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T Zero

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,164 ratings  ·  78 reviews
«Secondo i calcoli di H. Gerstenkorn, sviluppati da H. Alfven, i continenti terrestri non sarebbero che frammenti della Luna caduti sul nostro pianeta. La Luna in origine sa rebbe stata anch’essa un pianeta gravitante attorno al Sole, fino al momento in cui la vicinanza della Terra non la fece deragliare dalla sua orbita. Catturata dalla gravitazione ter restre, la Luna s’ ...more
Published (first published 1967)
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I'm a reader who experiences her books, rather strongly, via the location in which they're read -- and I read the majority of this book in one of the most inhospitable places I've ever been (like, if you believe in bad vibes...I think I found their source).

Something magic still shone through.

I am so, so excited to read more Calvino, this being my first adult introduction to him. His prose is difficult, but stunning, and rewarding, and precise. The stories in this collection are perfectly crafte
Not to broach Calvino's greater works, but this one here should not be reduced to a mere number in Calvino's output of numeric nods to literature. They are simply stories and should be contained within the specialized imagination as simply stories to be contained, pondered, and in a most uncommonly dark way, laughed upon as if their black comedy has not yet found its crux in mathematical disposition. When Calvino compares the angry jump of a lion with Zeno's motionless arrow--in fact the arrow i ...more
Italo Calvino is the cats pyjamas.
If you are unsure of what exactly this means,so am I.

He has the ability to embellish,to get behind and ahead at the same time,and if you can bear with the astounding way he constantly pulls the rug out from under the reader,you may find yourself helplessly rolling around laughing,on the bus.

*What counts is communicating the indispensable,skipping all the superfluous,reducing ourselves to essential communication, to a luminous signal that moves in a given directi
A series of short stories that require careful reading to understand the underlying concepts and to experience his masterful manipulation of words and logic to achieve an effect. The first set of stories is good, the middle biological process group is weaker, and the final three are good. Calvino must have carefully studied math, logic, physics, and biology to determine what makes them tick and used their conceptual basis to write these very entertaining stories. (Complete side note: If you are ...more
Espectacular, aunque tiene una parte un poco complicada
The first two sections of this book serve as a kind of sequel to Calvino's wonderful "Cosmicomics", narrated again by the amorphous "Qfwfq". Calvino's stories, both in this collection and in "Cosmicomics", somehow manage to simultaneously function as postmodern literary experiments, science lessons, philosophical inquiries, cosmic mythologies and love stories. Another delightful treat from one of my favorite minds of the twentieth century.
Nate D
Jun 23, 2011 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Y
Recommended to Nate D by: X
Italo Calvino is just a really good storyteller. As in, someone able to make any seemingly incongruous or dead-end idea come alive entirely through the telling, through the details he brings in. Here, somehow he's able to take all these very conceptual scientific-fact seeds and turn them into often oddly affecting personal dramas with neat formal tricks and thrilling narrative cartwheels. Cosmicomics worked on similar lines, okay, bascially exactly the same, but these are a little later and a fe ...more
Aniko Carmean
I love Calvino. I can think of no other writer who can spin a story that has neither plot nor standard characters and yet still give you that soul-thrill of having read a bit of undiluted (if strange) truth. T-ZERO is experimental, even by Calvino's odd-junky standards. A cell narrates the process of mitosis, and the difficulty of loving when there is no absolute, total way to KNOW the beloved. Other stories examine the relationship of time to cause and effect and, yes, Calvino leaves it to the ...more
Thomas Gardner
"If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" is one of five or ten favorite reads of all time, up there with the "Quixote", "Tortilla Flat", "Roughing It", "Crime and Punishment" and a few others- I think I gave it five stars and this one four. It influenced my writing a lot- I use the device sometimes where I stop and talk to the reader, ala, "You, the reader . . . ".

Nothing compares to that, but "T-Zero" is a collection of short stories- and I love those. There is a common thread in them about the evol
t zero is a must-read for anyone who enjoyed Cosmicomics, and a should-read for everyone else.

