Author(s): Italo Calvino
"Why Read the Classics?" is an elegant defence of the value of great literature by one of the finest authors of the last century. Beginning with an essay on the attributes that define a classic (number one - classics are those books that people always say they are 'rereading', not 'reading'), this is an absorbing collection of Italo Calvino's witty and passionate criticism.
'Enthusiasm and intelligence: these are the essential qualities of the critic. Calvino, himself a novelist of rare quality, possessed both generously. This is a book to read for itself, and also because it will send you back to other books to read, either again in a new way, or for the first time... Superb' Daily Telegraph 'This volume itself is a classic book at bedtime, a seductive invitation to forgotten opportunities or rereading' The Times
Italo Calvino, one of Italy's finest postwar writers, has delighted readers around the world with his deceptively simple, fable-like stories. He was born in Cuba in 1923 and raised in San Remo, Italy; he fought for the Italian Resistance from 1943-45. His major works include Cosmicomics (1968), Invisible Cities (1972), and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). He died in Siena in 1985. Martin L. McLaughlin is Professor of Italian and Fiat-Serena Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Oxford where he is a Fellow of Magdalen College. In addition to his published academic works he is the English translator of Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino among many others.