Italo Calvino was due to deliver the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard in 1985-86, but they were left unfinished at his death. The surviving drafts explore of the concepts of Lightness, Quickness, Multiplicity, Exactitude and Visibility (Constancy was to be the sixth) in serious yet playful essays that reveal Calvino's debt to the comic strip and the folktale. With his customary imagination and grace, he sought to define the virtues of the great literature of the past in order to shape the values of the future. This collection is a brilliant précis of the work of a great writer whose legacy will endure through the millennium he addressed. Italo Calvino, one of Italy's finest postwar writers, has delighted readers around the world with his deceptively simple, fable-like stories. Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and raised in San Remo, Italy; he fought for the Italian Resistance from 1943-45. His major works include Cosmicomics (1968), Invisible Cities (1972), and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). He died in Siena in1985, of a brain hemorrhage.
“One of the most rigorously presented and beautifully illustrated critical testaments in all of literature.”—Boston Globe “A brilliant, original approach to literature, a key to Calvino’s own work and a thoroughly delightful and illuminating commentary on some of the world’s greatest writing.”—San Francisco Chronicle At the time of his death, Italo Calvino was at work on six lectures setting forth the qualities in writing he most valued, and which he believed would define literature in the century to come. Here, in Six Memos for the Next Millennium, are the five lectures he completed, forming not only a stirring defense of literature, but also an indispensable guide to the writings of Calvino himself. He devotes one “memo” each to the concepts of lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity, drawing examples from his vast knowledge of myth, folklore, and works both ancient and modern. Readers will be astonished by the prescience of these lectures, which have only gained in relevance as Calvino’s “next millennium” has dawned.
Author: Joseph Skibell
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2016-04-19
Genre: Social Science
A thief-turned-saint, killed by an insult. A rabbi burning down his world in order to save it. A man who lost his sanity while trying to fathom the origin of the universe. A beautiful woman battling her brother's and her husband's egos to preserve their family. Stories such as these enliven the pages of the Talmud, the great repository of ancient wisdom that is one of the sacred texts of the Jewish people. Comprised of the Mishnah, the oral law of the Torah, and the Gemara, a multigenerational metacommentary on the Mishnah dating from between 3950 and 4235 (190 and 475 CE), the Talmud presents a formidable challenge to understand without scholarly training and study. But what if one approaches it as a collection of tales with surprising relevance for contemporary readers? In Six Memos from the Last Millennium, critically acclaimed novelist Joseph Skibell reads some of the Talmud's tales with a storyteller's insight, concentrating on the lives of the legendary rabbis depicted in its pages to uncover the wisdom they can still impart to our modern age. He unifies strands of stories that are scattered throughout the Talmud into coherent narratives or "memos," which he then analyzes and interprets from his perspective as a novelist. In Skibell's imaginative and personal readings, this sacred literature frequently defies our conventional notions of piety. Sometimes wild, rude, and even bawdy, these memos from the last millennium pursue a livable transcendence, a way of fusing the mundane hours of earthly life with a cosmic sense of holiness and wonder.
Author: Franco Ricci
Publisher: Modern Language Association
Release Date: 2013-10-01
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Given the range of his writing, teaching Calvino can seem a daunting task. This volume aims to help instructors develop creative and engaging classroom strategies. Part 1, "Materials," presents an overview of Calvino's writings, nearly all of which are available in English translation, as well as critical works and online resources. The essays in part 2, "Approaches," focus on general themes and cultural contexts, address theoretical issues, and provide practical classroom applications. Contributors describe strategies for teaching Calvino that are as varied as his writings, whether having students study narrative theory through If on a winter's night a traveler, explore literary genre with Cosmicomics, improve their writing using Six Memos for the Next Millennium, or read Mr. Palomar in a general education humanities course.
Author: Karl A. E.. Enenkel
Release Date: 2010-12-07
The late medieval and early modern period is a particularly interesting chapter in the development of meditation and self-reflection. The volume aims at examining its forms, functions and strategies, from a variety of disciplines, including literary criticism, art history, history of religion, philosophy, and theology.
In this exhilarating book, we accompany Umberto Eco as he explores the intricacies of fictional form and method. Using examples ranging from fairy tales and Flaubert, Poe and Mickey Spillane, Eco draws us in by means of a novelist's techniques, making us his collaborators in the creation of his text and in the investigation of some of fiction's most basic mechanisms.
