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Tutte le cosmicomiche

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  447 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The definitive edition of Calvino’s cosmicomics, bringing together all of these enchanting stories—including some never before translated—in one volume for the first time

In Italo Calvino’s cosmicomics, primordial beings cavort on the nearby surface of the moon, play marbles with atoms, and bear ecstatic witness to Earth’s first dawn. Exploring natural phenomena and the ori
Paperback, Oscar grandi classici, 422 pages
Published October 1997 by Mondadori
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Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did. All you had to do was row out to it in a boat and, when you were underneath, prop a ladder against her and scramble up.
from Pixar - La Luna

This is what happens when you let a poet loose in a library full of science books: he will turn everything on its head and take you sailing across the galactic plane watching suns coalesce from the primordial dust, he will hold a conversation across light years with neighboring galaxies, he will dance around a multicolored, sparkling cry
MJ Nicholls
Penguin Classics rounded up the entire output from Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics series in 2009 and collected them into this impressive and expensive hardback book, The Complete Cosmicomics.

The edition I read contains all the stories from the original Cosmicomics, Time & the Hunter, World Memory & Other Cosmicomic Stories, and Cosmicomics Old & New collections, plus one rewritten marvel, The Other Eurydice.

I made the mistake of devouring these stories in one quick glut and probably did
collecting all of calvino's cosmicomics writings, the complete cosmicomics features 34 stories spanning some twenty years (or rather, billions, really). included are the dozen tales that make up 1965's cosmicomics, the eleven in 1967's t zero (published in the uk as time and the hunter), four from the posthumous numbers in the dark, and seven stories not previously rendered into english. never released in the united states, the complete cosmicomics is four hundred pages of rich, imaginative fict ...more
Why, oh why can't I read in six different languages?

I've been a fan of Calvino for many years and have just finished the Cosmicomics for the first time. I read them one per evening and let them sink in slowly. There is a lot here to absorb and meditate on, and I would definitely suggest reading each of the stories separately, as they were written. One of my favorites in the collection is 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. An excellent brain twister!

I have one criticism/concern, and it is about the tra
Nick Craske
Reading this was one of the most rewarding reading experiences I've ever had. Enchanting, fantastical and enlightening. A beautiful book with beautiful wordplay and language. Each story takes a scientific "fact" (though sometimes a falsehood by today's understanding), and builds an imaginative story around it. An always extant being called Qfwfq narrates all of the stories save two, each of which is a memory of an event in the history of the universe.
Megan Baxter
I'm trying to find just the right word to describe these stories. Science fables isn't quite right - there isn't a moral at the end of each one. I'm torn between science myths and science legends. I think I'm leaning towards myths, in the sense of "stories that tell how something came to be." Let's go with that.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read
This new edition contains the previously published stories and quite a few new ones. It was a joy to reread the old ones. The new ones are equally original and thought-provoking, but some of them didn't have the same playfulness of the old Qfwfq telling his stories.

Oftentimes sci-fi is limited to a variation on time travel or adolescent fantasies of inter-galactic wars. Not with Calvino. Calvino reaches far back into the history of our planet and the universe to tell mind-bending stories via an
The 'Cosmicomics' stories are a unique form of storytelling - a mixture of science fiction, humour, fantasy and romance. They are told through the eyes of old Qfwfq, who was there at the Big Bang ('...where else could I have been?') and has experienced everything from evolution in action to the formation of stars, narrating as an old man might to his grandchildren.
The other stories here are just as interesting, turning mathematical conjectures into real scenarios. For example, one story takes pl
Adam Dalva
Note that this is a review of the Complete Cosmicomics, which throws in 20 extra stories to the first volume that is more commonly reviewed on this site. That first slim volume is a no-brainer gem of a read.

