- Italo Calvino
name = Italo Calvino
caption = Italo Calvino, on the cover of "Lezioni americane: Sei proposte per il prossimo millennio"
birthdate = birth date|1923|10|15|mf=y
Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba
deathdate = death date and age|1985|9|19|1923|1|15|mf=y
occupation = journalist, short story writer, novelist, essayist
nationality = Italian
Ludovico Ariosto, Samuel Beckett, Ambrose Bierce, Jorge Luis Borges, Galileo Galilei, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, Cesare Pavese, Georges Perec, Edgar Allan Poe, Raymond Queneau, Robert Louis Stevenson, Voltaire
Aimee Bender, Umberto Eco, Amanda Filipacchi, Orhan Pamuk
Italo Calvino (
October 15, 1923– September 19, 1985) (pronounced|ˈiːtalo kalˈviːno) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the " Our Ancestors" trilogy (1952-1959), the " Cosmicomics" collection of short stories (1965), and the novels " Invisible Cities" (1972) and " If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" (1979).
Lionised in Britain and America, he was, at the time of his death, the most-translated contemporary Italian writer. [McLaughlin, Martin, "Italo Calvino", Edinburgh University Press, 1998, xii.]
Italo Calvino was born in
Santiago de Las Vegas, a suburb of Havana, Cubain 1923. His father, Mario, was a tropical agronomist and botanist who also taught agriculture and floriculture. [Calvino, Italo, ‘Objective Biographical Notice’ in "Hermit in Paris", translated by Martin McLaughlin, London: Jonathan Cape, 2003, p. 160.] Born 47 years earlier in San Remo, Italy, Mario had emigrated to Mexicoin 1909 where he took up an important position with the Ministry of Agriculture. In an autobiographical essay, Calvino explained that his father “had been in his youth an anarchist, a follower of Kropotkinand then a Socialist Reformist.” [Calvino, Italo, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 132.] In 1917, Mario left for Cuba to conduct scientific experiments, after living through the Mexican Revolution.
Calvino's mother, Eva Mameli, was a botanist and university professor. A native of
Sardiniaand 11 years younger than her husband, she married while still a junior lecturer at Pavia University. Born into a secular family, Eva was a pacifist educated in the “religion of civic duty and science.” [Calvino, Italo, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 132.] Calvino described his parents as being “very different in personality from one another,” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 132.] suggesting perhaps deeper tensions behind a comfortable, albeit strict, middle-class upbringing devoid of conflict. As an adolescent, he found it hard relating to poverty and the working-class, and was “ill at ease” with his parents’ openness to the laborers who filed into Mario's study on Saturdays to receive their weekly paycheck. [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 135.]
Early life and education
In 1925, less than two years after Calvino's birth, the family returned to Italy and settled definitively in
San Remoon the Liguriancoast. Floriano, Calvino's brother who became a distinguished geologist, was born in 1927.
The family divided their time between the Villa Meridiana, an experimental floriculture station which also served as their home, and Mario's ancestral land at San Giovanni Battista. On this small working farm set in the hills behind San Remo, 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. The vast forests and luxuriant fauna omnipresent in Calvino's early fiction such as "
The Baron in the Trees" derives from this “legacy.” In an interview, Calvino stated that “San Remo continues to pop out in my books, in the most diverse pieces of writing.” [Corti, Maria, 'Intervista: Italo Calvino' in "Autografo 2" (October 1985), p. 51.] He and Floriano would climb the tree-rich estate and perch for hours on the branches reading their favorite adventure stories. [Weiss, Beno, "Understanding Italo Calvino", Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993, p. 2.] Less salubrious aspects of this “paternal legacy” are described in " The Road to San Giovanni", Calvino's memoir of his father in which he exposes their inability to communicate: "Talking to each other was difficult. Both verbose by nature, possessed of an ocean of words, in each other's presence we became mute, would walk in silence side by side along the road to San Giovanni.” [Calvino, Italo, "The Road to San Giovanni", translated by Tim Parks, Vintage Books: New York, 1993.] Due to his early interest in stories, having devoured Rudyard Kipling's " The Jungle Book" as a child, Calvino felt he was the “black sheep” of a family that held literature in less esteem than the sciences. Fascinated by American movies and cartoons, he was equally attracted to drawing, poetry, and theatre. On a darker note, Calvino recalled that his earliest memory was of a socialist professor brutalized by Fascistlynch-squads. “I remember clearly that we were at dinner when the old professor came in with his face beaten up and bleeding, his bowtie all torn, asking for help.” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 130.]
