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    Why Read The Classics?


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    Out of Print

    This book is a collection of 36 essays by Italo Calvino on the writers, poets and scientists who had meant most to him at different stages of his life. The pieces range in time from antiquity (Homer, Ovid) through early modern and Enlightenment Europe (Ariosto, Defoe, Diderot, Voltaire) to the masters of the nineteenth-century novel, before dealing with Calvino's early American mentors (Twain, James, Hemingway) and contemporaries such as Borges, Pasternak and Queneau. They also offer the most comprehensive sample available of Calvino the literary critic in substantial articles which he wrote over a period of 30 years from the 1950s to his death in 1985.

    The book sheds fascinating light on the key texts which influenced Calvino, and proves that as well as being the internationally renowned fiction writer, Calvino ranks among the most interesting essayists and critics of the twentieth century.

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