Raymond Queneau was a French novelist, critic, editor and co-founder and president of Oulipo, notable for his wit and cynical humour. Queneau was born in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, the only child of Auguste Queneau and Joséphine Mignot. After studying in Le Havre, Queneau moved to Paris in 1920 and received his first baccalauréat in 1925 for philosophy from the University of Paris. Queneau performed military service as a zouave in Algeria and Morocco during the years 1925–26. During the 1920s and 1930s Queneau took odd jobs for income such as bank teller, tutor and some writing in a column entitled, "Connaissez-vous Paris?" for the daily Intransigeant. Queneau was drafted in August 1939 and served in small provincial towns before his promotion to corporal just before being demobilized in 1940. After a prolific career of writing and critique, Queneau died on 25 October 1976, he married Janine Kahn in 1928 after returning to Paris from his first military service. Kahn was the sister-in-law of leader of the surrealist movement.
In 1934 they had Jean-Marie, who became a painter. They remained married until Janine's death in 1972. Queneau spent much of his life working for the Gallimard publishing house, where he began as a reader in 1938, he rose to be general secretary and became director of l'Encyclopédie de la Pléiade in 1956. During some of this time, he taught at l'École Nouvelle de Neuilly, he entered the Collège de ` Pataphysique in 1950. During this time, Queneau acted as a translator, notably for Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard in 1953. Additionally, he edited and published Alexandre Kojève's lectures on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Queneau had been a student of Kojève during the 1930s and was, during this period close to writer Georges Bataille; as an author, Queneau came to general attention in France with the publication in 1959 of his novel Zazie dans le métro. In 1960 the film adaptation directed by Louis Malle was released during the Nouvelle Vague movement. Zazie explores colloquial language as opposed to "standard" written French.
The first word of the book, the alarmingly long "Doukipudonktan" is a phonetic transcription of "D'où qu'ils puent donc tant?" – "From where do they stink so much?". Juliette Greco popularized the song "Si tu t'imagines", a song by Joseph Kosma, with lyrics by Queneau. Before he founded the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle in 1960, Queneau was attracted to mathematics as a source of inspiration, he became a member of la Société Mathématique de France in 1948. In Queneau's mind, elements of a text, including trivial details such as the number of chapters, were things that had to be predetermined calculated; this was an issue during the writing of A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems known as, 100,000,000,000,000 Poems. Queneau wrote 140 lines in 10 individual sonnets that could all be taken apart and rearranged in any order. Queneau calculated that anyone reading the book 24 hours a day would need 190,258,751 years to finish it. While Queneau was completing this work, he asked mathematician, Francois Le Lionnais for help with issues he was having, their conversation led to a role of mathematics in literature, which lead to the creation of the Oulipo.
A work, Les fondements de la littérature d'après David Hilbert, alludes to the mathematician David Hilbert, attempts to explore the foundations of literature by quasi-mathematical derivations from textual axioms. Queneau claimed this final work would prove "a hidden master of the automaton." Pressed by GF, his interlocutor, Queneau confided that the text "could never appear, but had to hide to glorify that without agency." A conference on the matter will be held in Coral Gables, FL. One of Queneau's most influential works is Exercises in Style, which tells the simple story of a man's seeing the same stranger twice in one day, it tells that short story in 99 different ways, demonstrating the tremendous variety of styles in which storytelling can take place. A graphical story adaptation of the book's concept, 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style, was published by the American Matt Madden in 2005; the works of Raymond Queneau are published by Gallimard in the collection Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.
Queneau is buried with his parents in Essonne outside Paris. In 1924 Queneau met and joined the Surrealists, but never shared their penchants for automatic writing or ultra-left politics. Like many surrealists, he entered psychoanalysis—however, not in order to stimulate his creative abilities, but for personal reasons, as with Leiris and Crevel. Michel Leiris describes, in Brisees, how he first met Queneau in 1924, while vacationing in Nemours with André Masson, Armand Salacrou and Juan Gris. A common friend, Roland Tual, brought him over. Queneau felt less accomplished than the other men, he did not make a big impression on the young bohemians. After Queneau came back from the army, around 1926-7, he and Leiris met at the Café Certa, near L'Opera, a Surrealist hang-out. On this occasion, when conversation delved into Eastern philosophy, Queneau's comments showed a quiet superiority and erudite thoughtfulness. Leiris and Queneau became friends while writing for Bataille's Documents. Queneau questioned Surrealist support of the USSR in 1926.
