Angela Borghesi

Change and Breath: Anna Maria Ortese’s Words to Save the World

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Keywords: Anna Maria Ortese, Ecology, Nature, Caregiving, Compassion

Anna Maria Ortese is not used to arguing, nor to expressing her beliefs in a systematic way. However, her essays and journalistic writings, as well as the reflections contained in her novels, have a deep-seated consistency. Starting from the analysis of a 1967 exchange of views with Italo Calvino about space travels, this essay highlights Ortese’s early environmentalist conscience, and points out two recurrent topics in Ortese’s work: the idea that not only the living, but the whole world (actually, the entire universe) breathes, and the need of a radical change in the way we inhabit our planet. Her aim is to foster a new concern for the poorest and the most marginalised, and a caring attitude of the surrounding world

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