In 1984, Italo Calvino was invited to hold a series of lectures at Harvard University. Before his death, he completed five of the six Lessons planned on the imaginative possibilities of language and literature. His lessons were collected under the well-known title of “American Lessons: Six Memos for the Next Millennium”, now available with a new translation by Geoffrey Brock, and also the focus of a series of ongoing events in the Big Apple. Following the opening event with a lecture by Jonathan Lethem on “Lightness”, the first of the Lessons, a second event was held with Paola Antonelli and Maria Popova on “Quickness, Enchantment and the Felicity of Storytelling”.
The series will continue with Jonathan Blow discussing the influence of Calvino’s work on his videogames. Organised by the Center for Fiction in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Center in New York, this lecture is scheduled for 11 April at the Center’s premises. Jonathan Blow is a designer-programmer whose aim is to make videogames useful in order to expand the mind. Mr Blow is well known for ‘Braid’, a game which has become very popular, and more recently for ‘The Witness’. He is also a partner in the Indie Fund, an initiative which helps new creative developers grow while remaining independent. Mr Blow often participates in conferences and in university initiatives to promote game design as a form of art.