He remained on cordial terms with André Breton, although he continued associating with Simone Kahn after Breton split up with her. Breton demanded that his followers ostracize his former girlfriends, it would have been difficult for Q
In typography, an ascender is the portion of a minuscule letter in a Latin-derived alphabet that extends above the mean line of a font. That is, the part of a lower-case letter, taller than the font's x-height. Ascenders, together with descenders, increase the recognizability of words. For this reason, many situations that require high legibility such as road signs avoid using capital letters, the all-caps style. Studies made at the start of the construction of the British motorway network concluded that words with mixed-case letters were much easier to read than "all-caps" and a special font was designed for motorway signs; these became universal across the UK. See Road signs in the United Kingdom. In many fonts intended for body text, such as Bembo and Garamond, ascenders rise above the cap height of the capital letters
A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though novelists write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they continue to be published, although few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work. Novelists come from a variety of backgrounds and social classes, this shapes the content of their works. Public reception of a novelist's work, the literary criticism commenting on it, the novelists' incorporation of their own experiences into works and characters can lead to the author's personal life and identity being associated with a novel's fictional content. For this reason, the environment within which a novelist works and the reception of their novels by both the public and publishers can be influenced by their demographics or identity.
Some novelists have creative identities derived from their focus on different genres of fiction, such as crime, romance or historical novels. While many novelists compose fiction to satisfy personal desires and commentators ascribe a particular social responsibility or role to novel writers. Many authors use such moral imperatives to justify different approaches to novel writing, including activism or different approaches to representing reality "truthfully". Novelist is a term derivative from the term "novel" describing the "writer of novels"; the Oxford English Dictionary recognizes other definitions of novelist, first appearing in the 16th and 17th centuries to refer to either "An innovator. However, the OED attributes the primary contemporary meaning of "a writer of novels" as first appearing in the 1633 book "East-India Colation" by C. Farewell citing the passage "It beeing a pleasant observation to note the order of their Coaches and Carriages.. As if it had bin the spoyles of a Tryumph leading Captive, or a preparation to some sad Execution" According to the Google Ngrams, the term novelist first appears in the Google Books database in 1521.
The difference between professional and amateur novelists is the author's ability to publish. Many people take up novel writing as a hobby, but the difficulties of completing large scale fictional works of quality prevent the completion of novels. Once authors have completed a novel, they will try to get it published; the publishing industry requires novels to have accessible profitable markets, thus many novelists will self-publish to circumvent the editorial control of publishers. Self-publishing has long been an option for writers, with vanity presses printing bound books for a fee paid by the writer. In these settings, unlike the more traditional publishing industry, activities reserved for a publishing house, like the distribution and promotion of the book, become the author's responsibility; the rise of the Internet and electronic books has made self publishing far less expensive and a realistic way for authors to realize income. Novelists apply a number of different methods to writing their novels, relying on a variety of approaches to inspire creativity.
Some communities encourage amateurs to practice writing novels to develop these unique practices, that vary from author to author. For example, the internet-based group, National Novel Writing Month, encourages people to write 50,000-word novels in the month of November, to give novelists practice completing such works. In the 2010 event, over 200,000 people took part – writing a total of over 2.8 billion words. Novelists don't publish their first novels until in life. However, many novelists begin writing at a young age. For example, Iain Banks began writing at eleven, at sixteen completed his first novel, "The Hungarian Lift-Jet", about international arms dealers, "in pencil in a larger-than-foolscap log book". However, he was thirty before he published his first novel, the controversial The Wasp Factory in 1984; the success of this novel enabled Banks to become a full-time novelist. An important writers' juvenilia if not published, is prized by scholars because it provides insight into an author's biography and approach to writing.
