Mr Palomar in Japan

Pasqua Gasparro

Abstract


This study examines the texts of Italo Calvino which are dedicated to Japan. Extracts from Palomar, Collezione di sabbia and Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore show the writer’s attention to a culture so different from ours and a practice of contemplation that permitted him to experiment with a different reading of the world.

In visiting Japan, Calvino notes the connections between traditional gardens and traditional poetry which draw inspiration from each other. Gardens can be considered the illustration of poetry and poetry functions as a kind of commentary on gardens.

Calvino reads Japanese gardens as a combination of single elements that we can look from different points of view. Japanese aesthetics meet Calvino’s passion for multiplicity and combination’s play that, as we know, for the writer represent a kind of antidote to “vertigine dell’infinito” and to the care for the world’s decay. Even traditional Japanese architecture can be read in this sense and its fragility and simplicity affects the writer deeply.

Via his texts, Calvino offers us a way to look at the world, read it, and decode things. Visiting Japan is a way to “riattivare […] l’uso degli occhi, la lettura visiva del mondo”, to re-open one’s eyes, to revitalize a visual reading of the world.


Keywords


Japanese architecture; Japanese Gardens; Palomar; Italo Calvino

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)

References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/291

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17515

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