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Why Read the Classics? by Italo Calvino
Post Date:
2016-10-27 05:34:40

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Why Read the Classics?
Italo Calvino
October 7 2009

Italo Calvino was not only a prolific master of fiction, he was also an uncanny reader of literature, a keen critic of astonishing range. Why Read the Classics? is the most comprehensive collection of Calvino’s literary criticism available in English, accounting for the enduring importance to our lives of crucial writers of the Western canon. Here–spanning more than two millennia, from antiquity to postmodernism–are thirty-six immediately relevant, elegantly written, accessible ruminations on the writers, poets, and scientists who meant most to Calvino at different stages of his life.Following the title essay, which explores fourteen definitions of “the classic,” Calvino offers writings that are at once critical appraisals and personal appreciations of, among others: Homer, Xenophon, Ovid, Pliny, Nezami, Ariosto, Cardano, Galileo, Defoe, Voltaire, Diderot, Ortes, Stendhal, Balzac, Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Twain, Henry James, Stevenson, Conrad, Pasternak, Gadda, Montale, Hemingway, Ponge, Borges, and Queneau.At a time when the Western canon and the very notion of “literary greatness” have come under increasing disparagement by the vanguard of so-called multiculturalism, Why Read the Classics? gives us an inspiriting corrective.From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author
Italo Calvino died in 1985.Translated from the Italian by Martin McLaughlin.From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Iceberg
The Iceberg Reader revolutionizes the reading experience, making it easier than ever to browse, buy and enjoy books.

– Attractive interface provides a natural reading experience with full pagination.
– Table of Contents incorporates one click navigation.
– Vertical and horizontal page orientation.
– Adjust font size with a pinch, text reflows automatically.
– Search the text within a book.
– Create margin notes with user notation.

About Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Random House, Inc., the world’s largest English-language trade book publisher, publishes many of the foremost & most popular fiction & nonfiction authors in hardcover, trade & mass market paperback, audio, electronic, digital & other formats. Random House, Inc. ( is the U.S. division of Random House, the book division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading media companies. Random House, Inc. has won the most major awards of any publishing company, including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, & the Newbery Medal. Among the dozens of Random House, Inc. publishing divisions & imprints in the U.S. are the Bantam Dell Publishing Group, the Crown Publishing Group, the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, the Knopf Publishing Group, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Random House Children’s Books, the Random House Publishing Group, & the Random House Audio Publishing Group. Random House’s publishing companies in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, & Korea are publishing leaders in their territories.

About Scrollmotion
ScrollMotion, creator of the Iceberg Reader, is a content technology company based in downtown New York City. For more information, visit

If you have any technical problems please email us at [email protected] before you post a review.


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