Calvino: Writers' Writers

   Calvino is a national treasure writer in the Italian literary circle. His magical and magnificent works continue to impact the last line of defense of pure literature, making countless readers indulge in the words and cannot extricate themselves, so he is praised by many critics as "the writer. their writers". Updike called him "the most charismatic master of postmodernism", and Eco, the Italian master of semiotics who was also Calvino's good friend, commented: "Calvino's imagination is like a delicate balance in the universe. Between Voltaire and Leibniz." However, as we have seen before, Calvino's name rarely appears in the "canonical history" of literature, which has to be said to be a pity. But what is gratifying is that the late arrival of time cannot hide the brilliance of the master. In recent years, the unique charm of Ka's literature has attracted a large number of loyal and fanatical readers, and his works have been regarded as a model of pure literature. respected.

  Calvino's novel is a unique literary phenomenon, and his literary creation is full of magical colors. The alternation and fusion of the factors of realism and science fiction constitute an important feature of his novel creation, and he has been working hard to innovate in his creation, and every work gives people a sense of surprise and freshness. Reading Calvino's work is a wonderful journey.


  A never-ending literary exploration


  Italo Calvino was born in Cuba on October 15, 1923. His parents were tropical botanists. In order to make his son born in a foreign country not forget his homeland, his mother specially named him Italo ("Italy"). meaning) to pin their nostalgia for their hometown. When he was two years old, he moved with his parents to the Botanical Garden of St. Remo, a small town on the Italian-French border. Since then, he has forged an indissoluble bond with nature. This distinctive childhood life marked his later literary creations. Branding makes his works full of allegorical fairy tale colors and unique. Although his parents wanted him to work in the natural sciences, his passion was literature. After the outbreak of the war, Calvino joined the Italian underground resistance movement, joined the "Garibaldi Column" with his younger brother, and engaged in guerrilla warfare. It was during this time, he later wrote, that he became aware of the art of storytelling, when guerrillas often sat around campfires and told stories of various adventures that became the fodder for his later creations. . "The Path to the Spider's Nest" and the short story collection "One Afternoon, Adam" reflect his guerrilla warfare experience during this period. The publication of the former made the author a blockbuster. This work, which was considered to be in line with the neo-realist atmosphere of Italy at the time, had actually revealed Ka's preference for allegory and magic. After the war, he returned to the University of Turin to study literature. After graduating from university in 1947, he worked as a literary consultant for the publishing house Aina Udi in Turin, and joined the Italian Communist Party, where he became a very active leftist critic for a time. After the "Hungarian Incident", many literati had a spiritual crisis, and Calvino's beliefs also changed. In 1957, he published an open letter in "Solidarity", announcing his withdrawal from the Italian Communist Party. However, he did not imprison himself in the "ivory tower" because of this, but always closely integrated the writer's mission, the role of literature and the responsibility to society, and constantly explored and opened up the field of literary creation. Calvino's literary turn took place during his editing of "Italian Folktales", a "treasure of world literature" comparable to Hans Christian Andersen's and Grimm's fairy tales, and the author also refined the future literature in the process of sorting out the folktales. value standard.

  Calvino's literary exploration has been extended. The most prominent literary achievement of the 1950s is his "Our Ancestors" trilogy, which includes "The Viscount Divided in Half," "The Baron in the Tree," and "The Knight Who Doesn't Exist". This is a book with a unique experience, three stories about three strange characters: Viscount Medardo was bombarded in two halves in the Tuo-Austrian War - the bad half and the good half, they They did both the worst and the best, but the results were unbearable, and finally they became one and returned to a normal life; the 12-year-old Baron Cosimo was angry because he didn't want to eat the snails made by his sister. Climb the tall holm oak tree, and live on the tree, read, think, fall in love, and participate in politics. Until the last moment of life, he was taken away by a hot air balloon. , turned out to be an "empty shell" without a torso, body and temperature. We are shocked by Calvino's powerful fictional ability and imagination, and even more shocked by his ability to express his views on human nature, life and society in such a light and bizarre way. In the preface, Calvino said: "This trilogy can paint a family tree for contemporary human beings. Therefore, I have combined and reprinted these three books in one volume, called "Our Ancestors". In this way, it is possible to make My readers browse an exhibition of portrait paintings, and they may be able to identify their own characteristics, eccentricities and obsessions from the portraits."

  Calvino is rich in experience and knowledge, he is well versed in European intellectual and cultural traditions, and he is familiar with the classic philosophy of history. . The breadth of his research is amazing: modern physics, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and geography, etc., and it is very cleverly applied to his literary creation, forming a unique literary landscape. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Calvino's novels added a large number of science fiction content. At the time of the development of science and technology such as space exploration and genetic engineering, Calvino combined the modern universe with ancient spiritualism, showing infinite imagination and creativity. The works published in this period include "The Wonder of the Universe", "Time Zero", etc. The author used exquisite language to create a fantastic picture of the universe, and the peculiar and outstanding imagination fascinated readers. It's fun to open the book," and it's fun.

