Who said: "A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say." – Italo Calvino

Italo CalvinoThe Italian journalist, short-story writer and novelist Italo Calvino (1923-1985) was born in Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba. His parents were the Italian botanists Mario Calvino and Evelina Mameli. Shortly after he was born they returned to Italy where he grew up in Sanremo on the Italian Riviera.

In 1941 he moved to Turin, and in 1943 joined the Italian Resistance (more than 300,000 Italians joined the Resistance fighting German occupying forces and Italian fascists); later he joined the (then clandestine) Italian Communist Party. In 1947 he graduated from Turin University with a thesis on Joseph Conrad; after which he wrote for the official Communist paper L'Unità, and also for a weekly cultural magazine, and later the communist weekly political magazine Rinascita.

In 1957 he unexpectedly left the Communist party and become co-editor of Il Menabò di letteratura, where he stayed for many years. His first novel Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947, The Path to the Nest of Spiders), was inspired by his participation in the Italian Resistance. He turned to fantasy and allegory in the 1950s, for which he is best remembered.

He traveled widely, lecturing in many countries including France, Japan, Mexico, and the USA, He won many honors including being made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and being awarded the prestigious French Légion d'Honneur. He died in 1985 in Siena of a cerebral hemorrhage.

"Everything can change, but not the language that we carry inside us, like a world more exclusive and final than one's mother's womb." - Calvino

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...
  • Book Jacket: Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover had the kind of upbringing most of us can only imagine. She was the youngest of seven ...
  • Book Jacket: The Girls in the Picture
    The Girls in the Picture
    by Melanie Benjamin
    Melanie Benjamin's fine historical novel about the relationship between two women in the early ...
  • Book Jacket: The Driest Season
    The Driest Season
    by Meghan Kenny
    On a summer afternoon in 1943, an almost sixteen-year-old Cielle Jacobson walks into the family barn...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The House of Broken Angels
    by Luis Alberto Urrea

    The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story from an acclaimed storyteller.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Y L D W D, Y'll G U W Fleas

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.