Novelists publish as early as their teens. For example, Patrick O'Brian published his first novel, Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard, at the age of 15, which brought him considerable critical attention. Barbara Newhall Follett's The House Without Windows, was accepted and published in 1927 when she was 13 by the Knopf publishing house and earned critical acclaim from the New York Times, the Saturday Review, H. L. Mencken; these works will achieve popular success as well. For example, though Christopher Paolini's Eragon, was not a great critical success, but its popularity among readers placed it on the New York Times Children's Books Best Seller list for 121 weeks. First-time novelists of any age find themselves unable to get works published, because of a number of reasons reflecting the inexperience of the author and the economic realities of publishers. Authors mus
Martin Gardner was an American popular mathematics and popular science writer, with interests encompassing scientific skepticism, philosophy and literature—especially the writings of Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, G. K. Chesterton, he is recognized as a leading authority on Lewis Carroll. The Annotated Alice, which incorporated the text of Carroll's two Alice books, was his most successful work and sold over a million copies, he had a lifelong interest in magic and illusion and was regarded as one of the most important magicians of the twentieth century. He was considered the doyen of American puzzlers, he was a versatile author, publishing more than 100 books. Gardner was best known for creating and sustaining interest in recreational mathematics—and by extension, mathematics in general—throughout the latter half of the 20th century, principally through his "Mathematical Games" columns; these appeared for twenty-five years in Scientific American, his subsequent books collecting them. Gardner was one of the foremost anti-pseudoscience polemicists of the 20th century.
His 1957 book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science became a classic and seminal work of the skeptical movement. In 1976 he joined with fellow skeptics to found CSICOP, an organization promoting scientific inquiry and the use of reason in examining extraordinary claims. Gardner, son of a petroleum geologist father and an educator and artist mother, grew up in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma, his lifelong interest in puzzles started in his boyhood when his father gave him a copy of Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles and Conundrums. He attended the University of Chicago, where he earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1936. Early jobs included reporter on the Tulsa Tribune, writer at the University of Chicago Office of Press Relations, case worker in Chicago's Black Belt for the city's Relief Administration. During World War II, he served for four years in the U. S. Navy as a yeoman on board the destroyer escort USS Pope in the Atlantic, his ship was still in the Atlantic when the war came to an end with the surrender of Japan in August 1945.
After the war, Gardner returned to the University of Chicago. He attended graduate school for a year there. In 1950 he wrote an article in the Antioch Review entitled "The Hermit Scientist", it was one of Gardner's earliest articles about junk science, in 1952 a much-expanded version became his first published book: In the Name of Science: An Entertaining Survey of the High Priests and Cultists of Science and Present. In the late 1940s, Gardner moved to New York City and became a writer and editor at Humpty Dumpty magazine where for eight years he wrote features and stories for it and several other children's magazines, his paper-folding puzzles at that magazine led to his first work at Scientific American. For many decades, his wife Charlotte, their two sons and Tom, lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where he earned his living as a freelance author, publishing books with several different publishers, publishing hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. Appropriately enough—given his interest in logic and mathematics—they lived on Euclid Avenue.
The year 1960 saw the original edition of the best-selling book of The Annotated Alice. In 1979, Gardner retired from Scientific American and he and his wife Charlotte moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Gardner never retired as an author, but continued to write math articles, sending them to The Mathematical Intelligencer, Math Horizons, The College Mathematics Journal, Scientific American, he revised some of his older books such as Origami and the Soma Cube. Charlotte died in 2000 and two years Gardner returned to Norman, where his son, James Gardner, was a professor of education at the University of Oklahoma, he died there on May 22, 2010. An autobiography — Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner — was published posthumously. Martin Gardner had a major impact on mathematics in the second half of the 20th century, his column was called "Mathematical Games" but it was much more than that. His writing introduced many readers to real mathematics for the first time in their lives.
The column lasted for 25 years and was read avidly by the generation of mathematicians and physicists who grew up in the years 1956 to 1981. It was the original inspiration for many of them to become scientists themselves. David Auerbach wrote: A case can be made, in purely practical terms, for Martin Gardner as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, his popularizations of science and mathematical games in Scientific American, over the 25 years he wrote for them, might have helped create more young mathematicians and computer scientists than any other single factor prior to the advent of the personal computer. Among the wide array of mathematicians, computer scientists, magicians, artists and other influential thinkers who inspired and were in turn inspired by Gardner are John Horton Conway, Bill Gosper, Ron Rivest, Richard K. Guy, Piet Hein, Ronald Graham, Donald Knuth, Robert Nozick, Lee Sallows, Scott Kim, M. C. Escher, Douglas Hofstadter, Roger Penrose, Ian Stewart, David A. Klarner, Benoit Mandelbrot, Elwyn R. Berlekamp, Solomon W. Golomb, Raymond Smullyan, James Randi, Persi Diaconis, Penn & Teller, Ray Hyman.
