Synopses & Reviews
The definitive edition of Calvinos cosmicomics, bringing together all of these enchanting stories—including some never before translated—in one volume for the first time
In Italo Calvinos cosmicomics, primordial beings cavort on the nearby surface of the moon, play marbles with atoms, and bear ecstatic witness to Earths first dawn. Exploring natural phenomena and the origins of the universe, these beloved tales relate complex scientific concepts to our common sensory, emotional, human world.
Now, The Complete Cosmicomics brings together all of the cosmicomic stories for the first time. Containing works previously published in Cosmicomics, t zero, and Numbers in the Dark, this single volume also includes seven previously uncollected stories, four of which have never been published in translation in the United States. This “complete and definitive collection” (Evening Standard) reconfirms the cosmicomics as a crowning literary achievement and makes them available to new generations of readers.
“Its a joy to have all the cosmicomics within one cover . . . A landmark in fiction, the work of a master.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, Guardian
"At one juncture, after [Qtwfq's] girl friend Ayl has fled underground from the newborn first colors, he pleads, 'Come, let me take you outside' and that, really, is what Calvino is saying to orthodox readers of orthodox fiction, inviting them far outside the usual social economic, moral and psychological matrices into what is, in effect, the first biography of all: a poignant , freewheeling account of Creation itself...Far-fetched? No, it was all at hand all along; Calvino has simply had the complex wit to identify it and make it relevant." Paul West, Book World
"In story after story, Calvino displays the same singular talent for wresting the profound from the absurd...One of the joys of the collection is the chance to watch his evolution as a writer — from the purebred fantasy of his early years to the brain-wrinkling experiments of his later, more famous novels...A diverse and entertaining mix...Read this book, please." --NPR.org
"A major event in the English language to give even more evidence why the great Italian post-modern master was among the greatest of writers in his sadly truncated lifetime...marvelous, poetic, hilarious, sublime and wholly original tales which could please the brightest and most advanced students of literary post-modernism as well as the brightest and most advanced of pubescent readers...Over the course of years from the time of their invention, the tales first occasioned by 'Cosmicomics' became among the greatest achievements of a writer who couldn’t possibly have been more deserving of our era’s most fabled literary award." --Buffalo News
"Calvino’s stories offer us beauty and hilarity while imparting concepts from the hard sciences...This exuberant and humorous collection will appeal to a cross section of readers, including lovers of speculative fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction." --Library Journal
"A poignant, freewheeling account of Creation itself....[Calvino] raises imagination to its exponential maximum." Bookworld
Enchanting stories about the evolution of the universe, with characters that are fashioned from mathematical formulae and cellular structures. "Naturally, we were all there, old Qfwfq said, where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space. Or time either: what use did we have for time, packed in there like sardines?" Translated by William Weaver.
The definitive edition of the cosmicomics, Italo Calvino's short stories exploring natural phenomena and the origins of the universe. The Complete Cosmicomics brings together all of these enchanting stories — including some never before translated — in one volume for the first time.
During the course of these stories Calvino toys with continuous creation, the transformation of matter, and the expanding and contracting reaches of space and time. His characters, made out of mathematical formulae and simple cellular structures, disport themselves among galaxies, experience the solidification of planets, move from aquatic to terrestrial existence, play games with hydrogen atoms, and have a love life. Calvino succeeds in relating complex scientific concepts to the ordinary reactions of common humanity.
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.
Table of Contents
- The distance of the moon
- At daybreak
- A sign in space
- All at one point
- Without colors
- Games without end
- The aquatic uncle
- How much shall we bet?
- The dinosaurs
- The form of space
- The light-years
- The spiral