Friday, August 19, 2011

The Pedagogy of the Imagination Press

Calvino, Italo. Six Memos for the Next Millennium. Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1988.

“Whenever humanity seems condemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification…in the boundless universe of literature there are always new avenues to be explored, both very recent and very ancient…”-8, “Lightness”

“The motif that interests us here is not physical speed, but the relationship between physical speed and speed of mind.”-40 “Quickness”

“Since in each of my lectures I have set myself the task of recommending to the next millennium a particular value close to my heart, the value I want to recommend today is precisely this: in an age when other fantastically speedy, widespread media are triumphing, and running the risk of flattening all communication onto a single, homogeneous surface, the function of literature is communication between things that are different simply because they are different, not blunting but even sharpening the difference between them, following the true bent of written language.”-45 “Quickness”

“My work as a writer has from the beginning aimed at tracing the lightning flashes of the mental circuits that capture and link points distant from each other in space and time.”-48, “Quickness”

“Contributing to this pleasure is the variety, the uncertainty, the not-seeing-everything, and therefore being able to walk abroad using the imagination in regard to what one does not see…in this regard I observe that the pleasure of variety and uncertainty is greater than that of… immense uniformity…Highly pleasurable also…is the sight of an innumerable multitude, as of stars, people, etc, a multiple motion, uncertain, confused, irregular, a disorder, a vague rising and falling, etc, which the mind cannot conceive definitely or distinctly…”-62, “Exactitude”

“The universe disintegrates into a cloud of heat, it falls inevitably into a vortex of entropy, but within this irreversible process there may be areas of order, portions of existence that tend toward form, privileged points in which we seem to discern a design or perspective. A work of literature is one of these minimal portions in which the existence crystallizes into a form, acquires a meaning—not fixed, not definitive, not hardened into a mineral immobility, but alive as an organism.”-70, “exactitude”

“…to use writing to investigate the world in all its polymorphous manifestations…”-78, “Exactitude”

“…all its transparency and its mystery.”-80, “Exactitude”
“Will the power of evoking images of things that are not there continue to develop in a human race increasingly inundated by a flood of prefabricated images?...The memory is littered with bits and pieces of images, like a rubbish dump, and it is more and more unlikely that any one form among so many will succeed in standing out. If I have included visibility in my list of values to be saved, it is to give warning of the danger we run in losing a basic human facility: the power of bringing visions into focus with our eyes shut…”-92, “Visibility”

“pedagogy of the imagination” 92, “Visibility”

“attempts to escape the vortex of multiplicity are useless”-98, “Visibility”

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