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Calvino on the vocation of literature

by | Jul 24, 2017 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

7 Comments

  1. Ted

    Like! :D

    Reply
  2. Bill M

    In the age of one media relies on a wire or fiber…
    Well said.

    Reply
  3. TomR

    Well, maybe. I would challenge the notion that "other media" have flattened all communication into a "uniform crust." "Other media" (pick your favorite target here) is just another form of communication. Literature hasn't been flattened or gone anywhere; it's still as relevant/irrelevant as you choose to make it.

    Reply
  4. Richard P

    Calvino's thought is questionable, to be sure—but worth thinking about. I would disagree that all media are "just another form of communication," since the way in which a live rock concert communicates is not the way in which a typewritten letter communicates; each medium has its own distinctive possibilities. The context for the quotation is the thought that written language can communicate across millennia and around the world—but without making different places or ages the same. This does seem to contrast with the way TV tends to create a feeling of immediate connection and a shared, uniform culture. (Calvino's essay dates from 1985. Today we could of course say the same about "the Internet," although that is too broad a label for many different kinds of communication that happen online.)

    Thanks for commenting!

    Reply
  5. TomR

    Good points Richard; each medium does indeed have its own distinctive possibilities. So far my brain can acommodate Facebook, Twenty One Pilots, and Calvino (and more) at the same time; I just have to tune my channel selector to the signal I want!

    Reply
  6. DonN

    Surely he really meant to say "the function of typewriting"!

    Reply
  7. Richard P

    Yes, this must have been a slip of the Olivetti!

    Reply

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