Other legacies include the parents’ masonic republicanism which occasionally developed into anarchic socialism. [McLaughlin, Martin, "Italo Calvino", xii. Calvino defined his family's traditions as "a humanitarian Socialism, and before that Mazzinianism." Cf. Calvino, 'Behind the Success' in "Hermit in Paris", 223. ] Austere, anti-Fascist freethinkers, Eva and Mario refused giving their sons any religious education. [Weiss, Beno, "Understanding Italo Calvino", p. 3.] Italo attended the English nursery school, St George's College, followed by a
Protestantelementary private school run by Waldensians. His secondary schooling was completed at the state-run Liceo Gian Domenico Cassini where, at his parents’ request, he was exempted from religious instruction but forced to justify his anticonformist stance. In his mature years, Calvino described the experience as a salutary one as it made him “tolerant of others’ opinions, particularly in the field of religion, remembering how irksome it was to hear myself mocked because I did not follow the majority's beliefs.” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 134.] During this time, he met a brilliant student from Rome, Eugenio Scalfari, who went on to found the weekly magazine " L'Espresso" and " La Repubblica", Italy's major newspaper. The two teenagers formed a lasting friendship, Calvino attributing his political awakening to their university discussions. Seated together “on a huge flat stone in the middle of a stream near our land,” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 130.] he and Scalfari founded the MUL (University Liberal Movement).
Eva managed to delay her son's enrolment in the Fascist armed scouts, the "Balilla Moschettieri", and then arranged that he be excused, as a non-Catholic, from performing devotional acts in church. [Calvino, "Political Autobiography of a Young Man", "Hermit in Paris", p. 134.] But later on, as a compulsory member, he could not avoid the assemblies and parades of the "
Avanguardisti", [Calvino, 'The Duce's Portraits', "Hermit in Paris", p. 210.] and was forced to participate in the Italian occupation of the French Rivierain June 1940. [Weiss, "Understanding Italo Calvino", p. 3.]
World War II
In 1941, Calvino dutifully enrolled at the
University of Turin, choosing the Agriculture Faculty where his father had previously taught courses in agronomy. 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, Huizinga, and Pisacane, and works by Max Planck, Heisenberg, and Einsteinon physics. [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 140. ] Disdainful of Turin students, Calvino saw himself as enclosed in a “provincial shell” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 138.] that offered the illusion of immunity from the Fascist nightmare: “We were ‘hard guys’ from the provinces, hunters, snooker-players, show-offs, proud of our lack of intellectual sophistication, contemptuous of any patriotic or military rhetoric, coarse in our speech, regulars in the brothels, dismissive of any romantic sentiment and desperately devoid of women.” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 138.]
Calvino transferred to the
University of Florencein 1943 and reluctantly passed three more exams in agriculture. By the end of the year, the Germans had succeeded in occupying Liguria and setting up Mussolini's puppet Republic of Salòin northern Italy. 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 partisangroupings, the Communistswere the best organized with “the most convincing political line.” [Calvino recalled this sudden, forced transformation of a dreamy adolescent into a partisan soldier as one bounded by logic since “the logic of the Resistance was the very logic of our urge towards life.” Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 146.]
In spring 1944, Eva encouraged her sons to enter the
Italian Resistancein the name of “natural justice and family virtues.” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', p. 142.] Using the battlename of "Santiago", Calvino joined the "Garibaldi Brigades", a clandestine Communistgroup and, for twenty months, endured the fighting in the Maritime Alpsuntil 1945 and the Liberation. As a result of his refusal to be a conscript, his parents were held hostage by the Nazisfor an extended period at the Villa Meridiana. Calvino wrote of his mother's ordeal that "she was an example of tenacity and courage… behaving with dignity and firmness before the SSand the Fascist militia, and in her long detention as a hostage, not least when the blackshirtsthree times pretended to shoot my father in front of her eyes. The historical events which mothers take part in acquire the greatness and invincibility of natural phenomena.” [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 142.]
