The knowledge of my parents and we know who they were and their role in his formation converged on the plant kingdom, its wonders, its virtues.
I, attracted by another vegetation , that of the written phrases , turned my back on what they could teach me and concluding, at the end of the budget, a gloss. But the wisdom of the human remained equally foreign to me ;
On the other hand, Calvino speaks of plant words elsewhere, in one of his travel reports from Japan, when he says:
“In the garden the various elements are put together according to criteria of harmony and criteria of meaning, like words in a poem. With the difference that these plant words change color and shape during the year and even more with the passing of the years : changes in whole or in part calculated in designing the poetry-garden note the term project, on which we will return » .
These passages interest me to underline the red thread: the centrality of the relationship, of the interaction, of the analogy – in many ways – established by Calvino between writing for him a way of being in the world, a form of continuous research ; to make sense and the world vault, city, forest, garden, forest, landscape; but also clouds, sand, and especially the connections that plot all these dimensions, stretched between men, objects, animals, tools, projections of the imaginary ….
This relationship, this resemblance, returns explicitly many times.
And perhaps the most declaratory is: after Cosimo has invaded on the balloon, in the conclusion of the Baron Rampante : Calvino writes
“Ombrosa is no more one of his many” dissolved landscapes “. Looking at the clear sky, I wonder if it really existed. That frastaglìo of branches and leaves, bifurcations, lobes, spiumii, minute and endless, and the sky only in irregular flashes and cutouts, maybe there was only because it passed my brother with his light step of codibugnolo, was an embroidery done on the nothing that resembles this ink thread, as I let it run for pages and pages, full of erasures, of references, of nervous gouges, of spots, of gaps that at times are shredded in big light berries , at times it thickens into tiny signs like punctiform seeds , now it turns back on itself, now it forks, now it connects clumps of phrases with leaf or cloud contours , and then it stumbles, and then it starts to twist, and runs and runs and it unfolds and envelops one last senseless bunch of words, dreams, and is finished “(1957).
It is all a declaration of poetics. As you may have noticed, I have emphasized in reading a series of terms of a “shared” lexicon.
Like this, the whole page-palimpsest of forty years of Calvin’s continually reinvented writing is a landscape.
We will return to this report which seems to me to pervade also the book of Fabio Di Carlo, beyond the specific of the reading that he tells us to be his: The one that has been proposed as a declared objective .
I would say that Di Carlo does not run this risk, except to the extent that he seeks it. This book, slim, and is a merit, is the result of an enormous, courageous, unconscious, research work: on sources, as a philologist and on criticism, at the intersection of different approaches and skills, reconstructing cultural contexts, … projections 9 .
Then, as sometimes happens to those who frequently study an object of study, it happens that in his regard an inexorable, disturbing process of mimetic metamorphosis begins. It happens a little to everyone. Perhaps it happened also to Fabio Di Carlo. Not so much, to resemble Calvino, as for his landscapes.
It has acquired the multiplicity of values, the transversal, irreducible necessity of: from there start and return, distance and hierarchy of details, accuracy and profound, analytical, ordering, synthetic view. And in so doing, as a landscape architect, still an architect, in this case it has also become, for us, an easy play on words: “architesto” .
In his book, Di Carlo proceeds for hypertexts of quotations.
Renouncing a chronological setting; to a rigidly thematic hierarchy. As well, the titles of the chapters of his book are speakers. And they reveal the nucleuses around which its reflections thicken.
However, I will not dwell on everything that specifically emerges from these pages. Because it has already been done.
Writing is always tense, full of informed, punctual correlations, with flashes that are sudden, suggestive and highly effective .
Di Carlo succeeds in trying to come to terms with the projections on the present day of the themes he traces and investigates, without bending its meaning. Always having clear that the dominant figure of every production of Calvin is the aesthetic, of artistic synthesis.
These his corollaries in the body of Calvino’s text are also always present in the plot of the analysis of a context. Cultural context of the reception of Calvino : which is not limited to architectural culture but, outlining the historical-political framework and here some chronological support would perhaps be useful to the young reader, mentions the sociological, proto-environmental context, cultural debate, literary debate, the loss of centrality of man , the progressive awareness of the limits of development.
To measure the importance of the multifaceted presence of Calvino in this network of relationships, one thinks of one of the major publishing operations, today’s disclosure, high, launched by a publishing house, the Einaudi … of Einaudi, where Calvino is from a young age pars magna and it will remain until the crisis of 84, when it will begin to publish with Garzanti.
