Calvino on Kafka

What Calvino Read

Joseph Conrad, Calvino wrote his thesis on Conrad, graduating from the University of Turin in 1947.

Raymond Queneau, Calvino translated  Queneau's novel, Les fleurs bleues.

Ariosto, Calvino created his own version of Ariosto's Roland Mad, Orlando Furioso di Ludovico Ariosto raccontato da Italo Calvino.

"Folktales, knights, chivalry, social and political allegories, and pseudo-scientific legends of our time" (Beno Weiss, Understanding Italo Calvino).

It was through the influence of Jorge Luis Borges, Ferdinand de Saussure, linguist, Roland Barthes and Vladimir Propp, critics, that Calvino veered into the creative course that culminated in Cosmicomics and t zero (Weiss).

When Calvino moved to Paris in 1964 and married "Chichita" (Esther Singer), he became active with the Oulipo, Workshop of Potential Literature, or Ouvroir de litterature potentielle. Oulipo was led by Queneau and the historian Francois LeLionnais.

Galileo, Leopardi, Petrarch, Luigi Pirandello and Niccolo Machiavelli. "His favorite authors included Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Thomas Mann, Jorge Luis Borges, Lawrence Sterne" (Franco Ricci, Difficult Games).

Cesare Pavese, Natalia Ginzburg, Elio Vittorini, Flaubert's Saint Julien l'Hospitalier, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Stendhal's Charterhouse of Parma (listed as his favorite novel in Lucia Re's Calvino and the Age of Neorealism), Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Chamisso's Peter Schlemil,  (Ricci, Calvino Revisited, the William Weaver interview).

Voltaire, Edgar Allan Poe, Massimo Bontempelli. "The Cosmicomics have behind them above all Leopardi, the comics of Popeye, Samuel Beckett, Giordano Bruno, Lewis Carroll, and the paintings of Matta and, in some cases, Landolfi, Immanual Kant, Borges, engravings of Grandville"  (Albert Howard Carter III, Italo Calvino: Metamorphoses of Fantasy).


-Updated June 9, 2004; Outside the Town of Malbork was first programmed in Jan. 1999.