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In 1984, Italo Calvino was invited to give the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University. Before his death he was able to complete five of the six planned lectures on the imaginative possibilities of language and literature. The lectures, collected as Six Memos for the Next Millennium, are now available in a celebrated new translation by Geoffrey Brock.

This is the first of a series of events, that will take place in different venues, dedicated to the Memos written by Italo Calvino, with the participation of several cultural personalities.

At The Center for Fiction NBCC Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow, Jonathan Lethem (Dissident Gardens, Chronic City, The Fortress of Solitude, Motherless Brooklyn and A Gambler's Anatomy) will present his thoughts about the first lecture in Six Memos..., 'Lightness,' and discuss the profound effect Calvino's work had on his writing practice.

Italo Calvino (1923–1985) attained worldwide renown as one of the twentieth century's greatest storytellers. Born in Cuba, he was raised in San Remo, Italy, and later lived in Turin, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere. Among his many works are Invisible Cities, If on a winter's night a traveler, The Baron in the Trees, and other novels, as well as numerous collections of fiction, folktales, criticism, and essays. His works have been translated into dozens of languages.

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Dissident Gardens, Chronic City, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn, and of the essay collection The Ecstasy of Influence, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Lethem’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times, among other publications. His most recent book, A Gambler's Anatomy, was published in October.

The event will take place at:The Brooklyn Historical Society Great Hall
located at: 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201

More information


Date: Sunday, December 04, 2016

Time: From 7:00 pm To 9:00 pm

Organized by : The Center for Fiction

In collaboration with : ICI

Entrance : With fee


The Brooklyn Historical Society Great Hall