We are at the beginning of the 70s: When the first volume of the History of Italy comes out , inspired – with a tribute to the March Bloch title of the original Characters -, to a long-time historiography. Original features, where Emilio Sereni’s vulgate of his History of the agricultural landscape (of ten years before) is hosted.
It is 1972. The year of publication of the Invisible Cities .
And, ten years later – if we want to continue the game, we are among the “square literature” of If a winter night ( 1979, with its fantastic quarter of a book – also investigated by Di Carlo – On the carpet of leaves illuminated by luna ) and Palomar (1983) .
When, then, a Calvino in the role of journalist for La Repubblica will review the volume V of the series of the Annals always of the History of Italy . Volume entitled Il paesaggio , curated by Cesare de Seta.
And Belpoliti, Calvino’s critic, to whom much Di Carlo refers, underlines how in that review of 1982 ( La città pensata: the measure of space ) , Calvino points out that “the dimension of the urban void is” an Italian mental constant “, through which the Renaissance “ideal cities” are linked to the metaphysical ones of De Chirico ” .
All this to say how Di Carlo’s work is measured with a cultural scene where forty years Calvino is variously a “first protagonist”. A Calvino who is also a man of publishing.
From a text that collects some of his interventions in this area, the title is a documentary exhibition that can still be seen until the end of the month at the National Library. The books of others. The editorial work of Italo Calvino.
That gives the measure of its role as creator and organizer of publishing initiatives, up to the choice of covers and the promotion of books .
– Calvino: Director of the series (the Small Scientific-literary Library , the Centopages ), compiler and re-inventor of the 200 Italian Fiaws , writer for the radio (the story of the Orlando furious in 1968 ), the theater , music , the visual arts .
– Calvino: Author of introductions, curators, bands and twists. Paratesti, as they are called in jargon.
Paratesti from the particular critical relief when it comes to his works. Paratesti of which Di Carlo makes a wise use in his book
And, speaking of paratesti on Calvino, we read in the back cover of a non-signed collection of contributions now late, 84, one year before his death:
“Some features of the writer’s physiognomy come out in these pages ‘on occasion’; omnivorous encyclopedic curiosity and discreet distance from any specialism; respect for journalism as impersonal information and the pleasure of entrusting one’s opinions to marginal observations or hiding them between the lines; obsessive meticulousness and dispassionate contemplation of the variety of the world ” .
It is not by chance that his daughter Giovanna always emphasizes her father, as “she worked in order not to be reduced to a single definition, and … succeeded”.
It is a Calvino who never remains equal to himself; that continually reinvents its many seasons.
Think, for example, in 1963, different works come out like the Day of a Scrutineer and Marcovaldo. Certainly with this year it is now evident a rethinking, as Calvino says, of the most “bold” certainties. And it is no coincidence that he will feel the need to “give an account”. Then come new prefaces to the Paths , where he explains his transfigured landscape of resistance; and the Preface to the Baron Rampante , in a school edition introduced by a Calvino professor under a pseudonym: carefully highlighted by Di Carlo.
And it is useful to remember how, both for the man of letters and for the man of Calvino publishing, the concept of Project is central, – it seems to me, inevitably, so dear also to Di Carlo.
Centrality, which emerges in the title of a tribute on the special issue of Menabò of 1967 dedicated to Vittorini, the year after his death: Vittorini: design and literature . Or as in a page where Calvino says: “every time I try a book I have to justify it with a project”.
And if he has been reproached for him with a writing that becomes more and more abstract and rarefied; in him “poetry gets caught sometimes and then more and more often in planning” . …
It is already in the forge of the two years of work dedicated to writing the Italian Fiabe collection, already from ’54 to 56, which develops the awareness of writing as an essentially recombinatory art, textual engineering, workshop where research and analysis the fantasy is valid for the three quarters and for a quarter: which, in a late video interview, is “like a jam must be spread on a solid slice of bread” .
But then, and beyond the publishing and literature, the Project is also a tool for control: complexity in view of the aspiration to consistency: we could say, evoking Carlo Ossola that with reference to the American Lessons emphasizes not by chance how “The ‘legacy’ of Calvino is the winning combination (av) of multiplicity and coherence”.
But, remember the conclusion of the opening quotation: “the wisdom of the human remained so unrelated to me”. Several times, since the 50s, Calvino notes the collapse of a world and above all a way of being there .
In a 1980 text he writes:
“I can no longer hide the disproportion between the complexity of the world and my means of interpretation: so I abandon every bold tone of challenge and I do not attempt any more synthesis that is expected to be exhaustive. Confidence in a long development of industrial society … proves unsustainable, as well as a planning possibility that is not short-term .