Calvino is a brilliant writer with an imagination for deconstructing the potentialities of situations—ranging from the mundane to the fantastic—laying them out almost obsessively before the reader, seemingly saying "Sit back and relax; I've done the thinking for the both of us." The translator of this edition, William Weaver, allows the language to flow and dance, much like the fluid dynamics that suffu
Nov 17, 2010 Natalie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marlo Kronberg, Jenelle Stafford
not as magical or charming as "Cosmicomics" -- ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby -- but all this talk about cosmology and supersonic highways made me think of a more romantic "Jetsons."
Aaron Wolfson
This set of stories is a sequel of sorts to Cosmicomics, and it continues Calvino's unique style of "imaginary" fiction. The plots of the stories themselves often have little real action; on the contrary, their development takes place in the narrator's head, as philosophical thought exercises. Calvino delves into deep stuff like the nature of space, time, and existence, but also things like lion-hunting, prison escapes, and car chases.

Yeah, it's kind of hard to describe in total. So here is my s
May 03, 2014 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: asexually dividing cells, pursuers and the pursued
Recommended to Kate by: PCL
“It’s difficult, in other words, to define in precise terms the imprecision of amorous moods, which consist in a joyous impatience to possess a void, in a greedy expectation of what might come to me from the void, and also in the pain of being still deprived of what I am impatiently and greedily expecting, in the tormenting pain of feeling myself already potentially doubled to possess potentially something potentially mine, and yet forced not to possess, to consider not mine and therefore potent ...more
Unbelievably bad, the worst book I've read since joining Goodreads, and one of the worst books I've read in my life. I got suckered into this one because Invisible Cities is one of my all-time favorites, and because I'd enjoyed The Baron in the Trees and If on a winter's night a traveler well enough. Don't make the same mistake I did.

At best it's a very, VERY, VERY poor man's Borges. The style of writing (perhaps this has to do with the translation?) is unreadable, with profusely long run-on se
This is a bit of a strange mix of stories. Some are narrated by Qfwfq, who tells in first person stories of his experiences as various entities such as a unicellular organism at the creation of the universe. Others read like a well-written, literary version of a physicist's thought experiments.

All are interesting and thought-provoking, but get a little bogged down in places because of the very foreignness of the experiences Calvino is describing. In "Mitosis", for example, Qfwfq is telling of hi
I like to think of "t zero" (1967) as the b-side to Italo Calvino's 1965 novella "Cosmicomics." The same timeless immutable figure, "Qfwfq" returns, however I hesitate to call it a sequel, because the stories don't seem to flow chronologically. And what or who is Qfwfq?--a life-force, personality, a moment of anthropomorphization? Qfwfq is a disheveled and obsessed lover, a single-celled organism who finds love and ecstasy for the first time when he divides, a eukaryotic cell about to divide mei ...more
I've never read Calvino, in fact I never even heard of him until Radiolab devoted a special episode to the reading of his short story 'The Distance Of The Moon' and I immediately fell in love.

What strikes me the most - overall about Calvino - is is blending of science and fantasy. He begins his stories with a basis in scientific fact but then explores the mysteriousness of these findings through purely magical musings. For me this mix of fact and fiction is at the heart of what makes life intere
Dec 09, 2012 Chris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"Of course, on every disputed issue our cells can follow the instructions of a single parent and thus feel free of the other's command, but we know what we claim to be in our exterior form counts for little compared to the secret program we carry printed in each cell, where the contradictory orders from father and mother continue arguing. What really counts is this incompatible quarrel of father and mother that each of us drags after him, with the rancor of every point where one partner has had ...more
I read these stories for a paper I had to write while completing my Masters. In all honesty these stories are WEIRD. This collection continues from the Cosmicomics collection which are short stories that take place in the universe as it is created, just before it is created etc. Really hard stuff to get your head around.

The second section of this collection are the "Biocomics" short stories which revolved around Biology and really focus around things like cell division, evolution and things lik
As usual, when I see a different cover on the GoodReads entry & a different # of pp from the edition I've just read I get irritated - but, then, the ISBN's the same so.. Oh well.. Calvino has never done it for me.. until now. I'm reading 6 bks at the moment PLUS the usual plethora of other things that somehow don't qualify for GoodReads inclusion. But none of them are doing it for me. & even "t zero' was pretty tedious for me for almost the entire time I was reading it.

