Italo Calvino: Attentive Observer of Life, Experienced or Imagined. [abstract].
Baker, Margaret Anne
The Italian writer Italo Calvino, who died in September 1985, is remembered as a fabulist and essayist. His writing spans a range that reflects the diversity of his cultural interests but shows a basic consistency of narrative purpose, as outlined in his essays and responses to his cultural environment. The intellectual curiosity that marked Calvino’s writing from his beginnings in the immediate postwar period of neorealism led him to many areas, the recent political situation as well as fantasy that at surface level seemed disengaged. Even though remaining a fabulist, his approach to his material gradually became concentrated on that close observation of the surrounding reality that we find in his last writing (Eng. titles: "Mr Palomar" of 1983, and "Under the Jaguar Sun", 1986). By making reference to this typical Calvinian mixture of insistence on the observable reality and on the writer’s, and readers’, freedom to float with the imagination, this paper points to the layers of reflection that the author brings to one of the traditional tropes used in his writing.