Turin and communism
Calvino settled in
Turinin 1945, after a long hesitation over living there or in Milan. [The decision was influenced by the firmly anti-Fascist stance of Turin during Mussolini's years in power. Cf. Calvino, 'Behind the Success' in "Hermit in Paris", p. 225.] He often humorously belittled this choice, describing Turin as a “city that is serious but sad." Returning to university, he abandoned Agriculture for the Arts Faculty. A year later, he was initiated into the literary world by Elio Vittoriniwho published his short story "Andato al commando" (1945; "Gone to Headquarters") in "Il Politecnico", a Turin-based weekly magazine associated with the university. ["Il Politecnico" was founded by Elio Vittorini, a novelist and the leading leftist intellectual of postwar Italy, who saw it as a means to restore Italy's diminished standing within the European cultural mainstream. Cf. Weiss, "Understanding Italo Calvino", p. 3.] The horror of the war had not only provided the raw material for his literary ambitions but deepened his commitment to the Communist cause. Viewing civilian life as a continuation of the partisan struggle, he confirmed his membership of the Italian Communist Party. On reading Lenin's " State and Revolution", he plunged into post-war political life, associating himself chiefly with the worker's movement in Turin. [Calvino, 'Political Autobiography of a Young Man', "Hermit in Paris", p. 143.]
In 1947, he graduated with a Master's
thesison Joseph Conrad, wrote short stories in his spare time, and landed a job in the publicity department at the Einaudipublishing house run by Giulio Einaudi. Although brief, his stint put him in regular contact with Cesare Pavese, Natalia Ginzburg, Norberto Bobbio, and many other left-wing intellectuals and writers. He then left Einaudi to work as a journalist for the official Communist daily, " L'Unità", and the newborn Communist political magazine, "Rinascita". During this period, Pavese and poet Alfonso Gattowere Calvino's closest friends and mentors. [Calvino, 'Behind the Success' in "Hermit in Paris", p. 224.]
His first novel, "Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno" ("
The Path to the Nest of Spiders") written with valuable editorial advice from Pavese, won the Premio Riccione on publication in 1947. [Critic Martin McLaughlin points out that the novel failed to win the more prestigious Premio Mondadori. McLaughlin, "Italo Calvino", xiii.] With sales topping 5000 copies, a surprise success in postwar Italy, the novel inaugurated Calvino's neorealistperiod. 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.” [Pavese, Cesare, review of "The Path to the Spiders' Nests" in "l'Unità" ( September 26, 1947). Cf. Weiss, "Understanding Italo Calvino", 39.] In 1948, he interviewed one of his literary idols, Ernest Hemingway, traveling with Natalia Ginzbergto his home in Stresa.
"Ultimo viene il corvo" ("
The Crow Comes Last"), a collection of stories based on his wartime experiences, was published to acclaim in 1949. Despite the triumph, Calvino grew increasingly worried by his inability to compose a worthy second novel. He returned to Einaudi in 1950, 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.” [Weiss, "Understanding Italo Calvino", p. 4.] In late 1951, presumably to advance in the Communist party, he spent two months in the Soviet Unionas correspondent for "l'Unità". While in Moscow, he learned of his father's death on October 25. The articles and correspondence he produced from this visit were published in 1952, winning the Saint-Vincent Prize for journalism.
Over a seven-year period, Calvino wrote three realist novels, "The White Schooner" (1947-49), "Youth in Turin" (1950-51), and "The Queen's Necklace" (1952-54), but all were deemed defective. [Of the three manuscripts, only "Youth in Turin" was published in the review "Officina" in 1957.] During the eighteen months it took to complete "I giovanni del Po" ("Youth in Turin"), he made an important self-discovery: “I began doing what came most naturally to me - that is, following the memory of the things I had loved best since boyhood. 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.” [Calvino, ‘Introduction by the author’, "Our Ancestors", London: Vintage, 1998, vii.] The result was "Il visconte dimezzato" (1952; "
The Cloven Viscount") composed in 30 days between July and September 1951. The protagonist, a seventeenth century viscount sundered in two by a cannonball, incarnated Calvino's growing political doubts and the divisive turbulence of the Cold War. [ Calvino, Italo, ‘Introduction by the author’, "Our Ancestors", x.] Skillfully interweaving elements of the fableand the fantasygenres, the allegoricalnovel launched him as a modern “ fabulist”. [Calvino, ‘Objective Biographical Notice’, "Hermit in Paris", 163.] In 1954, Giulio Einaudi commissioned his "Fiabe Italiane" (1956; " Italian Folktales") on the basis of the question, “Is there an Italian equivalent of the Brothers Grimm?” [Calvino, ‘Objective Biographical Notice’, "Hermit in Paris", 164.] For two years, Calvino collated tales found in 19th century collections across Italy then translated 200 of the finest from various dialects into Italian. Key works he read at this time were Vladimir Propp's "Morphology of the Folktale" and "Historical Roots of Russian Fairy Tales", stimulating his own ideas on the origin, shape and function of the story. [Calvino, ‘Introduction’, "Italian Folktales", p. xxvii.]
