"Visibility," the fourth Memo, deals with the imaginative process of which Calvino distinguishes between two types: "the one that starts with the mental image and arrives at the visual image, and the one that starts at the visual image and arrives at its verbal expression." The first is the reading process; the second is the emotional/intellectual stimuli of an image through which the observer grasps the meaning of a verbal expression. In explaining his own art, Calvino tells us that he starts with an image charged with some sort of meaning. Eventually, this image develops its own "implicit potentialit[y]," around which other images come into being. At this point he establishes "which meanings might be compatible with the overall design." His goal is to unite "the spontaneous generation of images and the intentionality of discursive thought." For him, the writer's mind "works according to a process of association of images… to choose between the infinite forms of the possible and the impossible[, taking] account of all possible combinations… that are appropriate… or …simply the most interesting, pleasing, or amusing."
Reviewed by Anthony J. Tamburri
Advisor: Douglass Scott