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The Uses of Literatureby Italo Calvino
Synopses & Reviews
“Just like every collection, this one is a diary as well: a diary of travels, of course, but also of feelings, states of mind, moods . . . The fascination of a collection lies just as much in what it reveals as in what it conceals of the secret urge that led to its creation.” — from Collection of Sand
Italo Calvino’s unbounded curiosity and masterly imagination are displayed in peak form in Collection of Sand, the last of his works published during his lifetime. Here he applies his graceful intellect to the delights of the visual world, in essays on subjects ranging from cuneiform and antique maps to Mexican temples and Japanese gardens. Never before translated into English, Collection of Sand is an incisive and often surprising meditation on observation and knowledge, the difference between the world as we perceive it and the world as it is.
“Beautifully translated by Martin McLaughlin . . . To read [Collection of Sand] is to enter the presence of an exceptionally fervent and fertile mind . . . A brilliant collection that may change the way you see the world around you.” — PD Smith, Guardian
The last of Italo Calvino's works to appear during the author's lifetime, Collection of Sand is a group of essays never before published in English, discussing subjects ranging from cuneiform and antique maps to Mexican temples and Japanese gardens.
In these widely praised essays, Calvino reflects on literature as process, the great narrative game in the course of which writer and reader are challenged to understand the world. Calvino himself made the selection of pieces to be included in this volume. Translated by Patrick Creagh. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
About the Author
ITALO CALVINO’s superb storytelling gifts earned him international renown and a reputation as “one of the world's best fabulists” (New York Times Book Review). He is the author of numerous works of fiction, as well as essays, criticism, and literary anthologies. Born in Cuba in 1923, Calvino was raised in Italy, where he lived most of his life. At the time of his death, in Siena in 1985, he was the most translated contemporary Italian writer.
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