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Six Memos for the Next Millennium (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, 1985-86)

by Italo Calvino

ISBN: 9780679742371 / 0679742379

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Product Description

Six Memos for the Millennium 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 watchwords for our appreciation of Calvino himself.

What should be cherished in literature? Calvino devotes one lecture, or memo to the reader, to 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 of literature written in the twentieth century?a fitting gift for the next millennium.

Amazon.com Review

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.

ISBN 13 978-06-79742-37-1
ISBN 10 0-679-74237-9
ASIN 0679742379
  • 9780679742371
Amazon Sales Rank 935,331
Main Category Paperback
Group Book
Publisher Vintage
Studio Vintage
Manufacturer Vintage
Package Quantity 3
Count Per Package 1
Dimensions 5.15 x 0.4 x 8.0 inches. 0.2 pounds
Package Dimensions 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.3 inches. 0.2 pounds
Translator(s) Patrick Creagh
Language(s) English (Published)
English (Original Language)
English (Unknown)
Adult Product? No

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