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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Calvino's Death" (1985) Summary & Analysis

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Vidal views the death of Italo Calvino in 1985, three weeks short of [his] 62nd birthday, through the lens of his personal friendship with the Italian author and through Calvino's last book, Palomar. The book is inscribed: "For Gore, these last meditations about Nature, Italo." Vidal says he felt "chilled and guilty" when he read the inscription and wondered whether Calvino knew he was in the process of "Learning to be dead," the title of the book's last chapter.

A proxy for Calvino himself, Palomar is on the beach at Castiglion trying to figure out the nature of waves and whether they reveal something about the nature of the universe and human perceptions of reality. Vidal is once again fascinated by Calvino's work: "Calvino often writes like the scientist that his parents were...

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This section contains 325 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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