Il teatro dei ventagli as Representation of Calvino's Eastern Imaginary

Nadia Rosso


In Calvino's work East and West are strictly correlated. East, in particular, offers cues to fantastically transform themes and styles that cross through his whole creative career. In 1977 Calvino, in collaboration with the artist Toti Scialoja, worked for the production of a series of six fairy-tales to be performed on stage – L'ussaro e la luna, Lo specchio e il bersaglio, La foresta-radice-labirinto, La città abbandonata, Le porte di Bagdad, Il naufrago Valdemaro – collected under the same title Il teatro dei ventagli.

Starting from the analysis of these texts, the essay wants to know how in the author's intentions there is a clear contact and dialogue with a different culture. A dialogue that Calvino’s other works have hardly emphasized in a similar keen and suggestive manner, recalling, at the same time, with few but essential lines, few and significant gestures, a linear and bare theatre, plunged in a dreamlike and fantastic atmosphere, mindful of the Oriental lesson and of the deep symbolic charge of his subjects.


Fairy tale; Theatre; Television; Japan; East

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