Pourquoi lire les classiques ? réponse d’Italo Calvino

Dans le numéro du 9 octobre 1986 de la revue (en anglais) “The New York Review of Books”, Patrick Creagh proposait la traduction d’un très beau texte d’Italo Calvino : “Why Read the Classics?”

Let us begin with a few suggested definitions.

1) The classics are the books of which we usually hear people say: “I am rereading…” and never “I am reading….”

This at least happens among those who consider themselves “very well read.” It does not hold good for young people at the age when they first encounter the world, and the classics as a part of that world.

The reiterative prefix before the verb “read” may be a small hypocrisy on the part of people ashamed to admit they have not read a famous book. To reassure them, we need only observe that, however vast any person’s basic reading may be, there still remain an enormous number of fundamental works that he has not read.

Hands up, anyone who has read the whole…
(via Pitch Ton Classique)

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