Now then, this is a totally magnificent set that reminds me somewhat of Queneau's Exercise in Style mixed with, oddly enough, some Barth and some Vonnegut. It's definitively not a linked collection, but instead a series of riffs centered around the same character, Qfwfq, reacting to a variety
Cosmicomics is both the title of the first collection in this book, and Calvino's name for the unique type of story he created there. Texts in the Cosmicomics are difficult to fit in to a genre. They begin with a short statement of scientific theory or recent discovery, and then generally tell a narrative of characters living in the realization of that statement. The catch is that these characters live out impossible lives in the cosmos, carrying human-like behavior millions or billions of years ...more
Probably my favourite ever work of fiction. If I hadn’t discovered the first set of Calvino’s ‘cosmicomic’ tales more than 20 years ago I certainly wouldn’t be the kind of writer I now am. Some people might gnash their teeth to hear that... These are the chronicles of Qfwfq, who has existed since the beginning of time and seen every major cosmological event in the history of the universe. His experiences are detailed in a set of linked tales that demonstrate Calvino’s incredibly sophisticated ab ...more
Mary Anne
I won a free copy of this book through a GoodReads giveaway.

As someone who has read broadly in both literary fiction and in science fiction, as distinct genres, I had hopes for this book, especially knowing that Calvino is held in high regard. I had not ready any of his work prior.

The premise of these stories is interesting -- a sort of history of the universe from before its creation, as if there were some sort of beings who could exist before the universe had form/pre-Big Bang, through to at l
Danielle B
I enjoyed many of the stories, as they were very imaginative and abstract in their depictions of not only cosmic events and the development of the universe, but also of universal human conditions. But the collection, and many of the stories, are very much a product of their time (1960s-1980s) and thus a VERY dated view of heteronormativity comes through. Themes of love and desire permeate the stories, and Qwfwq is naturally assumed to be "male" and the being of his desire is female. I suppose th ...more
I took my sweet long time to complete this book and boy o boy, what an amazing read this book was. This was not just a collection to be read quickly but to be savored and thought about. Alternately, I did read Primo Levi's work (Periodic Table) before I started this, and now when I complete both the books, it's a bit baffling to me. He has reached a new height which was mysteriously missing in Levi's work.

It is difficult to imagine a world where one can take a ladder from the earth to the moon j
Jean-christophe Arnold
As I walked through my local bookshop, the attractive cover art grabbed my attention and I'm glad it did. I had never heard of this author before and having read the blurb was understandably excited to read this book. However i did not expect the imaginary creativity and the joy that this book filled me with. The first chapter had me hooked, and yes some people may say that the scientific accuracy is dubious to say the least but I say 'who cares' when Italo's tales take to you for a ride through ...more
Jim Kinsey
I am never quite sure where to begin when discussing a collection of short stories, especially one as varied as this. And it is varied, even if it mostly does follow the Cosmicomic formula developed by Calvino.

I possibly did the book a disservice by reading it through from beginning to end like I was reading a novel - the tone varies from whimsical to nightmarish to surreal - but even so it never dropped below "interesting" and the writing style (presumably well translated) is as clear and engag
The Cosmicomics are remarkable stories. They follow a character called Qfwfq, who seems to be able to take any shape he wants. I actually read these as kind of tall tales, the sort of thing your uncle or father or grandfather would make up to tell you as a bedtime story, as not only does Qfwfq appear as everything from an electron to a camel to a human being, but he also appears in universes with completely contradictory theories of existence.

What Calvino was trying to do with these stories was
Alfredo Sherman
Este libro contiene unas de mis historias favoritas sobre el vacío, el universo, la entropía, la luna, las células, etc.

Aunque sus historias pueden tomarse tal como son pues están basadas en teorías científicas, también son muy ricas de símbolos que pueden adaptarse a cada persona de una manera muy curiosa. Al igual que las Ciudades Invisibles, Calvino parece hablar de todo y de nada al mismo tiempo. Puede pasarse un capítulo entero hablando de un segundo, o en una página resumir la historia del
May 31, 2013 Benjamin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Saara
All of Calvino's comicomic stories are presented here, culled from many sources. Most of them are amazing, and those which are not, are—at the very least—really good.

