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These gather 37 previously uncollected Calvinos, from early fables and realist social commentaries to later oulipan narrative games, stylistically masterful if frivolous riffs on a theme composed as commissions one from a Japanese whisky company , late additions to the Cosmicomics series, a Henry Ford teleplay condensing the contradictions of his philosophy and the era he ushered in, etc Favorites fell in the later phases high concept phenomenological explorations like The Mirror, The Taege These gather 37 previously uncollected Calvinos, from early fables and realist social commentaries to later oulipan narrative games, stylistically masterful if frivolous riffs on a theme composed as commissions one from a Japanese whisky company , late additions to the Cosmicomics series, a Henry Ford teleplay condensing the contradictions of his philosophy and the era he ushered in, etc Favorites fell in the later phases high concept phenomenological explorations like The Mirror, The Taeget and the Memoirs of Cassanova will stick with me like all the best Calvino I agree with other reviewers that it shouldn t be the first Calvino book you read, but readers who are already Calvino fans will find plenty of gems in this collection There are 37 widely varied stories, vignettes, fables, imagined interviews, and fantasies, arranged chronologically and representing work from 1943 to 1985 Of the earlier work, I most enjoyed the fables such as The Black Sheep, in which a smoothly running village of thieves is thrown into chaos when an honest man moves in Sta I agree with other reviewers that it shouldn t be the first Calvino book you read, but readers who are already Calvino fans will find plenty of gems in this collection There are 37 widely varied stories, vignettes, fables, imagined interviews, and fantasies, arranged chronologically and representing work from 1943 to 1985 Of the earlier work, I most enjoyed the fables such as The Black Sheep, in which a smoothly running village of thieves is thrown into chaos when an honest man moves in Standouts for me in the second half include World Memory, about a company tasked with documenting, well, everything, and The Burning of Abominable House, in which the narrator tries to reconstruct the events leading to a burned house containing four bodies and a list of abominable deeds committed there.At its best, Calvino s writing engages me on two levels simultaneously the front of my brain relishes the precise language and the cultural commentary, while another part of the writing bypasses the reasonable part of my mind and goes straight to the brain stem, connecting with somethingprimal and ancient These are the stories I dog eared to read again in the future Conscience The Black Sheep Wind in a City The Lost Regiment A General in the Library A Beautiful March Day World Memory The Burning of Abominable House Henry Ford Certainly one of the best short story collections I have ever read It covers the entire span of Calvino s writing career, and his early charming and offbeat fables the first written when he was 19 are just as entertaining as the mature and complex thought experiments of his later work There are very few Calvino stories remaining that I haven t yet read Numbers in the Dark includes extracts from unfinished and unpublished novels that he transformed into short stories as well as embryonic pro Certainly one of the best short story collections I have ever read It covers the entire span of Calvino s writing career, and his early charming and offbeat fables the first written when he was 19 are just as entertaining as the mature and complex thought experiments of his later work There are very few Calvino stories remaining that I haven t yet read Numbers in the Dark includes extracts from unfinished and unpublished novels that he transformed into short stories as well as embryonic projects that might have developed intosubstantial pieces had he lived longer for example The Memoirs of Casanova follows a similar pattern to Invisible Cities.I first obtained this volume back in 1996 and I read half of it then I lost it Many years later, in 2010, I picked up another edition and once again only got about halfway through it before life intervened and I was distracted from finishing it I wonder if I was subconsciously sabotaging my efforts to read the complete book because I knew that once I was done with it, there would be almost no new Calvino left for me to read But finally I bought a third copy and now have read the whole book I am intrigued to discover that my opinion of some of the early stories has changed over the past two decades I always liked them but now I like them evenTo give one example, Love Far From Home now strikes me as poignant and wonderful, whereas on my first two readings I regarded it merely as rather good No, it is much better than that But what amazes me is how many of these stories, especially the early ones, were never published at all in Calvino s lifetime others appeared only in obscure or ephemeral places perhaps he simply never got round to submitting them anywhere, or maybe he forgot all about them and they were only discovered in manuscript form after his death These almost lost stories include some of my favourites, The Man Who Shouted Teresa and Solidarity the perfect short fable Some even lacked titles and had to be given titles posthumously.The variety seems endless There are tales that are already polished examples of Calvino s brilliance at playing games with definitions, The Lost Regiment and A General in the Library being two particularly fine examples of how something a substance, a striving can alter imperceptibly into something completely different Other pieces were conceived as political allegories Becalmed in the Antilles or as introductions to books by other writers The Call of the Water or as television scripts Henry Ford or as impossible interviews Neanderthal Man and Montezuma World memory is a science fiction tale written in the 1960s that anticipates the internet It raises some interesting problems of identity and reality and also happens to be a crime story Crime fiction was one of Calvino s many literary interests The Burning of the Abominable House is an OuLiPo story based on the idea of how a computer might write a crime story it is excellent The Other Eurydice is a superb fantasy about the underworld The volume ends with two Qfwfq tales not to be found in the original Cosmicomics collection.I repeat one of my favourite