Quotes Categories

Italo Calvino Quotes

(1923-1985), Cuban Writer, Essayist, Journalist

It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.

Category: Anecdotes

Biographical data, even those recorded in the public registers, are the most private things one has, and to declare them openly is rather like facing a psychoanalyst.

Category: Autobiography

The catalogue of forms is endless: until every shape has found its city, new cities will continue to be born. When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins.

Category: Cities And City Life

The unconscious is the ocean of the unsayable, of what has been expelled from the land of language, removed as a result of ancient prohibitions.

Category: Consciousness

The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.

Category: Exile

Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top.

Category: Fiction

What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one's nose, taking shortcuts.

Category: Genius

The human race is a zone of living things that should be defined by tracing its confines.

Category: Humankind

Everything can change, but not the language that we carry inside us, like a world more exclusive and final than one's mother's womb.

Category: Language

The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.

Category: Literature

When politicians and politically minded people pay too much attention to literature, it is a bad sign -- a bad sign mostly for literature. But it is also a bad sign when they don't want to hear the word mentioned.

Category: Literature

In love, as in gluttony, pleasure is a matter of the utmost precision.

Category: Love

I am prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present, where all forms of human society have reached an extreme of their cycle and there is no imagining what new forms they may assume.

Category: Modern And Modernism

Myth is the hidden part of every story, the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there. Myth is nourished by silence as well as by words.

Category: Myth

The satirist is prevented by repulsion from gaining a better knowledge of the world he is attracted to, yet he is forced by attraction to concern himself with the world that repels him.

Category: Sarcasm