The writer is someone who tears himself to pieces in order to liberate his neighbor.

I suffer from everyday life.

This is the paradox of the power of literature: it seems that only when it is persecuted does it show its true powers, challenging authority, whereas in our permissive society it feels that it is being used merely to create the occasional pleasing contrast to the general ballooning of verbiage.

The espresso machines in station cafés boast their kinship with the locomotives, the espresso machines of yesterday and today with the locomotives and steam engines of today and yesterday.

New York is perhaps the only place in America where you feel at the centre and not at the margins, in the provinces, so for that reason I prefer its horror to this privileged beauty, its enslavement to the freedoms which remain local and privileged and very particularized, and which do not represent a genuine antithesis.

There is no better place to keep a secret than in an unfinished novel.

In abortion, the person who is massacred, physically and morally, is the woman.

This is already true now, when you are still occupied, each with the other's presence, in an exclusive fashion. Imagine how it will be in a little while, when ghosts that do not meet will frequent your minds, accompanying the encounters of your bodies tested by habit.

All places communicate instantly with all other places, a sense of isolation is felt only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place.

Your reading is no longer solitary: you think of the Other Reader, who, at this same moment, is also opening the book; and there, the novel to be read is superimposed by a possible novel to be lived, the continuation of your story with her, or better still, the beginning of a possible story.

Perinthia's astronomers are faced with a difficult choice. Either they must admit that all their calculations were wrong and their figures are unable to describe the heavens, or else they must reveal that the order of the gods is reflected exactly in the city of monsters.

We live in a uniform civilization, within well-defined cultural models: furnishings, decorative elements, blankets, record player have all been chosen among a certain number of given possibilities. What can they reveal to you about what she is really like?

The dream of being invisible . . . When I find myself in an environment where I can enjoy the illusion of being invisible, I am really happy.

Because in this way all I did was to accumulate past after past behind me, multiplying the pasts, and if one life was too dense and ramified and embroiled for me to bear it always with me, imagine so many lives, each with its own past and the pasts of the other lives that continue to become entangled one with the others.

My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.

Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.

He was staring hard, not at his wife and me but at his daughter watching us. In his cold pupil, in the firm twist of his lips, was reflected Madame Miyagi's orgasm reflected in her daughter's gaze.

When you're young, all evolution lies before you, every road is open to you, and at the same time you can enjoy the fact of being there on the rock, flat mollusk-pulp, damp and happy.

If this is what you believe, you are wrong: Penthesilea.

In every age someone, looking at Fedora as it was, imagined a way of making it the ideal city, but while he constructed his miniature model, Fedora was already no longer the same as before, and what had been until yesterday a possible future became only a toy in a glass globe.

An exotic birthplace on its own is not informative of anything.

The novels I prefer, are those that make you feel uneasy from the very first page.

I feel so at home in New York that I don't have the urge to write about it.

A quarter of America is a dramatic, tense, violent country, exploding with contradictions, full of brutal, physiological vitality, and that is the America that I have really loved and love. But a good half of it is a country of boredom, emptiness, monotony, brainless production, and brainless consumption, and this is the American inferno.

The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.

It is only through the confining act of writing that the immensity of the nonwritten becomes legible.

I felt cheated and I decided to demand justice of the sultan.

I read, therefore it writes.

We were still in the boundless void, striped here and there by a streak or two of hydrogen around the vortexes of the first constellations. I admit it required very complicated deductions to foresee the Mesopotamian plains black with men and horses and arrows and trumpets, but, since I had nothing else to do, I could bring it off.

I've been in love for five hundred million years...

Are you depressed or euphoric? The house, in its wisdom, seems to have taken advantage of your moments of euphoria to prepare itself to shelter you in your moments of depression.

Turin is a city which entices a writer towards vigor, linearity, style. It encourages logic, and through logic it opens the way towards madness.

There is no language without deceit.

For years I have been coming to this library, and I explore it volume by volume, shelf by shelf, but I could demonstrate to you that I have done nothing but continue the reading of a single book.

There is still, in fact, in Calvino's archive a drawer full of newspaper cuttings concerning scientific discoveries.

Only by having a clear idea what virtue is can I practice evil with a light heart.

I, on the contrary, have been convinced for some time that perfection is not produced except marginally and by chance; therefore it deserves no interest at all, the true nature of things being revealed only in disintegration.

To write, for example, a crime that is horrible but which somehow 'resembles' the butterfly, which would be light and fine like the butterfly. I could also describe the butterfly, but bearing in mind the horrible scene of a crime, so that the butterfly would become something frightful.

For the man who thought he was Man there is no salvation.

You are quick to catch the author's intentions and nothing escapes you.

For the critic, the author does not exist; only a certain number of writings exist.

In the midst of a thick forest, there was a castle that gave shelter to all travelers overtaken by night on their journey: lords and ladies, royalty and their retinue, humble wayfarers.

Falsehood is never in words; it is in things.

Each city receives its form from the desert it opposes.

My stories are full of facts; they have a beginning and an end. For that reason, they will never... occupy a place in contemporary literature.

The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand.

What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space.

Contemplating the stars he has become accustomed to considering himself an anonymous and incorporeal dot, almost forgetting that he exists; to deal now with human beings, he cannot help involving himself, and he no longer knows where his self is to be found.

And meanwhile the Galaxy ran through space and left behind those signs old and new and I still hadn't found mine.