If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
By: Italo Calvino
You go into a bookshop and buy If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. You like it. But there is a printer’s error in your copy. You take it back to the shop and get a replacement. But the replacement seems to be a totally different story. You try to track down the original book you were reading but end up with a different narrative again. This remarkable novel leads you through many different books including a detective adventure, a romance,a satire, an erotic story, a diary and a quest. But the hero of them all is you, the reader.
I must’ve had this book since I got back from my exchange two years ago and never gotten around to it. I’ve always felt that I needed to be in a particular mood or it has to be a particular season to read this (see my 10 books to read during the winter list). I’ve read his other notable work, Invisible Cities (review) earlier this year and absolutely loved it so I was definitely looking forward to reading this book.
By: Italo Calvino
Città reali scomposte e trasformate in chiave onirica, e città simboliche e surreali che diventano archetipi moderni in un testo narrativo che raggiunge i vertici della poeticità.
“Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his.” So begins Italo Calvino’s compilation of fragmentary urban images.
I’ve had two of Italo Calvino’s books sitting on my shelf for some time now in both English and Italian, Le citta invisibili being the second of the books I picked up. I decided to read this book first (before If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller) because I heard how different this novel was and how interesting the descriptions of the cities were; I’m also reading this novel as part of the I Love Italy reading challenge that I’m participating in. What I didn’t expect from this novel was how there is so much more going on than just mere descriptions. Contains a few spoilers ahead!