Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore

Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore If On A Winter S Night A Traveler Is A Marvel Of Ingenuity, An Experimental Text That Looks Longingly Back To The Great Age Of Narration When Time No Longer Seemed Stopped And Did Not Yet Seem To Have Exploded Italo Calvino S Novel Is In One Sense A Comedy In Which The Two Protagonists, The Reader And The Other Reader, Ultimately End Up Married, Having Almost Finished If On A Winter S Night A Traveler In Another, It Is A Tragedy, A Reflection On The Difficulties Of Writing And The Solitary Nature Of Reading The Reader Buys A Fashionable New Book, Which Opens With An Exhortation Relax Concentrate Dispel Every Other Thought Let The World Around You Fade Alas, AfterOr So Pages, He Discovers That His Copy Is Corrupted, And Consists Of Nothing But The First Section, Over And Over Returning To The Bookshop, He Discovers The Volume, Which He Thought Was By Calvino, Is Actually By The Polish Writer Bazakbal Given The Choice Between The Two, He Goes For The Pole, As Does The Other Reader, Ludmilla But This Copy Turns Out To Be By Yet Another Writer, As Does The Next, And The NextThe Real Calvino InterspersesDifferent Pastiches Stories Of Menace, Spies, Mystery, Premonition With Explorations Of How And Why We Choose To Read, Make Meanings, And Get Our Bearings Or Fail To Meanwhile The Reader And Ludmilla Try To Reach, And Read, Each Other If On A Winter S Night Is Dazzling, Vertiginous, And Deeply Romantic What Makes Lovemaking And Reading Resemble Each Other Most Is That Within Both Of Them Times And Spaces Open, Different From Measurable Time And Space

Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy 1952 1959 , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories 1965 , and the novels Invisible Cities 1972 and If On a Winter s Night a Traveler 1979.His style is not easy to classify much of his writing has an air reminiscent to th

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  • Paperback
  • 260 pages
  • Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore
  • Italo Calvino
  • English
  • 13 February 2017

10 thoughts on “Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore

  1. says:

    You are about to read Mark Nicholls s review of Italo Calvino s postmodern classic If on a Winter s Night a Traveller You might want to position yourself in a comfortable chair before you begin, or place a cushion behind your back, as we know how arduous it can be to read things off the internet You might also care to prepare a coffee, a light snack, or to switch a light on before beginning.You might be thinking that this review is not going to interest you, since book reviews on books you haven t read can often be frustrating For starters, the writer delves into details about the plot which spoil the surprises a blind reading of the book might create, and likewise you are unable to form an opinion yourself and share your thoughts on the text in question.Conversely, you might have read the text and are familiar with the second person narration that addresses the reader directly and places them as a protagonist in the book You might think this review an obvious imitation of Calvino s unique style, and become irate as you read on, wondering when the reviewer is going to get around to summarising the plot.In fact, you become so irate, you search for the book on , but are incandescent when you notice each review is also written in the same imitative style, and the gimmick becomes so irritating you have to leave the room for a moment to calm yourself down.As you leave the room, someone knocks on the door It is a door to door salesman offering copies of Italo Calvino s novel If on a Winter s Night a Traveller at a reduced price He begins his sale by saying You are wondering whether or not this novel is for you, or whether you might find a novel with the beginnings of ten separate novels included as part of the plot somewhat bemusing or distracting You are unsure whether to slam the door in my face, or to go get your credit card You slam the door in his face As you return to the living room, you notice that Mark Nicholls has broken into your house and is sitting naked on the couch reading Italo Calvino s novel If on a Winter s Night a Traveller You are very confused and frightened Feelings of arousal and apoplexy stir up inside you You decide to call the police, but Mark Nicholls springs up from the chair as you move towards the phone You are wondering whether to phone the police to remove Mark Nicholls from your house You are deeply confused as to why this reviewer whose opinions you find facile and banal is suddenly sitting naked on your couch reading the very book you were reading about, he says You look for a blunt instrument to hit him with, but can find only a cup You throw the cup, but he ducks and it breaks against the wall.You start to sob That was your best cup, and there is coffee over the walls and carpet Further, Mark Nicholls appears to be swinging his penis at you, performing an embarrassing 360 swingaround which slowly hypnotises you into a deep deep sleep When you wake up, you are at your desk Mark Nicholls and the coffee stain has gone You wonder why there is a grapefruit in your left hand and an antelope on your sofa Those of you who read only the opening sentence and skipped to the end get a strange feeling of anticlimax.

