Claudio Milanini

Elsewhere, another time, otherwise: critical notes on Invisible cities

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The author analyzes some key-passages of Calvino's Invisible cities, in particular the opening section, the center of the book, and its ending. He then re-examines Calvino's polemic against any form of Messianism. Furthermore, the essay focuses, on the one hand, on the peculiar vitalism informing the narrator's accounts; on the other hand, on the gnosiological trajectory circulating through the dialogue in the surrounding "frame". In such a way, the essay points out two paradoxes: the presence of a constant ethical tension, in opposition to the awareness of the contradictions of human nature; and the praise for a form of critical empiricism devoid of any generalization, concomitant with a clear interest toward structuralism and semiology.

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