ROME (AP) — Roberto Calasso, an Italian literary figure and the driving force behind an esteemed Milan-based publishing house, has died at 80. Italian news media, quoting his publisher Adelphi, said Calasso died Thursday in Milan after a long illness. For decades, an essential leader of Adelphi, and its chairman from 1999, Calasso adhered to the philosophy of choosing books to publish not on how they might sell but whether they had something important to say. A native of Florence, Calasso also wrote many books, using a fountain pen for all but the final draft. His 1988 “Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony” explored Greek mythology.
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