Why Read the Classics?

by Italo Calvino | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0679743499 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Dunzy of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on 10/31/2005
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13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Dunzy from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Monday, October 31, 2005
Supercritic at it again, leaping whole genres in a single bound! His own postmodernist novels add to his credentials, but these essays and intros speak quirkily for themselves.

I love the way Calvino tackles, tickles and interconnects the classics. The author was long gone when these 36 pieces were gathered within one set of covers, so their styles and viewpoints wobble in all directions; that's part of their charm.

Journal Entry 2 by Dunzy from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, November 10, 2005
BOOKRING (by popular demand):
sqdancer (Spruce Grove [AB], Canada)
olered (Salem [OR], USA)
librarymousie (Gonic [NH], USA)
KarinAlyssa (Ottawa, Canada)
Ibis3 (Ottawa, Canada)
SecurityBlanket (Greensburg [PA], USA)
CatharinaL (Tampere, Finland)
katyan (Jyväskylä [K-S], Finland)...SBR (i.e., skipped by request)
Xanthe-pup (Cardiff, Wales)...also SBR
lesezeichen (Duesseldorf, Germany)
katayoun (Tehran, Iran)
playtheman (Toowoomba [QL], Australia)
nynjagrrrl (Lake Geneva [WI], USA)
PaperbackPal (Vancouver [BC], Canada)...TBR

…and now back with Dunzy.

Journal Entry 3 by Dunzy at on Monday, January 30, 2006

Released 14 yrs ago (1/30/2006 UTC) at


Mailed (at last) to the first Bookringer. Here's another book-cover in celebration.

Journal Entry 4 by sqdancer on Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Arrived safe and sound. I have two bookrings ahead of it, but they are not too long. I will have it back traveling within a month.

Thank you for the lovely postcard and for sharing this book.

Journal Entry 5 by sqdancer on Sunday, March 05, 2006
Interesting and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing.

Sent today via air mail.

Journal Entry 6 by olered from Salem, Oregon USA on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Arrived 3-13 - Hooray!

Journal Entry 7 by olered from Salem, Oregon USA on Monday, March 27, 2006
This has left me breathless! I barely know where to start -- reading the classics I haven't (many), re-reading those I have - or other books by Calvino. In particular I want to read 'The Uses of Literature' by him.
I loved his descriptive and beautiful phrases, sometimes I felt totally enveloped in the words. I wasn't quite sure whether it was the classic's words that were swirling around me - or his but I certainly didn't want to stop the thought and go back to double check. I had many favorite passages and am thankful for the opportunity to read this.

Journal Entry 8 by librarymousie from Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Arrived today--or possibly yesterday when I was out of town on a business trip. Looking forward to beginning this one! Thank you.

Journal Entry 9 by librarymousie from Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, June 06, 2006
I am so sorry for keeping this so long. Truth be told, I still don't want to let it go, so I'll be finding my own copy eventually :)

What an interesting read! I haven't read all of the books Calvino mentions in his discourses on classic literature (watch as my TBR collection continues to grow at a rate faster than I can read...), but I enjoyed the essays nonetheless. Especially reassuring for slackers like myself is the idea that classics only get better with age and experience because these works express realities of the human condition and existence that many students cannot fully understand--reminding me of the saying that youth is wasted on the young.

I've PMed KarinAlyssa and will send this off as soon as I hear back with an address. Thank you again for sharing this.

*update* This went out to KarinAlyssa via US Airmail on 20 June 2006.

Journal Entry 10 by KarinAlyssa on Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Received today at home, thanks LibraryMousie ! I am reading another book, but I'll probably start that one soon. Thanks Dunzy for sharing it !

Journal Entry 11 by KarinAlyssa on Sunday, August 06, 2006
First, I'm sorry that I kept this book for so long, I just tried so many times to read it that I forgot I had it for so long, it will be mailed on Friday to Ibis3 when I'm off work since the PO closes extra early during the summer.

I usually love Italo Calvino's writing style and I've enjoyed one of his novels, some short stories and essays in French, but I couldn't get to read it. I tried many times, but just couldn't be interested in novels I had heard about but not read like I did in Nick Hornby's TITLE!!!! I didn't manage either to read the essays concerning books that I had read. Hopefully, another copy of Why Read the Classics will appear one day when I'll be able to enjoy it. Thank you Dunzy for sharing !

Journal Entry 12 by Ibis3 from Newcastle, Ontario Canada on Friday, September 08, 2006
Got this in the mail today, safe and sound.

Journal Entry 13 by Ibis3 from Newcastle, Ontario Canada on Friday, October 27, 2006
I finished reading this a while ago, but didn't manage to journal it til now. I really enjoyed these essays. This book was my first exposure to Calvino and I'm looking forward to reading more. My favourites: Why Read the Classics?; The Osysseys; Anabasis (one Greek history I haven't read--it's now on my wishlist); Orlando...

I just realised I liked most of them so there are too many to list individually. I did skip a few (the ones on Montale for example) because I had no frame of reference and they got a bit dull for me.

Thanks for sharing Dunzy!

(I'll be sending this out today if I have time, or barring that, some time this weekend).

Journal Entry 14 by Ibis3 from Newcastle, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 29, 2006
Posted to SecurityBlanket today.

Journal Entry 15 by SecurityBlanket on Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I was quite thrilled to receive this book the other day, so much so that I immediately started to read it!