Sure, I was impre
I read Calvino's Cosmicomics first, and this book, which is more of the same, was definitely 'less than'. I loved Italo Calvino before I read t zero, but he drove me crazy with all of the 'no, but I didn't explain that right, it's actually this, but it's actually this, but we couldn't have said that back then, so that isn't right either, it was actually more like this, but no that doesn't explain it either.' I GET IT! If you had been a conscious being made out of crystals at a time when everythi ...more
A minor disappointment considering the supposed "prequel" to this was a dazzling admixture of ficiton and science and awkward social ineractions and onomatapoeia'd narrators, and shooting straight through my heart with all those hefty astronomical/cosmological concepts, et cetera and so forth.

This book dealt less with entangling metaphors into its narrative and making for a spectacle of allegory, and more with just fucking with your logic. Every story is just Qwfwq going bonkers over conditiona
Probably not quite as strong, on the whole as Cosmicomics, although very similar. Maybe the subjects of the stories are more abstract, or they're less tied together. In the end, there are some that take too much rereading to figure out, as opposed to the ones grasped from afar and easily. Having had the connection between Poe and Calvino made for me forcefully in a class, and now really reading stories by the latter again, that link was not false, although Calvino is better at the thing that the ...more
فرهاد ذکاوت
If I assume that I am just comparing Calvino in Cosmicomics and Calvino in T Zero, There is a little bit differences between these two books. I enjoyed both. But T Zero needed to be less documentary than fiction. But This is not a negative point. Some people even me enjoyed some short stories in section 2, Periseilla and T Zero the beautiful description subjects like time arrow, Galilean relativity, biology (evolution theory).

So comparing to some sci-fi works, even some distinguished writers in
J.M. Hushour
The first two blocs of stories deal with Qfwfq, an eternal entity of of some kind drifting through the lifetime of the earth offering interesting anecdotes which range from the crystalline potential of the earth and its potential future coming-about, the moon providing the actual crust of the earth through gravitational ooze, to the title story in which an African tribesman (Q0, assuredly Qfwfq) ponders the hypersecond in which he looses an arrow at the lion leaping at him and then wonders which ...more
At times in each segment Calvino's philosophical tone sounds bleak, but there is always a redeeming sense of real emotion that breaks through. The questions of existence brought up and addressed through physical example feel so precise it is kind of spooky. The last part "the count of monte cristo" wraps up the futility question nicely and leaves you with hope. I need to go back and re-read the Calvino books I read in high school. I doubt I got from them what I got reading this.
Senza dubbio un libro complesso, da rileggere più volte per comprenderlo appieno - ammesso che ci si riesca del tutto, il che non è necessariamente un difetto. Detto questo, ho apprezzato in particolare l'ultima parte, mentre la seconda, pur avendo spunti interessanti, è stata uno scoglio piuttosto difficile da superare. Ma questo è solo il parere della prima lettura...
These shorts make interesting bedside reading because each one seems so much like a dream. There isn't always a point to them, but they expand a small molecule of science into a richly ornamented fantasy, as vivid as it is short lived. Each one explores Calvino's timeless, spaceless, bodyless concept of companionship, curiosity, xenophobia, longing, lonliness and hope against quirky dreamworld stages where sometimes the meta descriptions are even more brilliant than the stories themselves. (Ther ...more
Calvino is a genius. I don't even know how to describe what this book does. The first part includes stories narrated by an immortal protean substance who has witnessed the development of life from the Big Bang to today (or at least the today of the 1960s). These first stories are a followup to Calvino's short stories in Cosmicomics, and they are fabulous. The remainder of the book applies complex math to complex narrative in a set of stories I couldn't begin to describe.

No other postmodernist ca
Il racconto "L' inseguimento" è uno dei più belli che io abbia mai letto, è coinvolgente, come quasi tutti i racconti di Ti con zero e le Cosmicomiche, ed affascinante. La narrazione scientifica di queste opere è adatta a tutti, ed è in questo che risiede la grandezza dell'opera di Calvino.
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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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“Io tenevo dietro a Vug con l'animo diviso tra felicità e timore: felicità a vedere come ogni sostanza che componeva il mondo trovasse una sua forma definitiva e salda, e un timore ancora indeterminato che questo trionfare dell'ordine in fogge tanto varie potesse riprodurre su un'altra scala il disordine che ci eravamo appena lasciati alle spalle” 0 likes
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