Sunday, 22 February 2009

Just because David Isaak hasn't mentioned it yet

My favourite book on the art of writing is Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium, which I have probably read more than any other book now barring Stig of the Dump. This weekend I found another reason to love it, given recent musings on the length of fiction. In the essay regarding Quickness, Calvino lambasts the publishing industry for ignoring shorter fictions. He states 'I should like to break a lance on the field for the richness of short literary forms, with they imply in terms of style and concentration of content.'

Hear, hear.

And talking of Calvino, if you haven't read this before, read it now.

4 comments:

Tim Stretton said...

I've never got round to reading this. But I like Calvino--so really I should...

Dr Ian Hocking said...

I'll second the sentiment for short fiction.

David Isaak said...

I haven't read that one...but I ordered it a while back on the strength of your recommendation. I guess i should move it closer to the top of the stack.

I like Calvino's stories, but I can't really imagine what his essays will be like.

Neil said...

David, you don't need to imagine. You have the book. The premise is just five of the most important elements as he sees it in fiction writing, along with lots of examples. (In fact, a reading list from his examples would probably take me a lifetime to get through.)