Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino (Ĭtəlō călvē´nō), 1923–85, Italian novelist. Calvino was one of the most popular novelists of the 20th cent. Although loneliness is an essential condition in his writings, he imbues his stories with passion and celebrates the human capacity for love and imagination. During the 1940s, he was associated with Italian neo-realist writers, such as Elio Vittorini, Cesare Pavese, and Natalia Levi Ginzburg. During the 1950s, however, Calvino turned to fantasy and allegory. His trilogy of historical fantasies—The Cloven Viscount (1952), The Baron in the Trees (1957), and The Nonexistent Knight (1959)—brought him international acclaim. Other important works include Cosmicomics (1965, tr. 1968), Italian Folktales (1956, tr. 1980), and If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979, tr. 1981).

See his autobiographical essays in The Road to San Giovanni (tr. 1993), and other autobiographical writings in Hermit in Paris (tr. 2003); M. Wood, ed., Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941–1985 (2013); studies by S. M. Adler (1979) and I. T. Olken (1984).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Calvino and the Age of Neorealism: Fables of Estrangement
Lucia Re.
Stanford University, 1990
Italo Calvino: Eros and Language
Tommasina Gabriele.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1994
Fantastic Worlds: Myths, Tales, and Stories
Eric S. Rabkin.
Oxford University Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: "All at One Point" by Calvino begins on p. 438
Narrating Postmodern Time and Space
Joseph Francese.
State University of New York Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Calvino: The Search for a Totality"
Italo Calvino
Tinkler, Alan.
The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2002
Literature and Domination: Sex, Knowledge, and Power in Modern Fiction
M. Keith Booker.
University Press of Florida, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Who's the Boss? Reader, Author, and Text in Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler"
Who Says This? The Authority of the Author, the Discourse, and the Reader
Welch D. Everman.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Reader Who Reads and the Reader Who Is Read: A Reading of Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler"
Talk Fiction: Literature and the Talk Explosion
Irene Kacandes.
University of Nebraska Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Can You Perform Barth's 'Life-Story' and Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler?" begins on p. 181
The Analytic Imaginary
Marguerite La Caze.
Cornell University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of "If on a Winter's Night a Travler" begins on p. 161
A Challenging Nostalgia in Search of Reunion: Desire in Calvino's "The Distance from the Moon"
Pau, Daniela De.
West Virginia University Philological Papers, Fall 2002
Italo Calvino and Georges Perec: The Multiple and Contrasting Emotions of Cities and Puzzles
Chiesa, Laura.
The Romanic Review, Vol. 97, No. 3-4, May-November 2006
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