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Italo Calvino Quotes
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Italo Calvino Quote: “The sea where living creatures were at one time immersed is now enclosed within their bodies.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Knowledge of the world means dissolving the solidity of the world.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “While the hemlock was being prepared, Socrates was learning a melody on the flute. “What use will that be to you?”, he was asked. “At least I will learn this melody before I die.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “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 Quote: “Very often the effort men put into activities that seem completely useless turns out to be extremely important in ways no one could foresee. Play has always been the mainspring of culture.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “I am a Saturn who dreams of being a Mercury, and everything I write reflects these two impulses.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “You reach a moment in life when, among the people you have known, the dead outnumber the living. And the mind refuses to accept more faces, more expressions: on every new face you encounter, it prints the old forms, for each one it finds the most suitable mask.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined?”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Novelists tell that piece of truth hidden at the bottom of every lie.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “To fly is the opposite of traveling: you cross a gap in space, you vanish into the void, you accept not being in a place for a duration that is itself a kind of void in time; then you reappear, in a place and in a moment with no relation to the where and when in which you vanished.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “It is only through the confining act of writing that the immensity of the nonwritten becomes legible.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “You’ll understand when you’ve forgotten what you understood before.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “If a lover is wretched who invokes kisses of which he knows not the flavor, a thousand times more wretched is he who has had a taste of the flavor and then had it denied him.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The soul is often in the surface, and the importance of ‘depth’ is overestimated.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “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 Quote: “The human race is a zone of living things that should be defined by tracing its confines.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Every time I must find something to do that will look like something a little beyond my capabilities.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “There are days when everything I see seems to me charged with meaning: messages it would be difficult for me to communicate to others, define, translate into words, but which for this very reason appear to me decisive. They are announcements or presages that concern me and the world at once: for my part, not only the external events of my existence but also what happens inside, in the depths of me; and for the world, not some particular event but the general way of being of all things.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “One reads alone, even in another’s presence.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “A classic is the term given to any book which comes to represent the whole universe, a book on a par with ancient talismans.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “So you begin to wonder if Leonia’s true passion is really, as they say, the enjoyment of new and different things, and not, instead, the joy of expelling, discarding, cleansing itself of a recurrent impurity.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The unconscious is the ocean of the unsayable, of what has been expelled from the land of language, removed as a result of ancient prohibitions.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “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 Quote: “Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Stations are all alike; it doesn’t matter if the lights cannot illuminate beyond their blurred halo, all of this is a setting you know by heart, with the odor of train that lingers even after all the trains have left, the special odor of stations after the last train has left. The lights of the station and the sentences you are reading seem to have the job of dissolving more than of indicating the things that surface from a veil of darkness and fog.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Today each of you is the object of the other’s reading, one reads in the other the unwritten story.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “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 Quote: “A map of Esmeralda should include, marked in different colored inks, all these routes, solid and liquid, evident and hidden. It is more difficult to fix on the map the routes of the swallows, who cut the air over the roofs, dropping long invisible parabolas with their still wings, darting to gulp a mosquito, spiraling upward, grazing a pinnacle, dominating from every point of their airy paths all the points of the city.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Perhaps, Kublai thought, the empire is nothing but a zodiac of the mind’s phantasms.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Life, thought the naked man, was a hell, with rare moments recalling some ancient paradise.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?”
Italo Calvino Quote: “It’s better not to know authors personally, because the real person never corresponds to the image you form of him from reading his books.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “For those who pass it without entering, the city is one thing; it is another for those who are trapped by it and never leave. There is the city where you arrive for the first time; and there is another city which you leave never to return. Each deserves a different name; perhaps I have already spoken of Irene under other names; perhaps I have spoken only of Irene.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Those who arrive at Thekla can see little of the city, beyond the plank fences, the sackcloth screens, the scaffoldings, the metal armatures, the wooden catwalks hanging from ropes or supported by sawhorses, the ladders, the trestles. If you ask, “Why is Thekla’s construction taking such a long time?” the inhabitants continue hoisting sacks, lowering leaded strings, moving long brushes up and down, as they answer, “So that its destruction cannot begin.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “POLO: Everything I see and do assumes meaning in a mental space where the same calm reigns as here, the same penumbra, the same silence streaked by the rustling of learn. At the moment when I concentrate and reflect, I find myself again, always, in this garden, at this hour of the evening, in your august presence, though I continue, without a moment’s pause, moving up a river green with crocodiles or counting the barrels of salted fish being lowered into the hold.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The line between the reality that is photographed because it seems beautiful to us and the reality that seems beautiful because it has been photographed is very narrow.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “In general confusion youth recognizes itself and rejoices.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Nobody these days holds the written word in such high esteem as police states do.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “A human being becomes human not through the casual convergence of certain biological conditions, but through an act of will and love on the part of other people.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “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 Quote: “I rather enjoy that sense of bewilderment a novel gives you when you start reading it, but if the first effect is fog, I’m afraid the moment the fog lifts my pleasure in reading will be lost, too.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Renouncing things is less difficult than people believe: it’s all a matter of getting started. Once you’ve succeeded in dispensing with something you thought essential, you realize you can also do without something else, then without many other things. So here I am walking along this empty surface that is the world.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past:.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Now that the book is finished, I know that this was not a hallucination, a sort of professional malady, but the confirmation of something I already suspected – folktales are real.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “It’s all very well for me to tell myself there are no provincial cities any more and perhaps there never were any: all places communicate instantly with all other places, a sense of isolation is felt only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The more one was lost in unfamiliar quarters of distant cities, the more one understood the other cities he had crossed to arrive there.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “Desires are already memories.”
Italo Calvino Quote: “The world is so complicated, tangled, and overloaded that to see into it with any clarity you must prune and prune. In.”
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