His admirers included such diverse people as W. H. Auden, Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, the entire French literary group known as the Oulipo. Salvador Dali once sought him out to discuss four-dimensional hypercubes. Gardner wrote to M. C. Escher in 1961 to ask permission
This article is a general introduction to French literature. For detailed information on French literature in specific historic periods, see the separate historical articles in the template to the right. French literature is speaking, literature written in the French language by citizens of France. Literature written in French language, by citizens of other nations such as Belgium, Canada, Algeria, etc. is referred to as Francophone literature. France itself ranks first in the list of Nobel Prizes in literature by country. French literature has been for French people an object of national pride for centuries, it has been one of the most influential components of the literature of Europe; the French language is a Romance language derived from Latin and influenced principally by Celtic and Frankish. Beginning in the 11th century, literature written in medieval French was one of the oldest vernacular literatures in western Europe and it became a key source of literary themes in the Middle Ages across the continent.
Although the European prominence of French literature was eclipsed in part by vernacular literature in Italy in the 14th century, literature in France in the 16th century underwent a major creative evolution, through the political and artistic programs of the Ancien Régime, French literature came to dominate European letters in the 17th century. In the 18th century, French became the literary lingua franca and diplomatic language of western Europe, French letters have had a profound impact on all European and American literary traditions while at the same time being influenced by these other national traditions Africa, the far East have brought the French language to non-European cultures that are transforming and adding to the French literary experience today. Under the aristocratic ideals of the Ancien Régime, the nationalist spirit of post-revolutionary France, the mass educational ideals of the Third Republic and modern France, the French have come to have a profound cultural attachment to their literary heritage.
Today, French schools emphasize the study of novels and poetry. The literary arts are sponsored by the state and literary prizes are major news; the Académie française and the Institut de France are important linguistic and artistic institutions in France, French television features shows on writers and poets. Literature matters to the people of France and plays an important role in their sense of identity; as of 2006, French literary people have been awarded more Nobel Prizes in Literature than novelists and essayists of any other country. In 1964 Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but he declined it, stating that "It is not the same thing if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre or if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre, Nobel Prize winner. A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution if it takes place in the most honorable form." For most of the 20th century, French authors had more Literature Nobel Prizes than those of any other nation. The following French or French language authors have won a Nobel Prize in Literature: 1901 – Sully Prudhomme 1904 – Frédéric Mistral 1911 – Maurice Maeterlinck 1915 – Romain Rolland 1921 – Anatole France 1927 – Henri Bergson 1937 – Roger Martin du Gard 1947 – André Gide 1952 – François Mauriac 1957 – Albert Camus 1960 – Saint-John Perse 1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre 1969 – Samuel Beckett 1985 – Claude Simon 2000 – Gao Xingjian 2008 – J. M. G.
Le Clézio 2014 – Patrick Modiano Grand Prix de Littérature Policière – created in 1948, for crime and detective fiction. Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française – created 1918. Prix Décembre – created in 1989. Prix Femina – created 1904, decided each year by an female jury, although the authors of the winning works do not have to be women. Prix Goncourt – created 1903, given to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year". Prix Goncourt des Lycéens – created in 1987. Prix Littéraire Valery Larbaud – created in 1957. Prix Médicis – created 1958, awarded to an author whose "fame does not yet match their talent." Prix Renaudot – created in 1926. Prix Tour-Apollo Award – 1972–1990, given to the best science fiction novel published in French during the preceding year. Prix des Deux Magots – created in 1933. Middle Ages anonymous – La Chanson de Roland Chrétien de Troyes – Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion, Lancelot, ou le Chevalier à la charrette various – Tristan et Iseult anonymous – Lancelot-Graal known as the prose Lancelot or the Vulgate Cycle Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung – Roman de la Rose Christine de Pizan – "The Book of the City of Ladies" 16th century François Rabelais – La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel 17th century Honoré d'Urfé – L'Astrée Madame de Lafayette – La Princesse de Clèves 18th century Abbé Prévost – Manon Lescaut Voltaire – Candide, Zadig ou la Destinée Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse Denis Diderot – Jacques le fataliste (Jacques the Fata
Medieval French literature
Medieval French literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in Oïl languages during the period from the eleventh century to the end of the fifteenth century. The material and cultural conditions in France and associated territories around the year 1100 unleashed what the scholar Charles Homer Haskins termed the "Renaissance of the 12th century" and, for over the next hundred years, writers, "jongleurs", "clercs" and poets produced a profusion of remarkable creative works in all genres. Although the dynastic struggles of the Hundred Years' War and the Black Death pandemic of the fourteenth century in many ways curtailed this creative production, the fifteenth century laid the groundwork for the French Renaissance. For historical background, see History of France, France in the Middle Ages or Middle Ages. For other national literary traditions, see Medieval literature. Up to 1340, the Romance languages spoken in the Middle Ages in the northern half of what is today France are collectively known as "ancien français" or "langues d'oïl".
