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Italo Calvino, the Fableman

“Biographical data: I am still one of those who believe, with Benedetto Croce, that only the works of an author count. (When they count, of course.) Therefore I don't give any biographical data, or I give them false, or in any case I always try to change them from one time to the next. Just ask me what you want to know and I will tell you. But I will never tell you the truth, you can be sure of that." This is what Italo Calvino wrote to Germana Pescio Bottino, an Italian author who wanted to interview him for a book in the 1970s. It is therefore a beautiful paradox that today, one hundred years after his birth on 15 October 1923, an exhibition dedicated to Italo Calvino takes as its starting point this altogether irrelevant detail, an anniversary, to give life to a story dedicated to the great Italian intellectual, one of the most important narrators of the second half of the twentieth century. The occasion of the centenary gives rise to an exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale focused on the relationship between the Italian writer and the world of figurative arts. For Calvino, art represents an inexhaustible mine of visual inspirations from which the writer draws until the end of his life, as demonstrated by the cover choices of his books, never random, with his beloved Klee and Picasso, or even the writings dedicated to Giulio Paolini, Fausto Melotti, Giorgio de Chirico, Luigi Serafini, Enrico Baj.

Veronica Azzari - © 2023 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Roma