Italo Calvino was born 15 October 1923, and died 19 September 1985
- It is not the voice that commands the story; it is the ear.
- It’s better not to know authors personally, because the real person never corresponds to the image you form of him from reading his books.
- A quarter of America is a dramatic, tense, violent country, exploding with contradictions, full of brutal, physiological vitality, and that is the America that I have really loved and love. But a good half of it is a country of boredom, emptiness, monotony, brainless production, and brainless consumption, and this is the American inferno.
- A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
- One writes fables in periods of oppression.
- The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.
- The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.
- I have spent more time with other people’s books than with my own. I do not regret it.
- Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopaedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.
- The writer is someone who tears himself to pieces in order to liberate his neighbour.
- You reach a moment in life when, among the people you have known, the dead outnumber the living. And the mind refuses to accept more faces, more expressions: on every new face you encounter, it prints the old forms, for each one it finds the most suitable mask.
- The novels that attract me most… are those that create an illusion of transparency around a knot of human relationships as obscure, cruel and perverse as possible.
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