Italo Calvino Letters, 1941-1985 - Updated Edition

Auteur: Italo Calvino
Taal: Engels
Italo Calvino
  • Engels
  • Hardcover
  • 9780691139456
  • Druk: Revised edition
  • juni 2013
  • 640 pagina's
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Italo Calvino

"Italo Calvino werd in 1923 in Cuba als zoon van Italiaanse ouders geboren, en groeide op in Italië. Nadat hij tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog in het verzet had gezeten, studeerde hij literatuur in Turijn. Behalve zijn eerste boek, dat in 1947 verscheen, zijn al zijn romans magisch-realistisch; een unieke vermenging van fantasie, wetenschappelijke nieuwsgierigheid en metafysische speculatie is het kenmerk van zijn oeuvre. Calvino is een van de belangrijkste naoorlogse Italiaanse schrijvers. Achter zijn pure plezier in het vertellen en experimenten met de romanvorm verbergt zich een grote geëngageerdheid. Calvino stierf in 1985. Op vind je alle boeken van Italo Calvino, waaronder het nieuwste boek van Italo Calvino.

(Foto: Wikipedia. Beschikbaar onder de licentie Creative Commons Naamsvermelding/Gelijk delen.)"


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.


One of The Guardian Best Books of 2013, chosen by Pankaj Mishra Selected for the SFG Gift Guide 2013 [C]onsistently absorbing and suggestive... [T]he chronicle not only of Calvino's intellectual development but of postwar Italy's... The letters in this book deal with great subtlety, sophistication, and wit, and occasionally even a certain cynicism, with challenges that might have overburdened a less mercurial, multifarious, essentially sane spirit. --Jonathan Galassi, New York Review of Books The image of Calvino as postmodernism's light-footed prince follows easily. But, behind that image, who was Calvino? The publication of a considerable selection of Calvino's letters affords an opportunity, or many opportunities, to ask that question anew. --Lawrence Norfolk, Wall Street Journal [T]here is no writer alive who resembles ... Calvino. So the appearance of a selection of Calvino's letters in English is a moment of happiness... [T]hese letters offer a gorgeous portrait of Calvino in the midst of his own productivity: as an editor, a reader, a critic, an inventor of new literary forms. And they allow the reader to investigate the complicated background from which those strange forms emerged. --Adam Thirlwell, New Republic This collection, the first in English, gives voice and witness to a vibrant mind intensely engaged in the literary and political future of postwar Italy and the history of ideas... McLaughlin's translation is award-winning; the extensive notes provide a model of masterful research. Irresistible for Calvino readers. --Library Journal Italo Calvino's letters ... provide ... pleasure and surprise... In them he shines as an editor of obvious brilliance and a writer of lavish gratitude towards those who appreciate his work. --Vivian Gornick, Prospect Superbly translated by Martin McLaughlin, these letters place Calvino in the larger frame of 20th century Italy and provide a showcase for his refined and civil voice... Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 is a charming addition to the Planet Calvino--a place cluttered with sphinxes, chimeras, knights, spaceships and viscounts both cloven and whole. --Ian Thomson, Guardian [I]mpeccably translated and annotated. --Robert Gordon, Literary Review [A]ltogether fantastic... Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 is indispensable in its entirety, a treasure trove of timeless insight on literature and life. --Maria Popova, Brain Pickings The general reader will come away from the Letters admiring this skeptical, loyal, generous, industrious man, who gave the life of letters the dignity it so often seems to lack. --Adam Kirsch, Barnes and Noble Review It is impossible to overstate just how sublime and richly insightful Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 is in its entirety. --Maria Popova, Brain Pickings This selection of letter offers intellectual riches and access to the workings of a wholly original mind. The presentation of the book is exemplary, with copious, precise notes by Martin McLaughlin identifying not only the recipients of the letters but also the background to the topics under discussion. McLaughlin's translation is fluent and elegant throughout. --Joseph Farrell, The (Scotland) Herald [F]ascinating... A vastly entertaining collection, meticulously edited and annotated. --Peter Sirr, Irish Times As the letters chart Calvino's journey from postwar communist concerns with faithfulness to history to his destiny as an imaginative maestro more concerned with being faithful to the universe, the text both instructs and entertains. --Gregory Day, WA Today [C]ompelling. --Tiffany Nichols, City Book Review [D]eeply rewarding. --Lisa Hilton, Standpoint [I]t is provides a far greater insight into the life of Italo Calvino than an ordinary biography would have done. --Artswrap Michael Wood has made a studious selection of Calvino's letters and a provides an insightful introduction that frames his selection in the larger tableau of Calvino's life and work. Ample notes further clarify many of the personal and historical details as well as the Italian idioms that appear throughout these letters. It is a book worthy of both study and appreciation. --Stephan Delbos, BODY Selected and introduced by Michael Wood, translated by Martin McLaughlin, the collection is a mesmerizing peek inside the thinking of the great modern fabulist... Much of [Calvino's] letter writing seems to be an exercise in clear expression... He is a writer as scrupulous and demanding on himself as he is on the world around him. Calvino took the role of public intellectual very seriously, convinced in his job to explore the fringes of thought... A writer of such great control and refreshing playfulness, Calvino reveals how serious and unsure his journey was in this collection of candid letters. --Seth Satterlee, PWxyz (Publishers Weekly blog) There is much to admire in McLaughlin's translation of the letters, not least his sensitivity to Calvino's variations of style and tone, from the ironic to the pedantic. The collection also provides new texts in English that provide valuable insights into the germination of Calvino's best-known works. It captures the writer's generosity and integrity and, above all, his deep and abiding passion for literary culture. --Rita Wilson, Sydney Review of Books



Revised edition
23,9 x 16,2 x 3,9 cm
Aantal pagina's
640 pagina's
Met illustraties


Italo Calvino Michael Wood
Michael Wood
Princeton University Press


Vertaald door
Martin Mclaughlin



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