In choosing to analyze Calvino’s authorial image within Italian, American, and British contexts, Baldi’s volume offers an extensive overview of the criticism on Calvino, both national and international, old and recent. . . . The book skillfully interrogates the general public’s perception of the author, along with that of Calvino criticism. . . Baldi’s contribution offers a compelling overview of the various forces and elements surrounding and informing the writer’s written production, from paratext to post-text, from national criticism to international criticism, from authorial intervention to more trendy criticism. It also sheds light on the writer’s “celebrity” side (5), that is to say, how Calvino’s popularity gained momentum due, in large part, to his ability to shape his own image.
Reading The Author in Criticism, the feeling is that of looking at Calvino’s oeuvre through a mirror placed before multiple other mirrors (the vast multilingual secondary bibliography that Baldi skilfully masters). Inevitably, the resulting image is a fragmented and multiple one that, unlike many previous critical accounts, seeks to escape from Calvino’s own authority: an authority that, especially in the context of this year’s centenary, is in extreme need of challenging and of being opened up to the hidden potential of non-canonical readings. There is no doubt that Baldi’s book accepts this challenge with insightful care and creative expertise.
[Against] the growing risk - which is common to all the "greats" of the twentieth century - of its gradual "monumentalisation," Baldi's volume, beyond the very valid and accurate work of focusing on the critical and filiative links and of the in-depth and brilliant analytical comparison of the hermeneutic positionings inside and outside the canon characterizing the work of the Ligurian author, serves to remind us of the irreducibility of the work of Calvino, one of the most analyzed and investigated writers, but who still remains today in many ways elusive, bearer of questions that have not yet been answered.