Why Read the Classics?

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2000 - Literary Collections - 277 pages
3 Reviews
From the internationally-acclaimed author of some of this century's most breathtakingly original novels comes this posthumous collection of thirty-six literary essays that will make any fortunate reader view the old classics in a dazzling new light. Learn why Lara, not Zhivago, is the center of Pasternak's masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago, and why Cyrano de Bergerac is the forerunner of modern-day science-fiction writers. Learn how many odysseys The Odyssey contains, and why Hemingway's Nick Adams stories are a pinnacle of twentieth-century literature. From Ovid to Pavese, Xenophon to Dickens, Galileo to Gadda, Calvino covers the classics he has loved most with essays that are fresh, accessible, and wise. Why Read the Classics? firmly establishes Calvino among the rare likes of Nabokov, Borges, and Lawrence--writers whose criticism is as vibrant and unique as their groundbreaking fiction.   From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - RussellBittner - LibraryThing

It’s always a somewhat humbling experience to read a book like this one — at least for me. But why ‘humbling?’ Because reading it reminds me of how little I really know about classical literature. As ... Read full review

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User Review  - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing

There is something fascinating in a great writer’s observations of the literature in which he is immersed. Might they reveal clues to his own prowess, or ogres against which he long strove? These ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Italo Calvino died in 1985.

Translated from the Italian by Martin McLaughlin.

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