Read Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings by Italo Calvino Free Online
Book Title: Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings|
The author of the book: Italo Calvino
Date of issue: March 11th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780375421846
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Reader ratings: 6.1
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 445 KB
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This collection of pieces eschews the literary. It is also rather depressing, more on that later. Divided between a six month trip to the US in 1959-60 and a lengthy exposition on Calvino’s political development Hermit in Paris doesn't dodge punches nor does it whitewash.
Calvino's American endeavor is an odd affair. He appears most aware of alcohol and homosexuals. The size of automobiles frightens him, until he lusts to drive. He winds up at a "beatnik" party in San Francisco where he runs into Graham Greene. Wait, what? This struck me as extremely unlikely, though Calvino glosses over the affair by bemoaning that the only attractive women were lesbians. Oh well. There is a solid meditation on race and the South but the previous hijinks left a smear on such.
The pieces are collected from over 25 years and there is a great deal of repetition as a result. Cesare Pavese is readily acknowledged as Calvino's guiding presence. That said, Calvino remained in the Communist Party until Budapest '56 which sounds strange to my fat ass in 2013. I wasn't there. Calvino addresses this situation at length in essay about whether he was a Stalinist while in the party(he was).
I read this over two days, reflecting on how Calvino’s contacts in the American literary world have all vanished from favor. His political ideas he later found juvenile and dangerous. This resonated with me. I recently celebrated my 20th Anniversary at my job which strikes me as absurd on occasion. My birthday is also on the horizon which historically leaves metrics and confessions equally combative and painful.
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Read information about the authorItalo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979).
His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic reminiscent of fairy tales (Our Ancestors, Cosmicomics), although sometimes his writing is more "realistic" and in the scenic mode of observation (Difficult Loves, for example). Some of his writing has been called postmodern, reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled magical realist, others fables, others simply "modern". He wrote: "My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language."
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