Italo Calvino Archive
When the distinction between form and content is difficult to perceive, it can become nearly impossible to articulate the relationship between these supposed opposites. This tangle of questions is not limited to the arts; the problem of form and matter is important to anyone who deals with questions of
Italo Calvino’s work reminds us that curiosity itself is a kind of gravity, a pull that is difficult to understand or measure and yet is instinctively, unavoidably felt.
Last week, the New Yorker released the first English translation of Italo Calvino’s “The Adventure of a Skier,” which first appeared in the 1970 short story collection Difficult Loves. How does this “new” story fit into the themes and philosophical musings of the work as a whole?
Much of Earth is no longer habitable; still, the child reaches for the milk, the branch drinks from the root, and time goes on. You don’t remember when or where you heard it, but every so often you yearn for the reminder that the stars look very different today.
I take the five students of my poetry micro-workshop outside to discuss Claudia Emerson’s latest collection Impossible Bottle. As we sit in the sun, bending over the brilliant bright book pages, a student points to the poem “Metastasis: Web” and volunteers to read it aloud before our analysis of
Founded in 1960 by a collective of French mathematicians and writers, Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (Workshop of Potential Literature), or Oulipo, was established to identify new forms of writing using numerical and alphabetical constraints. Early member Georges Perec, for example, structured his novel Life A User’s Manuel according to
“I would say that the moment an object appears in a narrative,” Italo Calvino writes, in Six Memos for the New Millennium, “it is charged with a special force and becomes like the pole of a magnetic field, a knot in the network of invisible relationships. The symbolism of
Certain stories never leave you. When I was six years old, I read such a story in Alvin Schwartz’s In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories: “The Green Ribbon.” In it, a young girl named Jenny wears a green ribbon around her neck and never takes it off.
Every time I read Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities I get something different from it. Like NPR’s Eric Weiner writes, “I leave it, again and again, and yet never discover it—never really know it.” This latest reading, for me, boils down to one thing: the act of searching, of trying
Town of Shadows Lindsay Stern Scrambler Books, 2012 96 pages $12 What: a debut prose-poem novella Who: the eponymous town of shadows And: its cast of shadowy characters, including a rug doctor, a lepidopterist, bureaucrats, a bodiless mayor speaking from a gramophone that sputters ash, a child with an