work. I would suggest this: my working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.
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His father, Mario, was a tropical agronomist and botanist who also taught agriculture and floriculture. In an autobiographical essay, Italo Calvino explained that his father "had been in his youth an anarchist, a follower of Kropotkin and then a Socialist Reformist".
Born into a secular family, Eva was a pacifist educated in the "religion of civic duty and science". On this small working farm set in the hills behind Sanremo, Mario pioneered in the cultivation of then exotic fruits such as avocado and grapefruit , eventually obtaining an entry in the Dizionario biografico degli italiani for his achievements. In an interview, Calvino stated that "San Remo continues to pop out in my books, in the most diverse pieces of writing.
Fascinated by American movies and cartoons, he was equally attracted to drawing, poetry, and theatre. Seated together "on a huge flat stone in the middle of a stream near our land",  he and Scalfari founded the MUL University Liberal Movement. Concealing his literary ambitions to please his family, he passed four exams in his first year while reading anti-Fascist works by Elio Vittorini , Eugenio Montale , Cesare Pavese , Johan Huizinga , and Pisacane, and works by Max Planck , Werner Heisenberg , and Albert Einstein on physics.
Now twenty years old, Calvino refused military service and went into hiding. Reading intensely in a wide array of subjects, he also reasoned politically that, of all the partisan groupings, the communists were the best organized with "the most convincing political line". As a result of his refusal to be a conscript, his parents were held hostage by the Nazis for an extended period at the Villa Meridiana.
The historical events which mothers take part in acquire the greatness and invincibility of natural phenomena". Returning to university, he abandoned Agriculture for the Arts Faculty.
A year later, he was initiated into the literary world by Elio Vittorini , who published his short story "Andato al comando" ; "Gone to Headquarters" in Il Politecnico , a Turin-based weekly magazine associated with the university.
Viewing civilian life as a continuation of the partisan struggle, he confirmed his membership of the Italian Communist Party. Although brief, his stint put him in regular contact with Cesare Pavese , Natalia Ginzburg , Norberto Bobbio , and many other left-wing intellectuals and writers.
In a clairvoyant essay, Pavese praised the young writer as a "squirrel of the pen" who "climbed into the trees, more for fun than fear, to observe partisan life as a fable of the forest".
Ultimo viene il corvo The Crow Comes Last , a collection of stories based on his wartime experiences, was published to acclaim in Despite the triumph, Calvino grew increasingly worried by his inability to compose a worthy second novel.
He returned to Einaudi in , responsible this time for the literary volumes. He eventually became a consulting editor, a position that allowed him to hone his writing talent, discover new writers, and develop into "a reader of texts". The articles and correspondence he produced from this visit were published in , winning the Saint-Vincent Prize for journalism. Instead of making myself write the book I ought to write, the novel that was expected of me, I conjured up the book I myself would have liked to read, the sort by an unknown writer, from another age and another country, discovered in an attic.
He also worked for Il Contemporaneo, a Marxist weekly. From to Calvino had an affair with Italian actress Elsa De Giorgi , a married, older woman. Excerpts of the hundreds of love letters Calvino wrote to her were published in the Corriere della Sera in , causing some controversy. My city is New York. In Calvino met Argentinian translator Esther Judith Singer "Chichita" and married her in in Havana , during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and was introduced to Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
He went through what he called an "intellectual depression", which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: " I ceased to be young. In two autobiographical essays published in and , Calvino described himself as "atheist" and his outlook as "non-religious". When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins. Calvino had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne with Barthes and the University of Urbino.
He became a regular contributor to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera , spending his summer vacations in a house constructed in Roccamare near Castiglione della Pescaia , Tuscany.
After his mother died in at the age of 92, Calvino sold Villa Meridiana, the family home in San Remo. During the summer of , Calvino prepared a series of texts on literature for the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures to be delivered at Harvard University in the fall. On 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena where he died during the night between 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Authors he helped publish[ edit ].
Calvino was offered the — term of the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Professorship of Poetry at Harvard — an annual lectureship held by such luminaries as T. Calvino died weeks before he was scheduled to depart for Harvard to deliver his Norton lectures. But working on them, his wife recalls, was the obsession of his final months. My confidence in the future of literature consists in the knowledge that there are things that only literature can give us, by means specific to it.
Italo Calvino’s Memo I: Lightness
Gracias, Jorge Larco. Es una suerte de unendinggift, de regalo sin fin. Marchamos al trote por la callejuela helada; con frecuencia me veo alzado hasta el primer piso; nunca llego a descender hasta la puerta de la calle. Por desgracia lo consigue. Mi cubo tiene todas las desventajas de un animal de silla; carece de fuerzas para resistir; es demasiado liviano; un delantal de mujer obliga a sus patas a dejar el suelo. Y con ello me elevo a las regiones de los pinos helados y me pierdo de vista para siempre. Kafka,
Eternal Return dictates that all things in existence recur over and over again for all eternity. This is to say that human history is a preset circle without progress, the same events arising perpetually and doomed never to alter or to improve. Existence is thus weighty because it stands fixed in an infinite cycle. This fact prevents one from believing things to be fleeting and worthless. Something which does not forever recur has its brief existence, and, once it is complete, the universe goes on existing, utterly indifferent to the completed phenomenon. Since decisions do not matter, they are "light": they do not tie us down.
His father, Mario, was a tropical agronomist and botanist who also taught agriculture and floriculture. In an autobiographical essay, Italo Calvino explained that his father "had been in his youth an anarchist, a follower of Kropotkin and then a Socialist Reformist". Born into a secular family, Eva was a pacifist educated in the "religion of civic duty and science". On this small working farm set in the hills behind Sanremo, Mario pioneered in the cultivation of then exotic fruits such as avocado and grapefruit , eventually obtaining an entry in the Dizionario biografico degli italiani for his achievements. In an interview, Calvino stated that "San Remo continues to pop out in my books, in the most diverse pieces of writing. Fascinated by American movies and cartoons, he was equally attracted to drawing, poetry, and theatre. Seated together "on a huge flat stone in the middle of a stream near our land",  he and Scalfari founded the MUL University Liberal Movement.