Few recent writers have been so interested in the cross-over between texts and visual art as Italo Calvino (1923-85). Involved for most of his life in the publishing industry, he took as much interest in the visual as in the textual aspects of his own and other writers' books. In this volume twenty Calvino experts from across the world consider the many facets of the interplay between the visual and textual in Calvino's works, from the use of colours in his fiction to the influence of cartoons, from the graphic qualities of the book covers themselves to the significance of photography and landscape in his fiction and non-fiction. The volume is appropriately illustrated with images evoked by Calvino's major texts.
Research into what Calvino saw with his eyes shut - Esther Calvino
Birgitte Grundtvig is Assistant Research Professor of Italian at the University of Copenhagen; Martin McLaughlin is FIAT-Serena Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Oxford; Lene Waage Petersen is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Copenhagen.
‘Andrea Battistini's chapter, finally, is one of the most enjoyable; it could be defined as the critical equivalent of Eco’s novel La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana, in the sense that it shows quite convincingly how the "fantastic iconology of cartoons" and comic books is deeply rooted in Calvino's imagination and how this could be traced in his narrative style, also testifying to the extent of Calvino's engagement with the products of mass culture.’ — Pierpaolo Antonello, Modern Language Review 104.1, January 2009, 210-12 (full text online)
‘These notes give but a hint of the richness of Image, Eye and Art in Calvino. This is a compelling volume for Calvino scholars; it should also have a strong appeal for those more generally interested in the relation between the verbal and the visual.’ — Luca Pocci, Angles on the English-Speaking World 8, 2008, 127-29
‘A vital tool for further research not only into the works of Calvino but also into the contemporary cultural interweaving of literature and the arts.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.1, January 2011