Treasure Island

Quotations From ITALO CALVINO

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  • 1.
    The satirist is prevented by repulsion from gaining a better knowledge of the world he is attracted to, yet he is forced by attraction to concern himself with the world that repels him.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. repr. In The Literature Machine (1987). "Definitions of Territories: Comedy," Il Caffé (Rome, Feb. 1967).

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  • 2.
    The human race is a zone of living things that should be defined by tracing its confines.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. repr. In The Literature Machine (1987). Epitome of Pliny's view in Natural History, preface (Italian trans., 1982).
  • 3.
    Everything can change, but not the language that we carry inside us, like a world more exclusive and final than one's mother's womb.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian novelist, critic. repr. In The Literature Machine (1987). Grand Bazaar (Milan, September-October 1980).

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  • 4.
    Traveling, you realize that differences are lost: each city takes to resembling all cities, places exchange their form, order, distances, a shapeless dust cloud invades the continents.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. Marco Polo, in Invisible Cities, p. 137 (1972, trans. 1974).

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  • 5.
    The catalogue of forms is endless: until every shape has found its city, new cities will continue to be born. When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. Invisible Cities (1972, trans. 1974).

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  • 6.
    It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. Marco Polo, in Invisible Cities, p. 135 (1972, trans. 1974).
  • 7.
    The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. repr. In The Literature Machine (1987). Grand Bazaar (Milan, September-October 1980).
  • 8.
    What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one's nose, taking shortcuts.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. lecture, Nov. 1969, Turin. "Cybernetics and Ghosts," The Literature Machine (1987).

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  • 9.
    The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. Lecture, November 1969, delivered in Turin. "Cybernetics and Ghosts," published in The Literature Machine (1987).
  • 10.
    Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there.... Myth is nourished by silence as well as by words.
    Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian author, critic. lecture, Nov. 1969, Turin. "Cybernetics and Ghosts," The Literature Machine (1987).

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