Happy Birthday, Italo Calvino

LunaI just learned that the late, great Italo Calvino was born on this day in 1923. The legendary fabulist wrote some of the most creative books of the twentieth century, including Invisible Cities and If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. He also wrote the legendary Cosmicomics, which begins with one of my all-time favorites short stories, “The Distance of the Moon.” In the story, the Earth and the Moon are so close to one another that people can move between the two with little more than a boat, a ladder, and a little ingenuity. If you’re a fan of Calvino, you can watch an animated version of the story (with subtitles) at this link. If you haven’t read the story but its premise sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Pixar’s classic short film, “La Luna,” which aired prior to Brave way back in the summer of 2012, and which was based, in part, on Calvino’s “The Distance of the Moon.” You can learn more about this film at this link, and you can watch “La Luna” in its entirety at this link.