short story collections ever Hit or miss collection of shorts An amusing sequence of interviews with various persons Montezuma, a thoughtful troglodyte, Henry Ford, Casanova Some repeats otherwise with other volumes.Very effective in some items, such as The Burning of the Abominable House and The Queen s Necklace, which stand out Others are a bit too clever, but still cool The General in the Library, The Workshop Hen, Beheading the Heads, and The Lost Regiment And extremely moving in others Love Far from Hit or miss collection of shorts An amusing sequence of interviews with various persons Montezuma, a thoughtful troglodyte, Henry Ford, Casanova Some repeats otherwise with other volumes.Very effective in some items, such as The Burning of the Abominable House and The Queen s Necklace, which stand out Others are a bit too clever, but still cool The General in the Library, The Workshop Hen, Beheading the Heads, and The Lost Regiment And extremely moving in others Love Far from Home comes to mind immediately And The Other Eurydice is just very cool rhetorically slick and conceptually advanced Spoiler This review will not match up with the rating.Self Disclosure Italo Calvino is one of my favorite writers I think of him as my uncle even though we re not related Not even closely He s just so great that I ve adopted him into my family in my head I haven t told the rest of the family about this yet I vastly prefer his novels to his short fiction We, yes the royal one, interrupt this review to recommend Short stories are interesting when considered as a medium of their own What I mean by this is, some authors and fiction writers are better at certain types of fiction Not necessarily better at certain types of fiction when compared to other writers, but better in comparison to their own works of different types For instance, Nabokov is a master of the novel perhaps the best in terms of structure and one of the best in terms of raw prose , but all of his short stories are terrible There is o Short stories are interesting when considered as a medium of their own What I mean by this is, some authors and fiction writers are better at certain types of fiction Not necessarily better at certain types of fiction when compared to other writers, but better in comparison to their own works of different types For instance, Nabokov is a master of the novel perhaps the best in terms of structure and one of the best in terms of raw prose , but all of his short stories are terrible There is one about an angel, I think it s like something I would write On the other hand, Haruki Murakami excels at the two or three page story, something most other authors do tritely and sardonically.Calvino is an author who is a master of both the long and short forms Each of these stories is excellent, as are his novels This is extremely rare in an author I think this collection is my second favorite work of his after If On A Winter s Night which is a masterpiece of its own And Ida is one of those girls who run into you and immediately start telling you their life stories and what they think about things, even though they hardly know you girls with no secrets, except for things that are secrets to them too and even for those secrets they ll find words, everyday words that sprout effortlessly, as if their thoughts budded ready clothed in a tissue of words Only in a superficial sense can lies be said to exclude the truth you will be aware that in many cases lie And Ida is one of those girls who run into you and immediately start telling you their life stories and what they think about things, even though they hardly know you girls with no secrets, except for things that are secrets to them too and even for those secrets they ll find words, everyday words that sprout effortlessly, as if their thoughts budded ready clothed in a tissue of words Only in a superficial sense can lies be said to exclude the truth you will be aware that in many cases lies the patient s lies to the psychoanalyst, for example are just as revealing as the truth, if notso and the same will be true for those who eventually interpret our messagethe lie is the real information we have to pass on She s a nice girl, Mariamirella by nice I mean she understands the difficult things I say and immediately makes them easy I d like to give her a kiss, but then I think that if I kissed her I d think of kissing the thought of her and she d think of being kissed by the thought of me, so I do nothing about it *FREE PDF ⇷ Numbers in the Dark and Other Stories ⇲ For the first time in paperback a volume of thirty seven diabolically inventive stories, fables, and impossible interviews from one of the great fantasists of the th century, displaying the full breadth of his vision and wit Written betweenandand masterfully translated by Tim Parks, the fictions in Numbers in the Dark display all of Calvino s dazzling gifts whimsy and horror, exuberance of style, and a cheerful grasp of the absurdities of the human condition This collection is mildly disappointing but I think that s largely because Calvino doesn t fare well in short mediums Sure, sure, novels like Invisible Cities are basically little short stories but they re bound together by an overarching theme And that s one of the great hallmarks of Calvino s novel writing, the depth and almost mathematical precision of his fiction and this just doesn t translate over quite as ass kickily streetwise lit crit into shorter works.And it s not to say there a This collection is mildly disappointing but I think that s largely because Calvino doesn t fare well in short mediums Sure, sure, novels like Invisible Cities are basically little short stories but they re bound together by an overarching theme And that s one of the great hallmarks of Calvino s novel writing, the depth and almost mathematical precision of his fiction and this just doesn t translate over quite as ass kickily streetwise lit crit into shorter works.And it s not to say there aren t gems here The Burning of the Abominable House , The Other Eurydice these especially stand out but the other stories are just sort of weirdly ordinary.Probablyfor the Calvino completist Exquisite This is a lovely book of short stories from Mr C They cover his career from teenage years onwards What I like about his work is the purity of the prose, together with a different slant on the world Especially recommended the earlier stories, these are magnificent My favourite was about a man who disrupts a perfect society of thieves by being honest.