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May Festival of Ideas: Italo Calvino - A Life

Michael Wood & Martin McLaughlin

Italy's most important postwar novelist, Italo Calvino achieved worldwide fame with such books as Cosmicomics, Invisible Cities, and If on a Winter's Night a Traveller. But he was also an influential literary critic, an important literary editor, and a masterful letter writer whose correspondents included Umberto Eco, Primo Levi, Gore Vidal, Leonardo Sciascia, Natalia Ginzburg, Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Luciano Berio.

Michael Wood and Martin McLaughlin, editors of the new collection of Calvino letters, talk about his work, his writings, culture and politics, as well as his life, with, among other events, his resignation from the Communist party, his eye-opening trip to the US in 1959-60, his move to Paris, and his trip to his birthplace in Cuba.

Biographies: Michael Wood is professor of English and comparative literature at Princeton University. His most recent books are Yeats and Violence and A Very Short Introduction to Film.

Martin McLaughlin is the Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Oxford. He is the translator of Calvino's Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings, Into the War, and Why Read the Classics?, which won the John Florio Prize for translation. He is also co-translator of Calvino's The Complete Cosmicomics.

Ticket prices: £7.00 full / £6.00 concessions


May Festival of Ideas

Please note: this is a old season with no further events to see

The Bristol Festival of Ideas returns with over 70 events on religion, the wild, science, feminism, a celebration of the work of E P Thompson, the working class on film, bravery, the Left and the Right, immigration, physics, food, economics and more.

More information

Past events and screenings that were part of this season

Maria Konnikova - How to Think like Sherlock HolmesMon 21 Jan 2013 19:00
William Dalrymple - The Return of a KingThu 14 Feb 2013 18:15
Andrew Rugasira - A Good African StoryMon 18 Feb 2013 18:15
Shlomo Sand - The Invention of the Land of IsraelMon 18 Feb 2013 19:45
Evgeny Morozov - To Save Everything, Click HereTue 19 March 2013 18:15
Nate Silver - The Signal and the Noise SOLD OUTFri 3 May 2013 12:30
Anat Admati - What's Still Wrong With the Banks and How Do We Make Them Work?Fri 10 May 2013 18:15
Geoff Mulgan - The Locust and the BeeFri 10 May 2013 19:45
Martin Palmer - Sacred Bristol WalkSat 11 May 2013
Richard Sennett - Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of CooperationSat 11 May 2013 11:30
Philip French - Fifty Years as a Film Critic SOLD OUTSat 11 May 2013 13:00
Heaven's GateSat 11 May 2013 15:00
Frances Harrison and Bidisha - Sri Lanka and Palestine: Writing WarSat 11 May 2013 15:00
Jay Griffiths - Kith: The Riddle of the ChildscapeSat 11 May 2013 16:30
Damian Barr - Maggie & Me CANCELLEDSat 11 May 2013 18:00
Alice Oswald - On PoetrySat 11 May 2013 19:30
The Happy Lands + InterviewSun 12 May 2013 13:00
Mark Rowlands - Running With the PackSun 12 May 2013 14:30
Kevin Fong - ExtremesSun 12 May 2013 16:00
Animals and Humans CANCELLEDSun 12 May 2013 17:30
Gavin Hewitt - The Lost ContinentMon 13 May 2013 18:15
Francis Spufford - UnapologeticMon 13 May 2013 19:45
David Stuckler - The Body Economic: Why Austerity KillsTue 14 May 2013 18:15
Chase Madar - The Passion of Bradley ManningTue 14 May 2013 19:45
Bristol Ideas Forum - Mayor's Conference 2013 Wed 15 May 2013 09:00
Adam Rutherford - The Origin of Life/The Future of LifeWed 15 May 2013 18:15
Richard Holmes - Falling UpwardsWed 15 May 2013 19:45
Ian Robertson - The Winner EffectFri 17 May 2013 12:30
Eugene Byrne - Unbuilt Bristol Walking Tour SOLD OUTSat 18 - Sun 19 May
Shereen El Feki - Sex and the CitadelSat 18 May 2013 11:00
Darian Leader - Strictly Bipolar SOLD OUTSat 18 May 2013 12:30
E P Thompson Celebration - Films and PanelSat 18 May 2013 13:00
Ben Thompson with Show of StrengthSat 18 May 2013 16:00
Kevin Jackson - Constellation of Genius CANCELLEDSat 18 May 2013 18:30
Jesse Norman MP - Edmund BurkeSun 19 May 2013 14:00
Linda Grant & Peter HitchensSun 19 May 2013 15:30
Searching for Happiness Mon 20 May 2013 18:15
James Salter - All That IsThu 23 May 2013 18:15
Julia Unwin - What Would Beveridge Say Now?Fri 24 May 2013 12:30
The Spirit of '45 + Panel Discussion SOLD OUTFri 24 May 2013 18:00
Rebecca Solnit - The Faraway NearbyThu 30 May 2013 18:00
George Saunders - Tenth of DecemberThu 30 May 2013 20:00
Viv Groskop - I Laughed, I CriedWed 3 July 2013 18:15
Italo Calvino - A LifeWed 3 July 2013 19:45