Climatologists have been warning that "we have little time left", but in the meantime, energy resources are running out and whole populations flee in search of food and security, while in capitalist financial systems the resources are held by a few. If this is today's picture, what should we do? Italo Calvino, the greatest Italian intellectual and writer of the second half of the 20th century, wondered about these issues in the mid-Seventies, summarizing them in one question: what must be done to limit the 'catastrophe'? This volume examines the way Calvino discusses the said problem in newspaper articles, interviews and stories, and the intellectual and human solutions he offers. The writer works on texts by great authors (Gogol', Montale, Pirandello) from which he retrieves other themes and problems, and represents the catastrophe in the last short story of If on a winter’s night a traveller, entitled What story down there awaits its end?: a tough controversy against approximations, cultural and mental disorders, incompetence, lack of planning and blindness in front of the positive data of the world that can be seen even in the everyday disturbances (by those who know how to see them).
University of Perugia, Italy