La sfida al labirinto sessuale. L’eros nell’opera di Italo Calvino


  • Elio Baldi Belle van Zuylenlaan 28 2104 SR Heemstede (Paesi Bassi)



Calvino, letteratura, Eros, cosmicità, ineffabilità


The Challenge of the Sexual Labyrinth
Sensuality in the Work of Italo Calvino

In this article, the novels, stories and essays of Italo Calvino are being studied from the perspective of sensuality and Eros. In literary criticism Calvino’s work is rarely being associated with sexuality, even though the subject did fuel the imagination of the writer himself. Calvino recognized the importance of the theme of sexuality in literature as well as the challenge inherent in trying to depict faithfully a similar ineffable subject, that has, moreover, been covered by society under a thick layer of clichés and repetitive language and therefore been emptied of meaning. The importance of a non-banal, renewing sexuality in literature inspired Calvino to experiment in a light, humorous, surprising way with a myriad of forms of literary sensuality. Calvino has searched Eros in space, as the prime mover in evolution, amongst animals and celestial bodies (instead of the usual heavenly bodies), in rituals and objects, in the heads of his characters, but seldom there where the reader would expect it to be. In a mild and often indirect way Calvino integrates his reflections on the subject in his short stories and comments on the role of sexuality in modern society and literature.

Author Biography

Elio Baldi, Belle van Zuylenlaan 28 2104 SR Heemstede (Paesi Bassi)

Elio Attilio Baldi ha studiato Lingua e Letteratura Italiana e Storia all’Università di Amsterdam e ha seguito corsi di letteratura e storia italiana all’Università di Bologna. L’anno scorso ha fatto un master di Literature and Criticism, insieme ad uno stage come insegnante di traduzione dall’italiano all’olandese, all’Università di Utrecht. Quest’anno sta seguendo un researchmaster Literary Studies all’Università di Amsterdam.




How to Cite

Baldi, E. (2012) “La sfida al labirinto sessuale. L’eros nell’opera di Italo Calvino”, Incontri. Rivista europea di studi italiani, 27(2), pp. 60–68. doi: 10.18352/incontri.8292.