Thank you Ibis3 for forwarding Calvino onward to me, and many thanks to Dunzy for starting this bookring. :)

Journal Entry 16 by SecurityBlanket on Saturday, December 16, 2006
I found this to be a delightful book that is the weavings of a language master. It is better savoured, as opposed to gulped. I enjoy Calvino quite a bit and hope to have an opportunity to have more time with this title in the future.

My apologies to Dunzy for keeping this book so long.
Shipping details are as follows:
Mailed: Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 3:37:24 PM
via United States Postal Service - Economy Letter-post from USA to Finland
Estimated delivery time: four(4) to six(6) weeks

Journal Entry 17 by CatharinaL from Pirkkala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, February 22, 2007
Finally! We were starting to worry about the fate of this parcel last week already, the delay in delivery surpassing all records :-) I decided I'd wait until Friday this week and then go do what I can with the local post-office ppl--it was worth waiting for, though, since the book arrived this (Thursday) morning, safe and sound and in perfect condition, with nothing indicating it was missent or lost on the way. Mysterious are the ways of the postal service!

I'll get to this asap.

Journal Entry 18 by CatharinaL from Pirkkala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Sunday, March 18, 2007
Holy wow. I can't say whether I prefer Calvino's fiction or literary criticism: he was equally fascinating as a writer and a reader. This is a heavenly range of European heavyweights and a true realm of book-loving sophistication; something one is immediately inclined to treasure. Similarly to Olered, I felt totally enveloped in the words. These essays treat books with love and a language that flows to surpass any critique I have ever read.

So much new information, so much new to think about. My favorite of the bunch was the introductory 'Why Read The Classics?' However, I felt disappointed not to see the master critic discuss a single female writer. Rather striking, isn't it.

Thanks again for this great Ring! I'll pass the book on to Katyan asap.

[8 Apr] Katyan asked to be skipped.

[23 Apr] Xanthe-pup asked to be skipped as well! Moving on to the next participant and see if I have any luck :-)

[10 May] OK: the book is finally on its way to lesezeichen :-)

Journal Entry 19 by lesezeichen from Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, May 24, 2007
Arrived today, thanks folks! This is a book I'm really looking forward dipping into!

@Catharina, you'd better be careful about sending me such beautiful brochures on Tampere, I might turn up on your doorstep tomorrow :)

Journal Entry 20 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Tuesday, July 10, 2007
thanks so much the books is safe and sound her and i've got one and half books and then i would be starting this!!! and thanks lesezeichen, düsseldorf is also very enticing and did you go to tampere and does that mean that i come to düsseldorf?!! :) and thanks dunzy for a great ring, calvino is one of my favorite authors

Journal Entry 21 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Tuesday, August 07, 2007
so, so sorry for this not usual tardiness, would hopefully be able to send this by the end of august. so sorry for more than a month stay, but i was really not able to change the circumstances that made me a non-reading (or reading one line and then falling asleep) person.

Journal Entry 22 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Sunday, September 02, 2007
sorry for the late journals, was away on vacation (for three weeks!!! wheeee!!), am back and will mail the book to the next person by the end of this week (hopefully and touch wood). three week vacations mean extra work after and so will journal something more intelligent than "wheeeeeeeee!!" later. thanks so much for the ring, for having a chance at seeing the way calvino thinks, and for putting up with the tardiness and the messiness!!

Journal Entry 23 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
on it's way to the next bxer, thanks for this ring

Journal Entry 24 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
on it's way to the next bxer, thanks for this ring

Journal Entry 25 by playtheman from Rangeville, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, October 10, 2007
This book arrived safely from Tehran and I will take it with me to Coffs Harbour for some enjoyable holiday reading.

Journal Entry 26 by nynjagrrrl from Elkhorn, Wisconsin USA on Sunday, October 28, 2007
This book arrived yesterday. I am looking forward to reading it and possibly adding some classics to my TBR. Thanks for setting up this ring.

Journal Entry 27 by nynjagrrrl from Elkhorn, Wisconsin USA on Monday, November 12, 2007
This book was a great introduction to the classics. It has caused me to add to my list of books that I want to read in the future. I have only read a few of the classics listed in this book. Thanks for setting up this ring.

Journal Entry 28 by nynjagrrrl from Elkhorn, Wisconsin USA on Monday, December 10, 2007
I sent this book out in early November. Hopefully it reaches its destination soon.

Journal Entry 29 by PaperbackPal from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, December 15, 2007
I received this book today which is only 5 days from the mailing date. Incredible that the post office delivered that fast for a change lol
Inside the book there is a bookmark from Tehran and a Xmas card. I found this interesting.
I have read the back cover and will start reading in the next few days.
Am I going to get to meet the notorious Dunzy when I'm finished reading? Hmm......as long as he doesn't read me poetry we might manage alright haha

Ok, I can see Dunzy's brain ticking now to find a way out of it. lol

Journal Entry 30 by Dunzy from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Sunday, March 16, 2008
Rescued and home again (as arranged by PaperbackPal) from Commercial Drive OBCZ, where it had been hobnobbing with the literati and the cognoscenti. It appears to have encountered a few misadventures during its travels: I appreciate the first-aid ministrations that were lavished on the cover :)

Journal Entry 31 by Dunzy from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Friday, July 04, 2008
I received a new request for this book, which I haven't yet had a chance to re-read after its journeys.
It's on 'Reserve' until I've tested the waters swirling around the prospect of a second bookring for it.

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