Why Read the Classics? by Italo Calvino, Martin L. McLaughlin (translator)

 

Description: From the internationally-acclaimed author of some of this century’s most breathtakingly original novels comes this posthumous collection of thirty-six literary essays that will make any fortunate reader view the old classics in a dazzling new light.

Learn why Lara, not Zhivago, is the center of Pasternak’s masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago, and why Cyrano de Bergerac is the forerunner of modern-day science-fiction writers. Learn how many odysseys The Odyssey contains, and why Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories are a pinnacle of twentieth-century literature. From Ovid to Pavese, Xenophon to Dickens, Galileo to Gadda, Calvino covers the classics he has loved most with essays that are fresh, accessible, and wise. Why Read the Classics? firmly establishes Calvino among the rare likes of Nabokov, Borges, and Lawrence–writers whose criticism is as vibrant and unique as their groundbreaking fiction.

Opening: “In France they start to read Balzac at school, and judging by the number of editions in circulation people apparently continue to read him long after the end of their schooldays. But if there were an official survey on Balzac’s popularity in Italy, I am afraid he would figure very low down the list”

Calvino has some interesting points in each of the thirty-six essays, however this is really more for the serious lit-lovers. No doubt I shall reach for the relevent chapters when I get around to the books he discusses.So it’s a keeper for the reference library

The Lost Villages of Britain by Richard Muir

bookshelves: reference, dip-in-now-and-again, history, paper-read, one-penny-wonder, nonfiction, skoolzy-stuff, published-1982, summer-2014

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Richard III FutureLearn
Recommended for: Jemidar
Read in July, 2014


Diagrams, colour plates, black and white piccies on glossy paper. Absolutely lovely and something I shall dip into a lot when planning our UK cottage rental short breaks.

Although the main reason for reading is to do with when the landed gentry started enclosing the lands for sheep back in late mediaeval times, it is surprising the amount of more recent evacuations such as when Tottington in Norfolk became deserted when the army took over.

Tottington

The most ominous desertion I have seen is in Farmagusta where the washing still hung on the lines and the buildings taken over by nature.

Rating is five ‘munching-the-land-where-there-used-to-be-kitchen-gardens’ sheep.