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.
Italo Calvino died in 1985.
Translated from the Italian by Martin McLaughlin.
"Calvino's essays--make clear how exhilarating the classics can be."--The Washington Post Book World
"Extraordinarily flexible and delighted readings--which will likely send you off to (re)read the classics being discussed and then summon you back again."--The New Yorker
"It's Calvino and the classics, so how can you lose?"--San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle