Italo Calvino and the Compass of Literature
Eugenio Bolongaro (Author)
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DescriptionLooking at five of Italo Calvino's often neglected early novels: The Young People of Po, The Cloven Viscount, The Baron in the Trees, The Non-Existent Knight, and The Watcher, Eugenio Bolongaro argues that these works, written between 1948 and 1963, contain a sustained meditation on the role of the intellectual and on the irreducible ethical and political dimension of literature. This meditation provides an insight into a crucial moment in Calvino's development as a writer, and allows Bolongaro to lay the groundwork for a more 'political' reading of Calvino's later work. Italo Calvino and the Compass of Literature firmly situates Calvino within his historical context - the cultural revival of post-World War II Italy - by relating these early novels to Calvino's political and critical writings which played an important role in the cultural debates of the time. This approach provides a key to understanding Calvino's work in a new light, ably demonstrating that Calvino's full literary significance cannot be understood in isolation from the politics and cultural movements of the period. One of the few book-length English-language works on Calvino's early writings, Italo Calvino and the Compass of Literatur will prove to be an indispensable tool to Italianists and literary studies scholars.
University of Toronto Press
27 September 2003
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