Memorial Symposium For Calvino Today

Short Takes

Five literature professors, two of them from Harvard, will speak at a memorial symposium today for the late Italo Calvino, the Italian author who was to give a lecture series here this fall.

The five scholars will discuss Calvino's work and ideas at 61 Kirkland St. at 8 p.m., organizer and Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature Dante Della Terza said yesterday. The symposium is open to the public.

Joining Della Terza will be Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, visiting professor of comparative literature and of romance languages and literatures, Brown University professor Franco Fido, and University of Rome professors Giulio Ferroni and Augustino Lombardi. Della Terza said all the participants were personal friends of Calvino.

Calvino was to be this year's Norton Professor of Poetry, but last month he died of complications following a stroke.

Perhaps best known for his 1956 collection "Italian Folktales," Calvino was admired for his technical mastery and fondness for the surreal.

"He was not afraid of the impossible. He was seduced by the forms of unreason," said Della Terza.