  In 1972, Calvino published "The Invisible City", which is about Marco Polo telling Kublai Khan the story of the city in his memory. There is a magical atmosphere between the lines. His language is exquisite and beautiful, and his imagination is magnificent. . The Castle of Crossed Destiny, published the following year, once again surprised readers: the heavy fate was decomposed by the equal and free tarot cards, and different insertion arrangements transformed different narrative sequences, which also determined the direction of fate. Calvino's narrative strategy is amazing. He is a giant who uses several means to think multiple times at the same time. Words, numbers, symbols, pictures, and even tarot cards can all be used by him. In his literary works Always shining with the brilliance of science and art. The subsequent "super novel", "Winter Night Walker", carried almost all of Calvino's thinking about novels: the structure, plot, language, ideas, etc. of the novel. This is a "novel within a novel" because the whole structure is novel within novel, and almost everyone who reads it will be amazed: how can a novel be written like this? ! In fact, this is a great attempt by Calvino, in his words: "I would love to write a novel that is essentially nothing more than an 'introduction', which always retains the potential of the beginning of the work, And the kind of expectation that has never been realized." This is Calvino's novel experiment, and it is also an active exploration of his future novels.

  In critics, Calvino is highly praised by scholars and writers, and his works have always been regarded as elite literature and scholar literature. Don't get me wrong, though, Calvino isn't a den-type writer. Judging from his rich and legendary life, he has experienced wars, participated in guerrillas, and joined the Communist Party. It can be said that he has not only had a military career that was close to each other, but also had a radical political life experience. He has been thinking about, Think about human nature, life, society, history. So, to be precise, he is a writer in action, a writer who is constantly exploring literature. Every exploration on his literary path is full of courage and wisdom. His greatest inspiration to all those who love literature and wish to become writers is that literature has infinite possibilities.


  "Writers' Writers"


  Most Chinese readers know Calvino from Wang Xiaobo, so to a certain extent, we should be grateful to him. Wang Xiaobo has expressed his love and admiration for Calvino many times in his essays, and also sincerely talked about Calvino's influence on him. Modern and contemporary writers highly respect Calvino, and critics give him a supreme title - "writers' writer". In fact, there is the same halo above Borges's head, and critics are happy to compare the two writers. In fact, both now and in the future, Calvino's influence will be greater and more lasting.

  Calvino famously said: Reading is like going in the jungle. Reading his novels with this sentence is exactly what it feels like. In the jungle of Calvino's novels, there are winding paths, labyrinths, and shadows. And when the reader finally reads it, it's a joyous journey. Calvino pays great attention to allowing readers of his novels to enter the characters, to understand the difficult and confusing real life together with the author and the characters in the novels, and to break through the "mazes". Through reading and thinking, readers experience a spiritual journey of the living conditions of modern people.

  Calvino's 40 years of literary exploration is a rich treasure, and his literary ideas are concentrated in a speech that was too late to speak. In 1985, Calvino was preparing to give a speech at Harvard University. Before leaving, he wrote the speech. Unfortunately, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. In this literary theory work, he mentioned five key words: lightness, speed, accuracy, visibility, and complexity. In his creation, he has also been practicing, using the five literary standards he advocates in a seamless manner. This process begins iconicly with his use in The Viscount Divided in Two, and in The Invisible Cities the lightness of literature is almost extreme; in The Italian Fairy Tales, Calvino Tell us the story in the most concise and lively language, and there are extremely grotesque images in "Our Ancestors": a half-good and half-evil viscount, a baron living in a tree, and a set of talking and walking empty armor; Calvi Nuo's "complexity" theory is concentrated in "Winter Night Pedestrian". From the structural arrangement of the whole novel, Calvino obviously wants to show us the complexity on purpose, and at the same time, he uses complicated ideas to destroy our traditional thinking. The concept of fiction. The reason why he is called an allegorical writer is that his novels are filled with philosophical elements, and these philosophical thoughts are expressed in the form of light plots, and they are also presented in strange and fantastic imaginations.

  Being honored as "writers' writers" is because Calvino's literary exploration has given too much inspiration to later writers, and many writers are amazed, admired and admired after reading Calvino's novels.

  Calvino, who died suddenly, did not have time to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature that should have belonged to him, but the title of "the most important Italian writer of the 20th century" should give him greater comfort. In his 40-year literary career, as a literary practitioner, he freely traverses various fields, constantly creates and innovates, makes brave attempts for the future direction of literature, and provides infinite possibilities for the development of literature. 



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