The Missing Memo: An Analysis of Italo Calvino's Work and Proposal for the Content of Consistency
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In 1985, Italo Calvino set out to write six lectures for the upcoming Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University. As an allegorical fiction writer, literary analyst, and essayist, Calvino intended to discuss his faith in the future of literature in the coming millennium and advocate that there are things that only literature can give us, by means specific to it. Thus, he devoted his lectures to certain values, qualities, or peculiarities of literature that are close to his heart and situate them within the perspective of the new millennium. Unfortunately, he died from the effects of a stroke in September 1985, before he was able to complete his sixth and final lecture. Now, fifteen years after the tum of the millennium, I will imaginatively engage with a representative collection of Italo Calvino' s work including, unfinished lectures, literary essays, allegorical fiction, published letters in order to derive a proposal for the content of his missing sixth memo "Consistency." My purpose is to provide a deductive inquiry-not a speculative piece-supported by Calvino's own words and a logically based methodology. Towards this end, my own preparation necessitates a mathematical and classical education to which I have added my own personal interest in the convergence of philosophy and science. In pursuit of this convergence between philosophical and scientific discourses I am applying to graduate programs that share a similar affinity for interdisciplinary studies.