On the other hand, without ever deviating from the commitment, Calvino thinks in his own fantastic and how to say always very current Apologue on honesty in the country of the corrupt , published in March 1980 on La Repubblica (not by chance, however, one of the rare now civil interventions on the newspaper)
And, the landscape? The omnipresent pervasiveness in Calvino of that landscape that Di Carlo travels by mapping the themes as many karstic rivers that intersect, I think we can read also in the light of the shared stratum of the first evoked centrality of the relationship between writing and the world, which in Calvino it is substantiated in the many ways of being there, in the world as on page , but assuming, often, synthetically, the name of the landscape.
Under the lens there is the landscape, but if we move back and look beyond the frame we have set, what is it? What is it, what is it – paradoxically – all around, on the landscape?
Will it not be that the ever looming awareness of the crisis of the so-called model of development that we inhabit has found nothing better than to condense, as a symbolic precipitate, also in the already crowded concept omnibus of landscape ?
Perhaps, also because the landscape is better than another Figure of this crisis; since on this our projection the consequences, the traces, the wounds, of its disintegration are more readable and evident
In our alter-ego landscape finds synthesis and face The uneasiness of inhabiting a world like the one where we are now to dictate – in negative – the address of the transformations on the planet. Giving start and name to a hypothetical new era, geological is said, and yet characterized by an impressive acceleration of the times in the effects: it was, that in fact we take the name of Anthropocene.
But also the uneasiness of living in a time that travels under the sign of the commodification of all spheres of existence, until that of relationships (with the rest of the world, precisely, with others, … our desire, our … fictional).
In short, if with Calvino and even more today, the landscape becomes a figure of the world, in the sense of the way of being in it, this means especially that it makes a figure of the way to inhabit the crisis.
So, perhaps it is precisely by retracing the dialectic between the acknowledgment of the crisis of a model crisis in which we are debating without yet and still being able to imagine and develop a new model and awareness of the maneuvering space. residual of how to stay there, which is perhaps outlined for the meantime also a way of being … landscape. In Calvino, ante litteram or, beyond the letter (at least in the sense of the letter of the landscapers, to understand, of the AIAPP or the IFLA)?
A way of being in the world, a landscape attitude that guards the crisis, dialectically lives its awareness trying – at the same time – to move from awareness to the search for answers, however, and therefore therefore has a new model to go to. Without which “new landscape project” is not given .
If so, we can proceed with fencing; to get closer to concluding, one can also say that Di Carlo also deserves merit, weaving the themes of the landscape artist with a lot of disciplinary glasses and throwing out those themes on the plot of a landscape as an attitude to preside over the crisis, to have grasped the vocation of an unconscious, irreducible, because consubstantial, as for a tic, culturally introjected, involuntary, methodologically structuring landscape of Calvino.
The actuality of a reading of the landscapes of Calvino traveled by Di Carlo is then perhaps in the long, analytical and restless step with which we must, with Calvino, continue to cover that “disproportion and inadequacy to understand the complexity of reality”; with the awareness that to be a critical conscience of the world (of the way we are in the middle) we can only be landscape designers. At Marcovaldo, at the Libereso, at Cosimo di Piovasco, even at the Palomar. Alla, … Di Carlo, even when – as long as it is possible – does not make the landscape artist, so to speak, by profession, as well as by vocation .
I conclude , if allowed, and allow time, proposing, as a tribute to the book of Fabio, to reread a fairy tale – thus evoking that iron system of rules so dear to Calvin that he wants, with fairy tales, the fantastic regimented in a perfect device . A fairy tale this time not re-written, but written by Calvino.
I tell you the story or rather I tell the story, because it is worthily recombine since the suggestion of the title: Forest-root-labyrinth – with echoes, crossed destinies, metamorphoses, geometric and reversibility games, from Baron Cosimo, to invisible Cities – and to use of children -, themes and archetypes like those of the forest and the city. A city called, look a bit, Alberoburgo.
Forest-root-labyrinth , this invention of a Calvino 20 years after the Baron rampant , born as a theater fairy tale composed between 1977 and 78. For the sketches of Toti Scialoja (along with other 5) and intended for a transmission for children of the Rete2, in the project of the series The Theater of fans , a series that was never realized. After putting the RAI in the attic, the text, transformed into a story was published, with illustrations by Gianni Ronco, in 1981 and then, again in 1984, it was discussed to obtain a version for the theater of Sicilian puppets in Palermo. In an adaptation – with pieces also by Torquato Tasso and Andrea Zanzotto of Galateo in the woods – and with Roberto Andò’s debut directorial debut. With statues, puppets and costumes designed by Guttuso. In a version that will go on stage after the death of Calvin, in 1986.
