AbstractItalo Calvino, born in 1923, has been subject to the most various influences (Fascism and Marxism, World War and civil war, capitalism and bureaucracy) but by action or reaction they have all fostered his cult of reason, moderation, detachment, sanity. It is this humanism, aristocratic and severe in expression as in feeling but open to the appeal of fantasy and directed toward action, that inspires Calvino's whole work and is here traced from the early novels and short-stories (whose violent realism seemed to imply a specific political commitment), through the central trilogy, I nostri antenati (whose ebullient allegory gives a fairy tale vivacity to the play of ideas and the conflict of moral forces), to the Cosmicomiche and Ti con zero (whose kaleidoscopic projection against the universe of something more and less but not other than man gives cosmic scope to human sensibility).
This interpretation of Calvino's fiction is corroborated by a study of this literary criticism and amplified by an analysis of the most significant books and articles dedicated to him by his contemporaries from Pavese to Luti.
Arts, Faculty of
French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, Department of