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Le città invisibili (Italian Edition)

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“Che cos’è oggi la città per noi? Penso d’aver scritto qualcosa come un ultimo poema d’amore alle città, nel momento in cui diventa sempre più difficile viverle come città.” (Da una conferenza di Calvino tenuta a New York nel 1983). Città reali scomposte e trasformate in chiave onirica, e città diaboliche e surreali che diventano archetipi moderni di un testo narrativo altamente poetico.

Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore (Italian Edition)

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Un viaggiatore, una piccola stazione, una valigia da consegnare a una misteriosa persona… Da questa premessa si possono snodare innumerevoli vicende, ma sono dieci quelle che l’autore propone in questo sorprendente e godibilissimo romanzo. “È un romanzo sul piacere di leggere romanzi: protagonista è il lettore, che per dieci volte cominica a leggere un libro che per vicissitudini estranee alla sua volontà non riesce a finire. Ho dovuto dunque scrivere l’inizio di dieci romanzi d’autori immaginari, tutti in qualche modo diversi da me e diversi tra loro.” Italo Calvino

Books by Italo Calvino

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Italian journalist, short-story writer, and novelist, whose whimsical and imaginative fables made him one of the most important Italian fiction writers in the 20th century.

Calvino left Cuba for Italy in his youth. He joined the Italian Resistance during World War II and after the war settled in Turin, obtaining his degree in literature while working for the Communist periodical L’Unità and for the publishing house of Einaudi. From 1959 to 1966 he edited, with Elio Vittorini, the left-wing magazine Il Menabò di letteratura.

Two of Calvino’s first fictional works were inspired by his participation in the Italian Resistance: the Neorealistic novel Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno (1947; The Path to the Nest of Spiders), which views the Resistance through the experiences of an adolescent as helpless in the midst of events as the adults around him; and the collection of stories entitled Ultimo viene il corvo (1949; Adam, One Afternoon, and Other Stories).

Calvino turned decisively to fantasy and allegory in the 1950s, producing the three fantastic tales that brought him international acclaim. The first of these fantasies, Il visconte dimezzato (1952; “The Cloven Viscount,” in The Nonexistent Knight & the Cloven Viscount), is an allegorical story of a man split in two–a good half and an evil half–by a cannon shot; he becomes whole through his love for a peasant girl. The second and most highly praised fantasy, Il barone rampante (1957; The Baron in the Trees), is a whimsical tale of a 19th-century nobleman who one day decides to climb into the trees and who never sets foot on the ground again. From the trees he does, however, participate fully in the affairs of his fellow men below. The tale wittily explores the interaction and tension between reality and imagination. The third fantasy, Il cavaliere inesistente (1959; “The Nonexistent Knight,” in The Nonexistent Knight & the Cloven Viscount), is a mock epic chivalric tale.

Among Calvino’s later works of fantasy is Le cosmicomiche (1965; Cosmicomics), a stream-of-consciousness narrative that treats the creation and evolution of the universe. In the later novels Le città invisibili (1972; Invisible Cities), Il castello dei destini incrociati (1973; The Castle of Crossed Destinies), and Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore (1979; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler), Calvino uses playfully innovative structures and shifting viewpoints in order to examine the nature of chance, coincidence, and change. Una pietra sopra: Discorsi di letteratura e società (1980; The Uses of Literature) is a collection of essays he wrote for Il Menabò.

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