Passionate extracts from letters novelist Italo Calvino sent to the actress Elsa de’ Giorgi appeared in Italy’s Corriere della Sera earlier this month. The newspaper argues that the letters — which include torrid declarations like, “I desire you so much that the first time I take you in my arms I think I’ll tear you to pieces, rip off your clothes, roll on top of you, do anything to give vent to this infinite desire to kiss you, hold you, possess you” — shed light on the strange death of the actress’ husband.
But Calvino’s widow, who owns the author’s literary estate, contends that the newspaper had no right to publish the excerpts without her permission and has sued to prevent the publication of future letters. “‘If I think of what Italo was like, so reserved and modest. I just hope they don’t get daily papers in the afterlife,'” she told a journalist.