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Italo Calvino. In a nut/SHELL

calvino immagine leeds

Thursday 7 December, 3.30pm. At the University of Leeds, Sir William Heary Bragg Building, SR (GR 25)

 Italo Calvino. In a nut/SHELL

Domenico Scarpa (author of Calvino fa la conchiglia, 2023) in conversation with Olivia Santovetti (Italian) and Richard Hibbit (French/Comparative Literature)

Italo Calvino is 100! As part of the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Italo Calvino, the most popular and translated Italian author of the 20th century, Italian and Centre for World Literatures (University of Leeds) and the Italian Cultural Institute (London) have invited renowned literary critic Domenico Scarpa to discuss Calvino in world literatures today.

For more information please email

Domenico Scarpa is a literary critic, publishing consultant, translator, and lecturer. He has worked for the Turin-based Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi since 2008. In this capacity, he authored the Annotations of The Complete Works of Primo Levi (ed. Ann Goldstein, 2015) and together with Ann Goldstein, In un’altra lingua: In Another Language (2015), a conversation on Levi and translation. Scarpa edited or co-edited for Einaudi and Mondadori several books by or on Levi: Così fu Auschwitz. Testimonianze 1945-1986 (2015); Album Primo Levi (2017); Lezioni Primo Levi (2019); Auschwitz, città tranquilla (2021); Storie naturali (2022) and Bibliografia di Primo Levi ovvero Il primo Atlante (2022). Scarpa has been researching Italo Calvino since the mid-1980s: after his volume Italo Calvino (1999), he has been the editor of Marcovaldo and La memoria del mondo e altri racconti cosmicomici in the Arnoldo Mondadori collection Oscar, of the Swedish edition of Perché leggere I classici and the Bulgarian edition on Marcovaldo. His monumental centenary monograph Calvino fa la conchiglia. La costruzione di uno scrittore (2023) published by Hoepli summarizes his work to date (the English translation of Scarpa’s central chapter ‘Calvino fa la conchiglia’ is available at this link). Scarpa has also been – for 25 years – the editor of almost all the books by Natalia Ginzburg published by Einaudi; particularly noteworthy are his editions of Tutto il teatro (2005), Un’assenza. Racconti, memorie, cronache 1933-1988 (2016), Vita immaginaria (2021); he is currently editing the 1934-36 correspondence between Leone and Natalia Ginzburg. Since 2019, he has been the editor of Graham Greene’s novels for Sellerio. Other authored works by Scarpa include: Storie avventurose di libri necessari (2010), Natalia Ginzburg. Pour un portrait de la tribu (2010), and Uno. Doppio ritratto di Franco Lucentini (2011). Edited volumes include: the third volume of Atlante della letteratura italiana Einaudi titled Dal Romanticismo a oggi (2012) and Opere di bottega (2019) by Fruttero & Lucentini, within the “Meridiani” Mondadori series.

Olivia Santovetti  is a Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Leeds. She has published on Ferrante, Calvino, Gadda, Pirandello, De Roberto, Neera, Dossi, Tarchetti and on the reception of Laurence Sterne in Italy. Among her publications: Lettrici italiane tra arte e letteratura. Dall’Ottocento al modernismo (2021, co-edited with Giovanna Capitelli), Self-reflection in Italian Literature (The Italianist, 2015) and Digression: A Narrative Strategy in the Italian Novel (2007).

Richard Hibbitt is Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature at the University of Leeds. His publications include: Dilettantism and its Values: From Weimar Classicism to the Fin de Siècle (2006); Saturn’s Moons: W. G. Sebald – A Handbook (co-edited with Jo Catling, 2011), the edited volume Other Capitals of the Nineteenth Century: An Alternative Mapping of Literary and Cultural Space (2017); the bilingual edition Oysters, Nightingales and Cooking-Pots: Selected Poetry and Prose of Tristan Corbière, translated by Christopher Pilling and co-edited with Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe (2018); and Literary Capitals in the Long Nineteenth Century: Spaces Beyond the Centres, co-edited with Arunima Bhattacharya and Laura Scuriatti (2022).


  • Organizzato da: University of Leeds
  • In collaborazione con: ICI London