Tag Archives: italo calvino

Remainder Crossed with Italo Calvino

Pretty interesting story.

At ten past three the phone rang. ‘Pronto,’ I said, and the voice answered: ‘I am Signor Calvino.’ It was the novelist Italo Calvino; I was due to interview him later that afternoon. We had scarcely agreed on the place when something hard hit me on the back of the head. The room spun; there was a glare of light. Calvino assumed it was a bad connection.

I sat for a while on the marble steps outside the flat, my vision blurred and a taste of copper in my mouth. I remember moments of lucidity when I was aware of a burning pain in my head and blood running down my face.

Had Gilly not come home early that evening I might have died. At about six o’clock she opened the door to our flat on Via Salaria. Bloody handprints covered the walls where I had tried to steady myself. A pungent smell filled the air. Down the hall in the bathroom she found two damp bath-towels stained with blood. I was in the kitchen, sprawled face-down on the floor. Blood had congealed in a pool round my head. In a panic Gilly tried to sit me up but my movements were unco-ordinated and my speech garbled. I seemed to be ‘speaking backwards’, Gilly later told the police.

It was an age before the ambulance arrived. . . .


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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