What is the Use

Of literature, with Italo Calvino.

Here is a testament of value for the moment: why this and why now? Only that which can embody a bottomless array of embedded contradictions can work to shape these sensibilities. The writer insists: here is a teacher of proportions, and of the place of love, of death, of sadness, irony, humor. The value is the practice of attributing value.

Here is a map for the labyrinth of the hour––not fixed, but continually born, to name the nameless, illuminate the cave walls, construct a home solid and complex enough to hold the disorder of the world.


Inspired by Italo Calvino’s The Uses of Literature.