Never before published in English, these essayistic writings enlarge our understanding of one of the twentieth centrury's most beloved authors.
In evocations of Italo Calvino's tumultuous teenage years--his life during Mussolini's rule, at the time of the liberation, and during the Cold War--we learn the story of the author's generation as it confronted moral, civil, and artistic dilemmas. In writings from the extended periods during which Calvino lived alone in Paris and New York, we witness his struggle to find "the right distance between being involved and being detached." In "American Diary" he recounts his peregrinations throughout the United States in 1959 and 1960: from New York to Texas, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston. He describes his bafflement with heretofore unimaginable technology, his fascination with the Beats, his horror at the squalor of the suburbs, the inspiration he derived from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words and actions, his impressions of myriad aspects of American culture.
Filled with the author's characteristic insight, intelligence, and brio, Hermit in Paris will take its place alongside Italo Calvino's seminal works.
This new volume of autobiographical writings (never before translated into English) by Calvino, whose short stories and novels gave him international acclaim as one of the 20th century's most important Italian fiction writers, is a welcome addition to his extensive works as well as to The Road to San Giovanni, a posthumous collection of autobiographical essays published more than a decade ago. This volume includes a series of articles and interviews that builds on the understanding of Calvino's life after World War II when he returned to Italy from the Communist resistance in the Alps, a period when Calvino felt a "moment of uncertainty" and a "perplexity about" his vocation as a writer before producing his first novel, The Cloven Viscount. The articles also feature Calvino's views on some of his most popular novels: "In the United States... the book of mine that became a hit was the one that you would have said was the furthest from American reading habits: Invisible Cities." But it is Calvino's lifelong fascination with America that makes this collection remarkable: more than half the book is given to an "American Diary 1959-1960," written during Calvino's two years traveling in the U.S., as he explores New York's thriving Greenwich Village and Actors Studio; a "violent, tough" Chicago; San Francisco's "squalid and filthy" beatnik scene; and Montgomery, Ala., where Calvino (who died in 1985) finds himself "in the middle" of "crucial days of struggle" of the Civil Rights movement. His diary reveals an obsession with what he later says most interests him as a writer: "daily life as the constant nourishment for writing."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 09, 2004
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.