In 1952 Calvino wrote with
Giorgio Bassanifor " Botteghe Oscure", a magazine named after the popular name of the party's head-offices. He also worked for "Il Contemporaneo", a Marxist weekly.
From 1955 to 1958 Calvino had an affair with the actress
Elsa de' Giorgi, an older and married woman. Calvino wrote hundreds of love letters to her. Excerpts were published by " Corriere della Sera" in 2004, causing some controversy. [ [http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2004/08/20/calvino_ed3_.php Italian novelist's love letters turn political] , "International Herald Tribune", 20 August 2004]
In 1957, disillusioned by the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, Calvino left the Italian Communist party. His letter of resignation was published in "
L'Unità" and soon became famous. He found new outlets for his periodic writings in the magazines "Passato e Presente" and "Italia Domani". Together with Vittorini he became a co-editor of "Il Menabò di letteratura", a position which Calvino held for many years.
Despite severe restrictions in the US against foreigners holding communist views, Calvino was allowed to visit the
United States, where he stayed six months from 1959 to 1960 (four of which he spent in New York), after an invitation by the Ford Foundation. Calvino was particularly impressed by the "New World": "Naturally I visited the South and also California, but I always felt a New Yorker. My city is New York." The letters he wrote to Einaudi describing this visit to the United States, were first published as "American Diary 1959-1960" in the book " Hermit in Paris" in 2003.
In 1962 Calvino met the Argentinian translator Esther Judith Singer (Chichita) and married her in 1964 in
Havana, during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and met Ernesto Che Guevara. This encounter later led him to contribute an article on 15 October 1967, a few days after the death of Guevara, describing the lasting impression Guevara made on him. Back in Italy, and once again working for Einaudi, Calvino started publishing some of his "cosmicomics" in "Il Caffè", a literary magazine.
Later life and work
Vittorini's death in 1966 influenced Calvino greatly. 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. Perhaps it's a metabolic process, something that comes with age, I'd been young for a long time, perhaps too long, suddenly I felt that I had to begin my old age, yes, old age, perhaps with the hope of prolonging it by beginning it early".
He then started to frequent
Paris, where he was nicknamed "L'ironique amusé". Here he soon joined some important circles like the Oulipo("Ouvroir de littérature potentielle") and met Roland Barthesand Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the fermenting atmosphere that was going to evolve into 1968's cultural revolution (the French May). During his French experience, he also became fond of Raymond Queneau's works, which would influence his later production.
Calvino had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at
Urbino's university. His interests included classical studies: Honoré de Balzac, Ludovico Ariosto, Dante, Ignacio de Loyola, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Giacomo Leopardi. At the same time, not without surprising Italian intellectual circles, Calvino wrote novels for " Playboy"'s Italian edition (1973). He became a regular contributor to the important Italian newspaper " Corriere della Sera".
In 1975 Calvino was made Honorary Member of the
American Academy, and the following year he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He visited Japanand Mexicoand gave lectures in several American towns. In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious French Légion d'honneur.
During the summer of 1985, Calvino prepared some notes for a series of lectures to be delivered at
Harvard Universityin the fall. However, on 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, where he died during the night between the 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as " Six Memos for the Next Millennium" in 1988.
His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic reminiscent of fairy tales ("Our Ancestors", "Cosmicomics"), although sometimes his writing is more "realistic" and in the scenic mode of observation ("Difficult Loves", for example). Some of his writing has been called "postmodern", reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled "magical realist", others
fables, others simply "modern".
Twelve years before his death, he joined, on invitation, the
Oulipogroup of experimental writers. He wrote: "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."