The language in southern France is known as "langue d'oc" or the Occitan language family known under the name of one of its dialects, the Provençal language). The Western peninsula of Brittany spoke a Celtic language. Catalan was spoken in the South, Germanic languages and Franco-Provençal were spoken in the East; the various dialects of Old French developed into. Languages which developed from dialects of Old French include Bourguignon, Franc-Comtois, Gallo, Norman, Anglo-Norman, Poitevin and Walloon. From 1340 to the beginning of the seventeenth century, a generalized French language became distinguished from the other competing Oïl languages; this is referred to as Middle French. The vast majority of literary production in Old French is in verse; the French language does not have long and short syllables. This means that the French metric line is not determined by the number of beats, but by the number of syllables; the most common metric lengths are the ten-syllable line, the eight-syllable line and the twelve-syllable line.
Verses could be combined in a variety of ways: blocks of assonanced lines are called "laisses". The choice of verse form was dictated by the genre; the Old French epics are written in ten-syllable assonanced "laisses", while the chivalric romance was written in octosyllabic rhymed couplets. The earliest extant French literary texts date from the ninth century, but few texts before the eleventh century have survived; the first literary works written in Old French were saints' lives. The Canticle of Saint Eulalie, written in the second half of the ninth century, is accepted as the first such text, it is a short poem. The best known of the early Old French saints' lives is the Vie de saint Alexis, the life of Saint Alexis, a translation/rewriting of a Latin legend. Saint Alexis fled from his family's home in Rome on his wedding night and dwelled as a hermit in Syria until a mystical voice began telling people of his holiness. In order to avoid the earthly honor that came with such fame, he left Syria and was driven back to Rome, where he lived as a beggar at his family's house, unrecognized by all until his death.
He was only identified when the pope read his name in a letter held in the dead saint's hand. Although the saint left his family in order to devote his life more to God, the poem makes clear that his father and wife are saved by the Alexis' intercession and join him in Paradise; the earliest and best surviving text is in St. Albans Psalter, written at St Albans, England, in the second or third decade of the twelfth century; this provenance is indicative of the fact that many of the most important early texts were composed in Anglo-Norman dialect. At the beginning of the 13th century, Jean Bodel, in his Chanson de Saisnes, divided medieval French narrative literature into three subject areas: the Matter of France or Matter of Charlemagne the Matter of Rome – romances in an ancient setting the Matter of Britain – Arthurian romances, Breton lais The first of these is the subject area of the chansons de geste, epic poems composed in ten-syllable assonanced laisses. More than one hundred chansons de geste have survived in around three hundred manuscripts.
The chief theme of the earliest French epics was the court of Charlemagne, Charles Martel and Charles the Bald and their wars against the Moors and Saracens, or disputes between kings and their rebellious vassals. The oldest and most celebrated of the chansons de geste is The Song of Roland, seen by some as the national epic of France (comparable with Beowulf in England, the Song of the Nibelungs in Germany and the Lay
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler. Admired in Britain and the United States, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death. Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de las Vegas, a suburb of Havana, Cuba, in 1923, his father, was a tropical agronomist and botanist who taught agriculture and floriculture. Born 47 years earlier in Sanremo, Mario Calvino had emigrated to Mexico in 1909 where he took up an important position with the Ministry of Agriculture. In an autobiographical essay, Italo Calvino explained that his father "had been in his youth an anarchist, a follower of Kropotkin and a Socialist Reformist". In 1917, Mario left for Cuba to conduct scientific experiments, after living through the Mexican Revolution. Calvino's mother, Giuliana Luigia Evelina "Eva" Mameli, was a university professor.