The majority of these tales are narrated by Qfwfq, a being who sometimes is a man, sometimes a snail, sometimes a newly-evolved amphibian, sometimes just an entity. His stories span from before the big bang to now. Calvino starts these stories with a couple lines from some scientific text, then jumps from there, Qfwfq remembering w
Fantastically weird and delightful stories. Calvino starts each with a hypothesis of sorts from history (the first, for example, begins with a quote about how the moon used to be much closer to the earth) and then creates a story using that idea. It's pretty neat, but I didn't have time to finish them now.
One of the most beautiful, surreal and profound books I've ever read. Every chapter made me look at life and the universe in completely different ways. Calvino is the one of the modern greats for a reason and I know I'll be picking this book up again and again throughout my life.
Sophie vW
What I liked about Calvino's short stories - although some of them don't come close to any sort of stories I've read - is the beauty and magnificence that is created by the positioning of the narrator. On the moon, riding on a solar system, a dinosaur - and Calvino writes in the way that this is semi-believable. However, I found the never ending sentences and theories of darkness and of nothing a bit too pretentious. The philosophy behind some of the stories seemed to smother a lot of the freshn ...more
Soltanto un genio come Calvino poteva scrivere un libro di geografia astronomica, fisica e matematica e trasformarlo in un'opera d'arte della letteratura. Solo un genio come Calvino può tenere il fedele lettore incollato alle pagine del libro con un le avventure di gas, organismi mono- e pluricellulari. Super raccomandato, a scienziati e non. Anzi, soprattutto ai non-scienziati. Se avessi letto questo libro in seconda liceo - anno in cui si studiava geografia astronomica - la mia vita sarebbe st ...more
Oliver Ho
Fantastic book! I loved many of these stories, and I'll definitely read this book again. I loved the structure of the Qfwfq stories, starting off with a non-fiction, science-y paragraph, and then developing a story out of it. I also loved the idea of Qfwfq and other characters being some sort of immortal entities who have been around since the beginning of the universe, and the way Calvino would balance the abstract nature of the stories with scenes firmly grounded in reality. I became a little ...more
I loved the concept of this body of work i.e., loosely blowing explorations of the human condition through scientific cosmogonies!
Sadly, it was painfully underwhelming, story after story, feeling the amazing potential of the premises held back, one one hand,
by Calvino's lack of appreciation of the richness of the metaphorical/philosophical implications of the scientific theories,
and, on the other, by his lack of really sophisticated understanding of human nature.
Having said that, I will keep t
David Palmer
The best book I have ever read...period.
Contains more magic in it's pages than any other book I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
An inspiration for the last 35 years, and a book I return to periodically.
This edition is a veritable treasure trove of imagination.
Quite good as expected. However I felt that the original Cosmocomics (about the first half of the book) would have made the trick better. Now there was a feeling of repetition in some ideas.

Anyway a very good book which can be read easily and fast trough, OR use more time and try to picture (and even sometimes understand) the writers visions of universe and its birth. Reminded me of a demanding effort when reading a science book about black holes and trying to visualize the text in my head.

But a
Ha, finally.

I've reached out for this book after listening to Radiolab's great rendering of Distance of the Moon. Let's just say the rest of the comics is not as good as this one. It's very much a delightful trip, albeit it gets tedious at the times. There are certain quirks of the author that are bit tiring after prolonged exposure - for example, tendency to squeeze in love stories in the plot, no matter whether they fit there or not. All in all - the stories are tasty, but it's very easy to ov
la vita, l'universo e tutto quanto. dieci, quindici anni prima di adams, un viaggio nello spazio e nel tempo, nelle cellule e nella logica. letto lentamente perché non è sempre facile, anzi quasi mai. a meno di non abbandonarsi al fluire vorticoso dei buchi neri e lungo le spirali del dna.
mi sono innamorato di una cellula, ho provato la vertigine amletica del big bang, ho provato inutilmente, per l'ennesima volta, a capire la teoria della relatività. e ne è valsa la pena.
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Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979).

His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic
More about Italo Calvino...
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Invisible Cities The Baron in the Trees Cosmicomics Il cavaliere inesistente

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“You explode, if that's more to your taste, shoot yourself all around in endless darts, be prodigal, spendthrift, reckless: I shall implode, collapse inside the abyss of myself, towards my buried centre, infinitely.” 11 likes
“time is a catastrophe, perpetual and irreversible.” 7 likes
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