Authors he helped publish
Mario Rigoni Stern
Andrea De Carlo
Daniele Del Giudice
* "Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno", 1947 / "
The Path to the Nest of Spiders", 1957
* "Ultimo viene il corvo" / "
The Crow Comes Last", 1949
* "Il visconte dimezzato", 1952 / "
The Cloven Viscount", 1962
* "La formica argentina", 1952
* "Fiabe Italiane", 1956 / "
Italian Folktales", 1961, 1975, 1980
* "Il barone rampante", 1957 / "
The Baron in the Trees", 1959
* "La speculazione edilizia", 1957 / "A Plunge into Real Estate", 1984 (in "
* "I racconti", 1958
* "Il cavaliere inesistente", 1959 / "
The Nonexistent Knight", 1962
* "I nostri antenati", 1960 / "
Our Ancestors", 1962
* "La giornata d'uno scrutatore", 1963 / "
The Watcher and Other Stories", 1971
* "Marcovaldo ovvero le stagioni in città", 1963 / "Marcovaldo or the Seasons in the City", 1983
* "La nuvola di smog e La formica argentina", 1965 / "Smog" and "The Argentine Ant", 1971 (in the "
Watcher and Other Stories")
* "Cosmicomiche", 1965 / "
* "Ti con zero", 1967 / "
t zero", 1969 (also published as "Time and the Hunter", 1970)
* "Il castello dei destini incrociati", 1969 / "
The Castle of Crossed Destinies", 1979
* "Gli amori difficile", 1970 / "
Difficult Loves", 1984
* "Le città invisibili", 1972 / "
Invisible Cities", 1974
* "Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore", 1979 / "
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler", 1981
* "Palomar", 1983 / "
Mr. Palomar", 1985
* "Cosmicomiche vecchie e nuove", 1984
* "Sotto il sole giaguaro", 1986 / "
Under the Jaguar Sun", 1988
* "Numbers in the Dark and Other Stories", 1996
Essays and other writings
Orlando furiosodi Ludovico Ariosto", 1970 (interpretation of the epic poem and selections)
* "Autobiografia di uno spettatore" / "Autobiography of a Spectator", 1974 (preface to
Fellini's "Quattro film")
* Una pietra sopra: Discorsi di letteratura e società, 1980 / "
The Uses of Literature", 1986 (published in Britain as "The Literature Machine", 1987)
* "Racconti fantastici dell'ottocento", 1983 / "Fantastic Tales", 1997 (anthology of classic supernatural stories)
* "Science et métaphore chez Galilée" / ("Science and Metaphor in
Galileo Galilei"), 1983 (lectures given at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne in Paris)
* "The Written and the Unwritten Word", 1983 (first published in the
New York Review of Books)
* "Collezione di sabbia" / "Collection of Sand", 1984 (journalistic essays from 1974-84)
* "Lezioni americane: Sei proposte per il prossimo millennio", 1988 / "
Six Memos for the Next Millennium", 1996
* "Sulla fiaba", 1988
* "I libri degli altri. Lettere 1947-1981", 1991 (letters to writers)
* "Perché leggere i classici", 1991 / "
Why Read the Classics?", 1993
* "La panchina. Opera in un atto" ("The Bench: One-Act Opera"), 1956 (libretto for the
operaby Sergio Liberovici)
* "La vera storia", 1982 (libretto for the opera by
Un re in ascolto" ("A King Listens"), 1984 (libretto for the opera by Luciano Berio)
* "I fiori blu", 1967 ("
The Blue Flowers" by Raymond Queneau)
* "La canzone del polistirene", 1985 ("Styrène's Song" by
Boccaccio '70, 1962 (co-wrote screenplay of "Renzo e Luciano" segment directed by Mario Monicelli)
* "L'Amore difficile", 1963 (wrote "L'avventura di un soldato" segment directed by Nino Manfredi)
* "Tiko and the Shark", 1964 (co-wrote screenplay directed by Folco Quilici)
Film and television adaptations
* "The Nonexistent Knight" by Pino Zac, 1969 (Italian animated film based on the novel)
* "Amores dificiles" by Ana Luisa Ligouri, 1983 (13' Mexican short)
* "L'Aventure d'une baigneuse" by Philippe Donzelot, 1991 (14' French short based on "The Adventure of a Bather" in "
Difficult Loves" )
* "Fantaghirò" by Lamberto Bava, 1991 (TV adaptation based on "Fanta-Ghirò the Beautiful" in "
* "Solidarity" by Nancy Kiang, 2006 (10' American short)
* 1946 -
L'UnitàPrize (shared with Marcello Venturi) for the short story, "Minefield" ("Campo di mine")
* 1947 - Riccione Prize for "
The Path to the Nest of Spiders"
* 1952 - Saint-Vincent Prize
* 1959 -
* 1960 - Salento Prize for "
* 1963 - Veillon Prize
* 1973 - Feltrinelli Prize for "
* 1976 -
Austrian State Prize for European Literature
* 1981 -
Legion of Honour
* 1982 - Nice Festival Prize
Films on Calvino
Damian Pettigrew, " Calvino Cosmorama" (ARTE France, National Film Board of Canada, 2009). At his home in Piazza Campo Marzio (Rome) in 1983, Calvino granted a series of filmed interviews on his work to Canadian director Damian Pettigrew. The transcripts were published in " The Paris Review" in 1992, in " La Repubblica" in 1995, and in book form in Italy under the title, "Uno scrittore pomeridiano" in 2003. The videos now serve as the basis of a major documentary which features rare archival footage, unpublished documents and photographs, and a unique recording of Calvino reading from his last novel, " Mr. Palomar".
