WRITING AND DRAWING, DRAWING AND WRITING

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

Six Memos for the Next Millennium/the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures 1985-86 (Vintage International) If on a winter\'s night a traveler The Greatest of Marlys The Coast of Chicago

“Leonardo, “an unlettered man,” as he described himself, had a difficult relationship with the written word. His knowledge was without equal in all the world, but his ignorance of Latin and grammar prevented him from communicating in writing with the learned men of his time. Certainly he thought he could set down much of his science more clearly in drawings than in words. “O writer, with what letters can you convey the entire figuration with such perfection as drawing gives us here?” he wrote in his notebooks on anatmony. And not just in science but also in philosophy, he was confident he could communicate better by means of painting and drawing. Still he also felt an incessant need to write, to use writing to investigate the world in all its polymorphous manifestations and secrets, and also to give shape to his fantasies, emotions, and rancors–as when he inveighs against men of letters, who were able only to repeat what they had read in the books of others, unlike those who were among the “inventors and interpreters between nature and men.” He therefore wrote more and more. With the passing of the years, he gave up painting and expressed himself through writing and drawing…”

—Italo Calvino on Leonardo da Vinci, “Exactitude,” SIX MEMOS FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM

Billy Hazelnuts Return to the Sea Every Picture Tells a Story Soccer in Sun and Shadow, New Edition




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