Lettere di Elio Vittorini

.

A Calvino, Torino

 

Milano, 11 dicembre 1946

 

Caro Calvino,

Il tuo racconto ha parti molto belle per cui vorrei dirti: grazie d’avermelo mandato, lo pubblico. Ma un po’ al principio, e per lunghi tratti nelle pagine centrali, lo hai, a mio giudizio, sciupato, anzi sconciato, in un senso che lo mette su piano giornalistico, cioè la polemica che vi introduci non riesce a diventare scritta (tanto meno narrata). Se il “Politecnico” fosse ancora il settimanale pubblicherei lo stesso. E con tutti gli onori. Ma in una rivista ormai trimestrale, e di te che non sei piú un “giovane” come un altro, vorrei dare soltanto cose scritte del tutto e non lasciate a mezzo. Spero di essermi spiegato, e vorrei che tu riscrivessi questo stesso racconto perche’ ne vale veramente la pena. La fine è proprio bella.

 

Ciao, aff.mo

 

Elio Vittorini

 

 

“Il vento era: dopo me ne accorsi”, dice Calvino in questo racconto (che verrà pubblicato in Prima che tu dica “Pronto”).

 

 

“Torino è una città senza vento. Le vie sono canali d’aria ferma che si perdono all’infinito come urli di sirena: d’aria ferma, vetrosa di gelo o soffice d’afa, mossa solo dai tram rasenti i giri. Per mesi dimentico che il vento esiste; solo me ne resta un indistinto bisogno”.

Italo Calvino

Letters by Elio Vittorini

 

To Calvino, Turin

 

Milan, December 11, 1946

 

Dear Calvino,

Your short story has certain very fine parts, and so I would like to say: thank you for sending it to me; I’ll publish it. But at the beginning, and for long sections in the middle, you have, in my opinion, spoiled it, and even wrecked it, in the sense that it has been set on a journalistic plane, that is, the critical tone that introduces it is not able to become writing (let alone narration). If the “Politecnico” were still a weekly magazine, I’d publish it anyways. And with great pride.  But in a trimestral magazine, and  given the fact that you are not just any “young” writer, I would like to offer only finished writings and not something half done. I hope I have expressed myself clearly, and I would like you to rewrite this story because it is certainly worth it. The end is truly beautiful.

 

Ciao, yours

 

Elio Vittorini

 

 

It was the wind: only later did I realize it.”, says Calvino in this work (later published in Prima che tu dica «Pronto» [Before you can say “Ready”]).

 

 

Turin is a windless city. The roads are channels of still air that stretch endlessly like the cry of the siren: of still air, of vitreous frost or of gentle sultriness, stirred only by closely moving trams. For months I forget that the wind exists: but there remains, for me, an indistinct longing.

Italo Calvino

 

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

 

 

The letter is from the collection Gli anni del ‘Politecnico, Lettere 1945-1951, Einaudi, Turin, 1977.

According to Calvino, the short story, Vento in una città’, was never published in the literary magazine “Politecnico”. And I share this here for all those writers who strive to get published and give up, abandoning their dreams and sometimes depriving us of stories that should be told.
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