Marcello Flores

1956: the Communist crisis between independence and obedience. The role of intellectuals

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When "The Baron in the Trees" comes out, in 1957, Calvino was concluding the path that would have led him to resign from the PCI. The crisis had begun the year before, when the convulsions affecting the communist world - 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Pozna􀄔 protests and Hungarian Revolution - had called into question a model of intellectual engagement valid since the 1920s. For communist politics it was the end of an important vehicle of consensus; for Calvino was a liberating choice, that did not, however, lead him to abandon his own radicalism, now fully translated into literary works.

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