"‘Cybernetics and Ghosts’, the 1967 lecture that begins with the tribal storyteller, took its inspiration from avant-garde experiments with basic computers. Calvino thought that the use of machines to destabilise literary form, or produce generative disorder, was eminently human. The machine’s ‘true vocation would be for classicism’, having the capacity to infer and follow stylistic rules exactingly. It is interesting to revisit this argument in the era of AI, not least in light of Calvino’s brief, teasing claim that a true ‘literature machine’ would produce avant-garde work ‘to free its circuits when they are choked’ by classicism"

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