BN.com Gift Guide

Six Memos for the Next Millennium [NOOK Book]

Overview

Six Memos for the Millennium is a collection of five lectures Italo Calvino was about to deliver at the time of his death. Here is his legacy to us: the universal values he pinpoints become the watchwords for our appreciation of Calvino himself.

What should be cherished in literature? Calvino devotes one lecture, or memo to the reader, to each of five indispensable qualities: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. A ...
See more details below
Six Memos for the Next Millennium

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

Six Memos for the Millennium is a collection of five lectures Italo Calvino was about to deliver at the time of his death. Here is his legacy to us: the universal values he pinpoints become the watchwords for our appreciation of Calvino himself.

What should be cherished in literature? Calvino devotes one lecture, or memo to the reader, to each of five indispensable qualities: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity. A sixth lecture, on consistency, was never committed to paper, and we are left only to ponder the possibilities. With this book, he gives us the most eloquent defense of literature written in the twentieth century—a fitting gift for the next millennium.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Calvino died just before he was to deliver these lectures. They focus on "things that only literature can give us,'' on "certain qualities, or peculiarities of literature that are very close to my heart'': lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity. (The final lecture, on consistency, has not been found.) Calvino ranges widely in classical and modern European literature to illustrate his themes, but his reflections are perhaps most revealing as commentaries on his own work, where the search for lightness is "a reaction to the weight of living,'' fantasy occupies a central place, and multiple possibilities are worked out in specific detail. Richard Kuczkowski, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.
New York Times Book Review
Certainly no one has written so well about that gifted and nimble Italian genius of the short prose narrative Italo Calvino as has the master himself in these five highly personal meditations on the art of writing, originally intended for the 1985-1986 Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard before death intervened early that same fall with a swift startling stroke. The very titles here--'Lightness,' 'Quickness,' 'Exactitude,' 'Visibility,' 'Multiplicity'--amount to a recital of Calvino's most admired characteristics, qualities echoed here in Patrick Creagh's sensitive translation. A sixth--Calvino's provocative open-endedness--is ironically provided by the absence of the unwritten final lecture, which was to have been 'Consistency.'...While each of these literary values is distinct, each seems at the same time to embrace the others, 'visibility' emerging from 'lightness,' 'exactitude' making 'quickness' possible, all the qualities caught up in 'multiplicity's' net or in 'visibility's' inner eye--it's a kind of magic act resembling the threading of the cosmos on an endless loop through the eye of a needle--in such a way that summary images of the art of writing, at least that practiced by Calvino himself, are to be found on almost every page...And if I were to choose a quintessential image for the author of such crystalline models of 'weightless gravity' as 'The Nonexistent Knight,' 'Cosmicomics,' 'Invisible Cities' and 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler'--classics of this millennium that the next will surely cherish--out of the many here, I would perhaps choose this one, the leaping poet. It seems to me a whole aesthetic is hidden away in it, and a biography as well.
— Robert Coover
New York Review of Books
A reader must delight in the way that Calvino convokes Ovid, Dante, Shakespeare, Balzac, Henry James, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, Musil, Borges, and also computer science, Felix the Cat, rebuses, and tarot cards...He details his aesthetic penchants and proclivities with a lucidity that leaves most of his critics looking fuzzy and extraneous.
— Brad Leithauser
New Republic
We read the lectures [Calvino] was to have given at Harvard--light, graceful, self-mocking prophecies and promises made on literature's behalf--as fragile last words...[There is] a special kind of enchantment once we realize what Calvino is doing...[His] gift is not for seeing two sides to a question, but for seeing how a question conceals other, endlessly shifting and multiplying questions, and even some unlikely answers; for seeing how a word can drift among a family of meanings...Calvino's larger arguments are casual, but his insights are not. Or to put it another way, Calvino's topics are less important than what they permit. They permit, for example, a beautifully paced account of his own reading, a record of cherished books and images, which amounts to a discreet fragment of autobiography.
— Michael Wood
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Calvino's lectures, his shining literary testament, crystallize the spirit that has produced his work. Characteristically, it takes a symbol, artfully constructed tale or character, and rotates it prismlike, so that it catches all kinds of new lights. Calvino is as entrancing as a theorist as he is a tale-teller; his lectures contain flights of thought that are dazzling...Each of the many facets of Calvino's discourse is set at an angle that seems to exist by itself; but taken together, they are their own single and resonating crystal.
— Richard Eder
London Review of Books
This is really a testament to the quiet authority of Calvino's manner, the fruit of his lifelong endeavor to 'remove weight...from language' which makes his prose so unassuming and at the same time so persuasive.
— Jonathan Coe
From the Publisher
"One of the most rigorously presented and beautifully illustrated critical testaments in all of literature." —Boston Globe

"Calvino's lectures [are] his shining literary testament.... [He] is as entrancing a theorist as he is a tale-teller." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

"No one has written so well about that gifted and nimble Italian genius Italo Calvino as has the master himself in these five highly personal meditations on the art of writing." —The New York Times Book Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307546111
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/4/2009
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 652,084
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Italo Calvino (1923-1985) was born in Cuba, and grew up in San Remo, Italy.  He was a member of the partisan movement during the German occupation of northern Italy in World War II.  The novel that resulted from that experience, published in English as The Path to the Nest of Spiders, won widespread acclaim.  His other works of fiction include the Baron in the Trees, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, Cosmicomics, Difficult Loves, If on a Winter's Night a Travelor, Invisible Cities, Marcovaldo, Mr. Palomar, The Nonexistent Knight & The Cloven Viscount, t zero, Under the Jaguar Sun, and The Watcher and Other Stories. His works of nonfiction include Six Memos for the Next Millennium and The Uses of Literature, collections of literary essays, and the anthology Italian Folktales.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. LIGHTNESS

2. QUICKNESS

3. EXACTITUDE

4. VISIBILITY

5. MULTIPLICITY

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    Italo Calvino's work remains relevant today as much as it did in the nineties.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)