I read and intèrpolo
– Returning from the war to his city of Alberoburgo, the king Clodoveo ends up getting caught up in a forest “so thick that it got dark even during the day”.
“The branches obstruct us,” said the king. “All we have to do is climb over them or crawl underneath.” And the squire: “Rami? These are roots, Majesty “. “If these are roots”, the king replied, “then we are making deep underground”. “And if these are branches,” insisted the old Amalberto the squire, “then we have lost sight of the ground and are suspended in the air.” This forest has its roots at the top and the branches at the bottom
– Since King Clovis was far away, the forest had become increasingly thick and threatening, as if the plant kingdom wanted to besiege the walls of the city of Alberoburgo. And at the same time, inside the city all the plants were wilted, they had lost their leaves and were dead.
Only a mulberry was survived; The trunk is all twisted, full of ravines, dug by centuries.
– Verbena, the daughter always waiting for King Clovis, will then explain to the father the role and the mechanism, saving the parent from an inevitable conspiracy
– See this tree all twisted? If you turn around in this direction you will see the forest upside down, if you turn it around in the opposite direction, the up and down will overturn again …
In short, … then you will read the fairy tale in full. … Suffice it to say that there is a spell that imprisons city and forest and that will only melt when Verbena and the young Blueberry want to get married “and merge city and forest in one kingdom”.
But first, once again, a bird’s eye, here is an incredibly synthetic and current emotional landscape, where Calvino still traces the discomfort, the loss of loss of order and balance – as well as sense. This time, in the story, to dissolve it however happily, also dissolving the classical opposition, forest / city, … nature / culture.
I go back to reading and closing :
… The forest was that morning all a tangle of paths and thoughts of lost people : King Clovis thought: “oh, unattainable city! You taught me to walk in your straight and luminous streets: what was it for me?
– Instead Verbena thought: “The city of squared stone and the forest-tangle always seemed to me to be enemies and separated, without communication possible. But now that I have found the passage it seems to me that they become one thing … I would like the thick sap of the forest to cross the city and bring life back to its stones. I wish that in the middle of the forest we could come and go and meet and be together like in a city …
Then, … between desire and dream, always flying over …
– Blueberry’s thoughts were like in a dream: “I would like to bring strawberries to the city, but not in a basket: I would like strawberries to move, … that march on their roots to the gates of the city … I would like rosemary and sage and basil and mint take over the streets and squares.
And with this image, I thank you and I thank Fabio for this company.
Andrea Di Salvo
http://www.fondazionemaxxi.it/2014/01/20/paesaggi-di-calvino/ This text, read on the occasion of the presentation of the book by Fabio Di Carlo, maintains, with some digressions, the oral development and informal of the situation to which it was intended.
Mario, director of the experimental floriculture station of Villa Meridiana in San Remo and Eva Mameli, botany.
Presentation in Hermit in Paris , Mondadori 1994, which contains autobiographical pages.
Note the dual temporal dimension
In Il tempio di legno , Calvino, Italo, Essays 1945-1985 , Ed. Mario Barenghi, Milan, Mondadori, 1995, p. 580.
And for Calvino we know how important it was to “start and finish”: so much so that this becomes the object of the proto-lesson of those then American
Going through Calvino’s work, moving in perspective as an architect – who ventures into limiting disciplines – deepening the intuition of a specific contribution by Calvino to landscape culture, and looking for suggestions and ideas in his work , as a source of inspiration for the landscape project.
And yet always bringing back the lines of reasoning, proactively, in the sign of the reflection of the landscape designer. Di Carlo is above all a teacher I think I have understood (in this not diminishing at all his other skills and abilities, indeed). His study, his reflection, his productions are finalized … to the transmission.
Guide, facilitator, passeur in his “productive” reading of his landscapes of Calvino.
I quote only, About a Cosimo Baron rampant named in the field, pardon … on the branches, landscapist ante litteram, as Di Carlo evokes, and actualizes, ecological networks, … participatory planning; while in the village of the leper-gardeners, as in today’s experiences, it is clear how much natural and cultivated they grow together; Theme that we will find in a Forest-root-labyrinth fairy tale, of twenty years later, on which I would like to return. Or Di Carlo re-narrates the invisible Cities , updating their categorization. Or still takes us flying on a bird’s back (sharing the passion of Cosimo author of Apologhi …) And then …
Reception, as we know, always runs the risk of a teleological reading, with retrospective reverberation of previous works of the authentic interpretation of posthumous American lessons in the mid-80s.
