The backstory is this: Italo Calvino was the builder of Invisible Cities, a novel. His other novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler, as well as his stories Cosmicomics and his journalism, made him a popular and well-loved writer, a sought-after speaker, and an international celebrity. In 1985, he was asked to deliver six Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard. Calvino chose the title for the sixth, “Consistency,” but died before he wrote it. The lectures, published posthumously, were called, famously, Six Memos for the Millennium, but there are only five in the book. Martha Cooley, a novelist who lives in Italy, had the idea of asking some writers to compose what would have been Italo Calvino’s last address for the Harvard Eliot lectures. I wrote mine in the voice of Calvino, Martha copyedited it, but the project fell through. Here it is, direct from Castiglione della Pescaia.
— Read on lareviewofbooks.org/article/consistency-italo-calvinos-sixth-memo/