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    Why read the classics?

    A classic does not necessarily teach us something that we did not know already; sometimes, we discover in classic something which we had always known (or had always thought we knew) but did not realize that the classic text had said it first. Italo Calvino “Why Read the Classics?” is a short essay written by Italo Calvino and first published on L’Espresso in 1981. It’s a provocation and elegant advocacy for reading those books about which you usually hear people saying: ‘I’m rereading…’, never ‘I’m reading…’ In the book that begins with this essay and other essays he wrote of great classics of the world’s literature, Calvino presents his definitions…