Domenico Scarpa, Italo Calvino , says “Calvino has developed an anthropocentric conception of the universe: man can not be considered lord of all things”
And or .1929 (same year of the foundation of the Annales with Lucien Febvre). Characters published by Einaudi in 1973, together with the King Thaumaturges , in the translation of Carlo Ginzburg.
And in the meantime, travel reports, including those from Japan, mentioned at the start.
After having been since 1974 of Corriere della Sera , inaugurating, with Pasolini and others, the season of commentators in newspapers.
Belpoliti, The Eye of Calvin . If we want, then again, again in 1982 is the number of historical Quaderni , on Boschi. History and archeology . After that of 1979 on agrarian and microstoria farms . Even if only in 1988 it will come to speak, with Alberto Caracciolo of ‘Ambiente as history .
Attention to the illustrations also in his books: from the tables by Sergio Tofano that accompany the edition of Marcovaldo or The Seasons in the City in the series Books for children ; to those of Emanuele Luzzati, for the themed choice of Italian fairy tales for children , to the sketches of Toti Scialoja for the series of theatrical fairy tales in the so-called project of the Fan Theater , with which perhaps we will close this intervention.
1956. Then again in the seventies Calvino returns several times to deal with fairy tales, writing among other things forewords to new editions of famous collections (Lanza, Basile, Grimm, Perrault, Pitré).
Then in volume for the Einaudi edition in 1970.
In 1956 he wrote the single act La panchina , performed by Sergio Liberovici, performed in October at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo.
In 1982 La Vera Storia was presented at La Scala in Milan, a two-act opera written by Berio and Calvino.
The pen in first person, 1977 on contemporary art and on the other hand with a commentary on Carpaccio (unpublished 1971),
Collection of sand: ” collects other pages of things seen or that, even if born from readings of books, have as their object the visible or the act itself to see (including the seeing of the imagination)”.
But also marking a difference from Vittorini in this regard: “And here perhaps is the point where my interests tend to diverge from his, to move towards a knowledge in which every anthropocentric mortgage is abolished, in which the history of ‘man exits from its limits, be seen only as a ring, letting himself swallow to the two extremes by the history of the organization of matter, on one side in animal continuity – in which Vittorini continues to see the beginning of man as a jump – and on the other in the extension to the machines of the elaboration of the information) “: Calvino, Vittorini: planning and literature 1967, in Saggi , vol., Milan, Mondadori, 1995, pp. 164-165, cited in Aldo Maria Morace, I the second Calvino. A speech on the method
Dedicated to the Situation of 1978 , then collected in Hermit in Paris , Mondadori, 1994
St Jan Lett . Motta XII.
Although the question concerned the role of creativity. With some effort, Calvino responds by diverting on the imagination.
A stone above. Discourses of literature and society by Italo Calvino. Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1995. The text from the article Under that stone that Italo Calvino published on La Repubblica on April 15th 1980.
See also Domenico Scarpa, Italo Calvino , sub entry Sguardo , p. 231: Calvino says: “In short, what I tend to do, the only thing I would like to be able to teach is a way of looking, that is to be in the middle of the world. After all literature can not teach anything else “.
Term that betrays subalternity to a hegemonic thought.
What else has become, in approximations, good and bad, even in current use, the landscape if not what is around us (to us, to the landscape?), What we put into it. So, precisely our way – more or less but still chosen – to be in the world.
With this dialectic and his projections on today he makes the accounts of Di Carlo throughout his book (and in his other interventions, and I think in particular to the recent, Gardens, unique landscape , where in part very appropriately transliterated – glocally – these reflections on the landscape from a close-up view of the garden.
That is to say – always on the edge of the risk of exchanging the finger that indicates the moon to the moon The finger and the moon are respectively, the task of substitution that the landscapers, say professionals have given themselves or have seen themselves buckled , more than entrusted, and the model of alternative society that, once focused, needs to decline. With various technicalities, but especially for the very fact of having been able to think about it and for knowing how to stay differently – that set of consequent applications: solutions, interpretations, translations of such a new alternative model.
Will not there be by chance, through Calvino … an invitation for each of us to make us (beyond landscape artists) landscape artists – or to Gilles Clément, gardeners who say yes, more or less planetary?