In an age when other fantastically speedy, widespread media are triumphing and running the risk of flattening all communication onto a single, homogeneous surface, the function of literature is communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not blunting but even sharpening the differences between them, following the true bent of the written language.
Six Memos for the Next Millennium (1988)
Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.Italo Calvino
Gore is a man without an unconscious.Italo Calvino
With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.Italo Calvino
He was carried away by that mania of the storyteller, who never knows which stories are more beautiful—the ones that really happened and the evocation of which recalls a whole flow of hours past, of petty emotions, boredom, happiness, insecurity, vanity, and self-disgust, or those which are invented, and in which he cuts out a main pattern, and everything seems easy, then begins to vary it as he realizes more and more that he is describing again things that had happened or been understood in lived reality.Italo Calvino