Italo Calvino Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from Italo Calvino
  1. #1
    “They knew each other. He knew her and so himself, for in truth he had never known himself. And she knew him and so herself, for although she had always known herself she had never been able to recognize it until now.”
  2. #2
    “In order really to live, you must photograph as much as you can, and to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographable every moment of your life. The first course leads to stupidity; the second to madness.”
  3. #3
    “Overambitious projects may be objectionable in many fields, but not in literature. Literature remains alive only if we set ourselves immeasurable goals, far beyond all hope of achievement.”
  4. #4
    “You’ll understand when you’ve forgotten what you understood before.”
  5. #5
    “It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.”
  6. #6
    “It is only after you have come to know the surface of things . . . that you can venture to seek what is underneath. But the surface of things is inexhaustible.”
  1. #7
    “I will start out this evening with an assertion: fantasy is a place where it rains.”
  2. #8
    “I am a Saturn who dreams of being a Mercury, and everything I write reflects these two impulses.”
  3. #9
    “A person’s life consists of a collection of events, the last of which could also change the meaning of the whole, not because it counts more than the previous ones but because once they are included in a life, events are arranged in an order that is not chronological but, rather, corresponds to an inner architecture.”
  4. #10
    “A human being becomes human not through the casual convergence of certain biological conditions, but through an act of will and love on the part of other people.”
  5. #11
    “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”
  6. #12
    “Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.”

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  1. #13
    “Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space . . . I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification.”
  2. #14
    “Traveling, you realize that differences are lost: each city takes to resembling all cities, places exchange their form, order, distances, a shapeless dust cloud invades the continents.”
  3. #15
    “One should be light like a bird and not like a feather.”
  4. #16
    “The universe is the mirror in which we can contemplate only what we have learned to know in ourselves.”
  5. #17
    “Memories images, once they are fixed in words, are erased.”
  6. #18
    “Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.”
  7. #19
    “What harbor can receive you more securely than a great library?”
  8. #20
    “Knowledge of the world means dissolving the solidity of the world.”
Book Topics › goals
Children's Books About Goals