A native of Sassari in Sardinia and 11 years younger than her husband, she married while still a junior lecturer at Pavia University. Born into a secular family, Eva was a pacifist educated in the "religion of civic duty and science". Eva gave Calvino his unusual first name to remind him of his Italian heritage, although since he wound up growing up in Italy after all, Calvino thought his name sounded "belligerently nationalist". Calvino described his parents as being "very different in personality from one another", suggesting deeper tensions behind a comfortable, albeit strict, middle-class upbringing devoid of conflict; as an adolescent, he found it hard relating to poverty and the working-class, was "ill at ease" with his parents' openness to the laborers who filed into his father's study on Saturdays to receive their weekly paycheck. In 1925, less than two years after Calvino's birth, the family returned to Italy and settled permanently in Sanremo on the Ligurian coast. Calvino's brother Floriano, who became a distinguished geologist, was born in 1927.
The family divided their time between the Villa Meridiana, an experimental floriculture station which served as their home, Mario's ancestral land at San Giovanni Battista. On this small working farm set in the hills behind Sanremo, Mario pioneered in the cultivation of exotic fruits such as avocado and grapefruit obtaining an entry in the Dizionario biografico degli italiani for his achievements; the vast forests and luxuriant fauna omnipresent in Calvino's early fiction such as The Baron in the Trees derives from this "legacy". In an interview, Calvino stated that "San Remo continues to pop out in my books, in the most diverse pieces of writing." He and Floriano would climb the tree-rich estate and perch for hours on the branches reading their favorite adventure stories. Less salubrious aspects of this "paternal legacy" are described in The Road to San Giovanni, Calvino's memoir of his father in which he exposes their inability to communicate: "Talking to each other was difficult. Both verbose by nature, possessed of an ocean of words, in each other's presence we became mute, would walk in silence side by side along the road to San Giovanni."
A fan of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book as a child, Calvino felt that his early interest in stories made him the "black sheep" of a family that held literature in less esteem than the sciences. Fascinated by American movies and cartoons, he was attracted to drawing and theatre. On a darker note, Calvino recalled that his earliest memory was of a Marxist professor, brutally assaulted by Benito Mussolini's Blackshirts: "I remember that we were at dinner when the old professor came in with his face beaten up and bleeding, his bowtie all torn, asking for help."Other legacies include the parents' beliefs in Freemasonry, Republicanism with elements of Anarchism and Marxism. Austere freethinkers with an intense hatred of the ruling National Fascist Party and Mario refused to give their sons any education in the Catholic Faith or any other religion. Italo attended the English nursery school St George's College, followed by a Protestant elementary private school run by Waldensians, his secondary schooling, with a classical lyceum curriculum, was completed at the state-run Liceo Gian Domenico Cassini where, at his parents' request, he was exempted from religion classes but asked to justify his anti-conformism to teachers and fellow pupils.
In his mature years, Calvino described the experience as having made him "tolerant of others' opinions in the field of religion, remembering how irksome it was to hear myself mocked because I did not follow the majority's beliefs". In 1938, Eugenio Scalfari, who went on to found the weekly magazine L'Espresso and La Repubblica, a major Italian newspaper, came from Civitavecchia to join the same class though a year younger, they shared the same desk; the two teenagers formed a lasting friendship, Calvino attributing his political awakening to their university discussions. Seated together "on a huge flat stone in the middle of a stream near our land", he and Scalfari founded the MUL. Eva managed to delay her son's enrolment in the Party's armed scouts, the Balilla Moschettieri, arranged that he be excused, as a non-Catholic, from performing devotional acts in Church, but on, as a compulsory member, he could not avoid the assemblies and parades of the Avanguardisti, was forced to participate in the Italian invasion of the French Riviera in June 1940.
In 1941, Calvino enrolled at the University of Turin, choosing th