The Uses of Literature: Essays

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1986 - Literary Criticism - 341 pages
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In these widely praised essays Calvino discusses literature as process, the great narrative game in the course of which writer and reader are challenged to understand the world. He discusses literature in relation to science, philosophy, and politics and analyzes aspects of the works of the great classical writers of the past. The collection concludes with tributes to contemporary writers. The literary intersests and critical insights expressed here are an important contribution to an understanding of the uses of litertature and to a comprehension of the work of a modern master.
 

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The uses of literature: essays

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Written between 1966 and 1982, these 31 essays are divided into two parts. The first 11 essays deal with theoretical questions such as the relation of philosophy and literature, definitions of genres ... Read full review

Contents

Cybernetics and Ghosts
3
Two Interviews on Science and Literature
28
Philosophy and Literature
39
Literature as Projection of Desire
50
Comedy
62
Fantasy
71
Whom Do We Write For?
81
Right and Wrong Political Uses of Literature
89
The Novel as Spectacle
190
Brief Introduction
213
The Controller of Desires
219
Envoi A Utopia of Fine Dust
245
Guide to The Charterhouse of Parma
256
Stendhals Knowledge of the Milky Way
266
Montales Rock
284
The Pen in the First Person
291

Levels of Reality in Literature
101
Why Read the Classics?
125
The Odysseys Within the Odyssey
135
Ovid and Universal Contiguity
146
The Structure of Orlando Furioso
162
An Essay in Velocity
175
The City as Protagonist in Balzac
182
In Memory of Roland Barthes
300
The Bestiary of Marianne Moore
307
Man the Sky and the Elephant
315
Cyrano on the Moon
331
By Way of an Autobiography
339
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About the author (1986)

ITALO CALVINO's superb storytelling gifts earned him international renown and a reputation as one of the world's best fabulists" ( New York Times Book Review ). He is the author of numerous works of fiction, as well as essays, criticism, and literary anthologies. Born in Cuba in 1923, Calvino was raised in Italy, where he lived most of his life. At the time of his death, in Siena in 1985, he was the most translated contemporary Italian writer.

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