Speaker: Dr Elio Baldi (University of Amsterdam)
Respondent: Emiliano Zappalà (University of Warwick)
One, No One and One Hundred Thousand Calvini: The Image of the Author in Criticism
Few Italian writers have crossed borders like Italo Calvino, both during his life and after his death. His reputation is not confined to Italy or to literary circles. With a good claim to pertaining to the category of the modern classic, Calvino seems settled down to quiet, posthumous fame, the kind of fame that is almost restricted to a name. And yet, there is something stale about this Calvino, who arguably has stayed too comfortably still on his shelf, more admired (or antagonised) than reread in a way that keeps him sparkling. The idea that Calvino is an exciting writer in continuous metamorphosis does not chime with the fact that he gives the impression of being an author who is more or less "read and buried," the essence of whom is, once and for all, crystal clear. In this contribution some of the possible reasons of this fixity of Calvino's authorial figure will be addressed and some suggestions will be made as to where we might find new 'Calvini' that can provide a more diverse and complete picture of the different faces of the Ligurian writer.
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