Six Memos for the Next Millennium [1988] – Italo Calvino

“The word connects the visible trace with the invisible thing, the absent thing, the thing that is desired or feared, like a frail emergency bridge flung over an abyss.”

– Italo Calvino

 

“Italo Calvino cast his lofty thoughts toward the pending millennium long before the rest of us. Now that the zeitgeist has caught up with him, it seems a good time to revisit his Six Memos for the Next Millennium, an investigation into the literary values that he wished to bequeath to future generations. Calvino, the author of Invisible CitiesIf on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, and other postmodern fictional works, was to deliver these five “memos” (there was to be a sixth) as Harvard’s Charles Eliot Norton Lectures in 1985-86, but he died before doing so. These lectures are dense, rigorous, and seemingly full of contradiction. The first is a paean to lightness (though “light like a bird,” as Paul Valéry wrote, “and not like a feather”). Lightness is followed by quickness (without “presum[ing] to deny the pleasures of lingering”), exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. The perfect antidote to writerly laziness.” – goodreads.com

 

pdf Six Memos for the Next Millennium – Italo Calvino

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