A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.

— Italo Calvino

The most undeniable Italo Calvino quotes that will add value to your life

Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.

62

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.

56

I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.

56
Italo Calvino quote A classic is a book that has never been

A classic is a book that has never been finished saying what it has to say.

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.

46

It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.

40

The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.

37

I will start out this evening with an assertion: fantasy is a place where it rains.

31

Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said.

"Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.

27

In politics, as in every other sphere of life, there are two important principles for a man of any sense: don't cherish too many illusions, and never stop believing that every little bit helps.

26

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.

21

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.

19

Sometimes one who thinks himself incomplete is merely young.

18

About Italo Calvino

Quotes 134 sayings
Nationality Italian
Profession Journalist
Birthday October 16

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.

16

Revolutionaries are more formalistic than conservatives.

14

Every new book I read comes to be a part of that overall and unitary book that is the sum of my readings...if you need little to set the imagination going, I require even less: the promise of reading is enough.

13

Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top.

13

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.

12

What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one's nose, taking shortcuts.

9

Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.

7

Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don't mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification.

7

Nobody looks at the moon in the afternoon, and this is the moment when it would most require our attention, since its existence is still in doubt.

7

In love, as in gluttony, pleasure is a matter of the utmost precision.

7

A classic is the term given to any book which comes to represent the whole universe, a book on a par with ancient talismans.

6

Every time I must find something to do that will look like something a little beyond my capabilities.

5

Knowledge of the world means dissolving the solidity of the world.

5

…we can not love or think except in fragments of time each of which goes along its own trajectory and immediately disappears.

5

The human race is a zone of living things that should be defined by tracing its confines.

5

Memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.

4

The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.

4

Falsehood is never in words; it is in things.

4

Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears.

4

Biographical data, even those recorded in the public registers, are the most private things one has, and to declare them openly is rather like facing a psychoanalyst.

4

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.

4

Each sort of cheese reveals a pasture of a different green, under a different sky.

4

Writing always means hiding something in such a way that it then is discovered.

4

If one wanted to depict the whole thing graphically, every episode, with its climax, would require a three-dimensional, or, rather, no model: every experience is unrepeatable. What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space.

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.

3

It was the hour in which objects lose the consistency of shadow that accompanies them during the night and gradually reacquire colors, but seem to cross meanwhile an uncertain limbo, faintly touched, just breathed on by light; the hour in which one is least certain of the world's existence.

3

Success consists in felicity of verbal expression, which every so often may result from a quick flash of inspiration but as a rule involves a patient search... for the sentence in which every word is unalterable.

3

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.

3

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.

3

When politicians and politically minded people pay too much attention to literature, it is a bad sign -- a bad sign mostly for literature. But it is also a bad sign when they don't want to hear the word mentioned.

3

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.

3

The novels that attract me most are those that create an illusion of transparency around a knot of human relationships as obscure, cruel, and perverse as possible.

2

The best introduction to the psychological world of one of the most important and gifted writers of our time.

2

Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country.

The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.

2

The word connects the visible trace with the invisible thing, the absent thing, the thing that is desired or feared, like a frail emergency bridge flung over an abyss.

2

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.

2

Each new Clarice, compact as a living body with its smells and its breath, shows off, like a gem, what remains of the ancient Clarices, fragmentary and dead.

2
famous quotes