Precision in imagination and in language


Sam Cooney ponders Italo Calvino's ideas on language and literary experience @ The Rumpus.

"In an age when other fantastically speedy, widespread media are triumphing, and running the risk of flattening all communication onto a single, homogenous surface, the function of literature is communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not blunting but even sharpening the differences between them, following the true bent of written language.” Italo Calvino Six Memos for the Next Millennium The impulse for this essay struck hazily, one of those ideas that snuck in between pillow and sleep, or after too many coffees. I’d just read Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium for the first time and thought, ‘fuck me, this is important stuff’ and then, ‘I want to tell other writers and readers about this’.

The following revised memos, which are bits of Calvino that I’ve sliced and diced, bits that I’ve twisted and mushed together with my own words.

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image: John Martino @ Cerise Press