*Calvino, Italo. "Adam, One Afternoon" (trans. Archibald Colquhoun, Peggy Wright). London: Minerva, 1992.
*—. "The Castle of Crossed Destinies" (trans.
William Weaver). London: Secker & Warburg, 1977
*—. "Cosmicomics" (trans. William Weaver). London: Picador, 1993.
*—. "The Crow Comes Last" ("Ultimo viene il corvo"). Turin: Einaudi, 1949.
*—. "Difficult Loves. Smog. A Plunge into Real Estate" (trans. William Weaver). London: Picador, 1985.
*—. "Hermit in Paris" (trans. Martin McLaughlin). London: Jonathan Cape, 2003.
*—. "If on a winter's night a traveller" (trans. William Weaver). London: Vintage, 1998. ISBN 0-919630-23-5
*—. "Invisible Cities" (trans. William Weaver). London: Secker & Warburg, 1974.
*—. "Italian Fables" (trans. Louis Brigante). New York: Collier, 1961. (50 tales)
*—. "Italian Folk Tales" (trans. Sylvia Mulcahy). London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1975. (24 tales)
*—. "Italian Folktales" (trans. George Martin). Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980. (complete 200 tales)
*—. "Marcovaldo or the Seasons in the City" (trans. William Weaver). London: Minerva, 1993.
*—. "Mr. Palomar" (trans. William Weaver). London: Vintage, 1999.
*—. "Our Ancestors" (trans. A. Colquhoun). London: Vintage, 1998.
*—. "The Path to the Nest of Spiders" (trans. Archibald Colquhoun). Boston: Beacon, 1957.
*—. "The Path to the Spiders' Nests" (trans. A. Colquhoun, revised by Martin McLaughlin). London: Jonathan Cape, 1993.
*—. "t zero" (trans. William Weaver). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969.
*—. "The Road to San Giovanni" (trans. Tim Parks). New York: Vintage International, 1993.
*—. "Six Memos for the Next Millennium" (trans. Patrick Creagh). New York: Vintage International, 1993.
*—. "The Watcher and Other Stories" (trans. William Weaver). New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1971.
* Bernardini Napoletano, Francesca. "I segni nuovi di Italo Calvino". Rome: Bulzoni, 1977.
* Bonura, Giuseppe. "Invito alla lettura di Calvino". Milan: U. Mursia, 1972.
* Calvino, Italo. "Uno scrittore pomeridiano: Intervista sull'arte della narrativa" a cura di
William Weavere Damian Pettigrewcon un ricordo di Pietro Citati. Rome: minimum fax, 2003
* Di Carlo, Franco. "Come leggere I nostri antenati". Milan: U. Mursia, 1958.
* McLaughlin, Martin. "Italo Calvino". Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998.
* Weiss, Beno. "Understanding Italo Calvino". Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993.
* [http://des.emory.edu/mfp/calvino/ Italo Calvino at Emory University] Online Resources and Links
* [http://www.italo-calvino.com Outside the Town of Malbork] A Site for Italo Calvino
* [http://www.sodsbrood.com/proftodd/calvino/wordsfailed.htm Calvino on Che Guevara]
* [http://des.emory.edu/mfp/calvino/ Italo Calvino at Emory University] On-Line Resources and Links
* [http://www.italo-calvino.com Outside the Town of Malbork] A Site for Italo Calvino
Excerpts and essays
* [http://www.italo-calvino.com/ifon.htm If on a winter's night a traveler] First chapter excerpts
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20050906113658/http://www.bo.iasf.cnr.it/~malaguti/calvino/cosmicomics/bet.html How Much Shall We Bet?] Chapter 8 of "
* [http://members.ozemail.com.au/~xenophon/calvino.html Calvino on Myth]
* [http://www.sodsbrood.com/proftodd/calvino/wordsfailed.htm Calvino on Che Guevara]
* [http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/00/pwillen1/lit/index2.htm In Calvino veritas] Essays on Calvino
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