A series of lectures which Italo Calvino wrote in the final year of his life. Drawing on the works of Lucretius, Ovid, Boccaccio, Flaubert, Kundera, Perec and many more, he pinpoints the universal laws and literary values: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility and multiplicity.
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Italo Calvino cast his lofty thoughts toward the pending millennium long before the rest of us. Now that the zeitgeist has caught up with him, it seems a good time to revisit his Six Memos for the Next Millennium, an investigation into the literary values that he wished to bequeath to future generations. Calvino, the author of Invisible Cities, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, and other postmodern fictional works, was to deliver these five "memos" (there was to be a sixth) as Harvard's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures in 1985-86, but he died before doing so. These lectures are dense, rigorous, and seemingly full of contradiction. The first is a paean to lightness (though "light like a bird," as Paul Valéry wrote, "and not like a feather"). Lightness is followed by quickness (without "presum[ing] to deny the pleasures of lingering"), exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. The perfect antidote to writerly laziness.From the Inside Flap:
Six Memos for the Next Millenium is a collection of five lectures Italo Calvino was about to deliver at the time of his death. Here is his legacy to us: the universal values he pinpoints become the watch-words for out appreciation of Calvino himself.
What should be cherished in literature? Calvino devotes one lecture, or memo to the reader, toe each of five indispensable qualities: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. A sixth lecture, on consistency, was never committed to paper, and we are left only to ponder the possibilities. With this book, he gives us the most eloquent defense to literature written in our century--a fitting gift for the next millennium.
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Book Description Vintage, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # P020099730510