Author: Anne Bogart
Release Date: 2003-09-02
Genre: Performing Arts
A Director Prepares is a thought-provoking examination of the challenges of making theatre. In it, Anne Bogart speaks candidly and with wisdom of the courage required to create 'art with great presence'. Each chapter tackles one of the seven major areas Bogart has identified as both potential partner and potential obstacle to art-making. They are Violence; Memory; Terror; Eroticism; Stereotype; Embarrassment; and Resistance. Each one can be used to generate extraordinary creative energy, if we know how to use it. A Director Prepares offers every practitioner an extraordinary insight into the creative process. It is a handbook, Bible and manifesto, all in one. No other book on the art of theatre comes even close to offering this much understanding, experience and inspiration.
The subject of these five essays is the literary and visual art of children. The essays explore two propositions: first that children's stories, poems and meditations, their drawings, paintings, and models, may legitimately be described as works of art; and second that to acknowledge the artistic status of children's works revolutionizes the process of education. The book is dedicated to the children and teachers of Lawrence, Massachusetts, where the author has spent a few weeks every year since 2004 as a participant observer in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Designed and produced by Julie Bernson.
For decades, acclaimed author John Barth has strayed from his Monday-through-Thursday-morning routine of fiction-writing and dedicated Friday mornings to the muse of nonfiction. The result is Final Fridays, his third essay collection, following The Friday Book (1984) and Further Fridays (1995). Sixteen years and six novels since his last volume of non-fiction, Barth delivers yet another remarkable work comprised of 27 insightful essays. With pieces covering everything from reading, writing, and the state of the art, to tributes to writer-friends and family members, this collection is witty and engaging throughout. Barths “unaffected love of learning (San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle) and “joy in thinking that becomes contagious (Washington Post), shine through in this third, and, with an implied question mark, final essay collection.
Few recent writers have been as interested in the cross-over between texts and visual art as Italo Calvino (1923-85). Involved for most of his life in the publishing industry, he took as much interest in the visual as in the textual aspects of his own and other writers' books. In this volume, twenty international Calvino experts, including Barenghi, Battistini, Belpoliti, Hofstadter, Ricci, Scarpa and others, consider the many facets of the interplay between the visual and textual in Calvino's works, from the use of colours in his fiction to the influence of cartoons, from the graphic qualities of the book covers themselves to the significance of photography and landscape in his fiction and non-fiction. The volume is appropriately illustrated with images evoked by Calvino's major texts.
Author: Alexandra Miletta
Publisher: The New Press
Release Date: 2008-10-07
In Classroom Conversations, two generations of educators—a mother and daughter—point us to the great thinkers who have shaped their beliefs and practices in education, and who continue to influence teachers today. Nineteen essays by educators from Dewey to Delpit offer parents and new educators an education degree in a nutshell. The Milettas frame these touchstone texts with commentary explaining why these writers resonate for them, sharing not only the personal meanings they have derived from the selections but why these writings have endured in the field over time. Brief biographies set each author in context for the lay reader. As educational fads and jargon come and go, parents and teachers alike will appreciate and find value in the wisdom distilled here. Classroom Conversations will help experienced teachers find renewed meaning in these seminal essays and will help younger teachers discover just how important the work they do can be. For parents, the book will inform and enrich their understanding of their children’s educational experience.
From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic stories have travelled across cultural borders, and been passed on from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale. But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration draws on ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis, and feminism. Marina Warner has loved fairy tales over a long writing life, and she explores here a multitude of tales through the ages, their different manifestations on the page, the stage, and the screen. From the phenomenal rise of Victorian and Edwardian literature to contemporary children's stories, Warner unfolds a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen's The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney's Snow White and gothic interpretations such as Pan's Labyrinth. In ten succinct chapters, Marina Warner digs into a rich hoard of fairy tales in their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. Her book makes a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture.
This reference defines the rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field of literature and science. An introductory essay traces the history of the field, its growing reputation, and the current state of research. Broad in scope, the volume covers world literature from its beginnings to the present day and illuminates the role of science in literature and literary studies. This volume includes over 650 A-Z entries on: topics and themes, significant writers and scientists, key works, and important theories and methodologies.