Judge books, not authors

“A text must be something that can be read and evaluated without reference to the existence or otherwise of a person whose name and surname appear on the cover.” Because the author, “after writing a book, is no longer the same as he was before, and therefore is no longer the author of that book”. “I believe that this ought not to be the exception but the rule, if literature really was a serious experience.”

Rather than the study of individuals, the critic should study works or collectives: “I am more and more convinced that literature is made up of works, genres, schools, discussions, problems, collective work in order to solve certain problems, and not of the individual personalities of authors. Of course authors exist and are necessary, but the study of literature author by author seems to me to be less and less the right way forward.”

-Italo Calvino


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