However, Calvino died of a stroke before he finished writing them. That said, within its scope and self-proclaimed goal — to pass on a set of values that will be useful in helping literature survive and describe the next millennium our own, that is — it is extremely wide-ranging, and is one of the most unusual books of literary criticism ever written. It would be of little help to the student of literature at university, unless he or she were writing about Calvino himself. But for the general reader and lover of literature it is rich and deeply satisfying — paradoxically so, given that it is so brief, and often so vague. Calvino picks and chooses from the whole range of human thought, though he often returns to Leopardi and to Shakespeare, about whom he is deftly illuminating. This is very much a book that sets you off thinking, which I suspect is the point.
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Six Memos for the Next Millennium review – Italo Calvino’s Harvard lectures
Six Memos for the Next Millennium