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  3. says:

    I say this is what happened Italo Calvino was suffering from a writer s block He would start a novel, get it to its first curve and abandon it before the resolution A few months later he would start another with a similar result Finally, his publishers got impatient because it had been years since the last novel and they said Italo, get your shit together We need a new book Now Italo panicked and did the only thing he could think of He glued all his failed attempts together and delivered it to the publisher Here it is My new novel Er. Italo, but those are just beginning of some 10 different books Yeah I know Don t you get it It s postmodernism Ok You know, I am playing with the concept of the author It is basically all about the reader now The author has become obsolete It is the reader that creates the work and the author is not even necessary Ah. I see Do we still need to pay you then Yah Will mail you the invoice I have read most of the reviews on here and I agree with all of them, with the bad ones and the good ones all the same If you think this is contradictive and not possible, think again And one word for you deconstructionism.There is no doubt that Calvino is was one hell of a writer and he plays with his poor readers like a cat plays with a mouse This book was an absolute trip and really gets you dizzy It might or might not be a coincidence that a day after finishing it I caught some weird bug that made me throw up for two days straight.Now I am going to talk about one aspect that none of the reviewers have pointed out It is so fucking sexist, like HELLO All the female characters in each one of the novels as well as the main novel that puts the novels together have all the charecteristics of the Other The female reader is actually called The Other Reader for crying out loud Even when for a short moment the narration is switched to make the female reader the subject, it is only so that the male reader can run around her flat and describe her and define her and check this, she is NOT EVEN THERE Calvino makes her me the subject for a few pages and she is not even there She is forever passive All the female characters are or less passive They are also mysterious, intagible and ethereal and their actions usually make no sense to the subject of the narrative be it the You from the main narrative, or the various I s from the sub novels This kind of stuff really gets on my nerves Especially since I read The Other Sex by Simone de Beauvoir So Calvino, deconstruct that old as the world archetype, why don t you Only you can t because you are dead.

  4. says:

    I arrived at the library with my two books in hand As I plunked them down on the check in counter, a thin matronly woman approached Would you like to check these books in Yes I would but I would also like to Oh, I see you read If on a Winter s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino Yes I did Have you read it too On starting the first few pages, you were put off by what appears to be a artistic gimmick Why yes a little but you soon realized that the author was trying to involve you in his dadaist alternate reality by connecting to the only reality the author and reader have in common The world of words and symbolism Well, I m not sure I saw it that way But now that you mention it The book caused you to not only suspend disbelief but examine your own concepts of what is means to immerse yourself in literature Actually I just want to check these books in It is unlike anything you have ever read before Even unlike anything Calvino has written before But he tells you that in the first three pages For the unique part of the novel is that Calvino holds nothing back about the mechanics of his literary mind OK, this is getting a little weird It makes you wonder Is there any reality except for that which we perceive through our imagination This is getting a lot weird Would you please. How do you know that we are not actually in a novel this very moment OK, Stop that Or maybe we are in a review of a novel CUT THAT OUT Or a figment of someone s web page ARRRGGHH I grabbed a pen off the counter, leaped up, and rammed the pen through her forehead, stabbing her several times None of the other people seemed to notice except an old man busy in his reading who pointed to the Quiet sign and made a hushing sound After making sure she was quite dead I dragged her into the Mystery section which I felt was as good as any place to leave a corpse I had just returned to the counter when another woman came out from the back That s funny I was sure Mrs Peachtree was manning the desk Well, never mind How can I help you I would like to return these two books Why of course Did you want to renew your loan on either book If on a Winter s Night a Traveler, no But on Crime and Punishment, yes.

  5. says:

    Original review November 2011Imagine that it is winter and there is snow everywhere and you can t go out and all you do for days is read book after book, story after story, gorging yourself on fiction until your subconscious is saturated with characters and plots Imagine that you fall asleep late one night while reading and you have the cleverest dream ever That is what reading this book by Calvino is like I forgot to mention that if you re a woman, in your strange Calvino dream, you will most definitely be a man 2014 Update Amazingly Befitting Calvino Discovery When I read If on a Winter s Night a Traveler in 2011, I muddled through it, admiring the prose but frustrated in traditional readerly fashion by the amount of interrupted narratives it contained I knew there was something very brilliant going on, some complex underlying logic, but I also knew that figuring it out was far beyond my capabilities, at least my awake time ones And so it was Yesterday, I came across Calvino s rationale for the book written in a complex code in the yellowed pages of an old copy of one of the volumes published by the experimental mathematician writers and writer mathematicians of the Oulipo group The Oulipo group was active in France in the sixties and seventies and counted such authors as Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec among its numbers Italo Calvino was also a member and, as an Oulipian experiment, he created If on a Winter s Night a Traveler using the semiotic square as a basic model, a concept he borrowed from A J Greimas book about semiotics called Du Sens Here s a brief description of Calvino s method as he outlines it in La Biblioth que Oulipienne Volume II Chapter I is represented by a single square with the following cordinates L, l, L and l he uses the letter L as in the French word livre book , lecteur male reader and lectrice female reader The explanation of the diagram representing Chapter One is as follows my translation The Male Reader who is present at the Beginning L reads The Book that Is Present at the Beginning l The Book l recounts the story of The Male Reader Who is in The Book L The Male Reader Who is in The Book doesn t succeed in reading The Book That Is in The Book l The Book That Is in The Book doesn t recount the story of The Male Reader who is present at the beginningThe Book That is Present at the Beginning would like to be The Book that is in the BookChapter II has two diagrams and some new signifiers which I would add if only I had a pencil I ve tried the Grapher app with no success so I ll just continue to use bold for the elements to which Calvino gives signifiers The Male Reader suffers from The Interruption of the Reading The Interruption of the Reading leads to a meeting with The Female Reader The Female Reader wants to continue readingThe continuation of the reading excludes any further encounter with The Male ReaderThe Male Reader wants to find The Female Reader againThe Interruption of the Reading becomes The Continuation of the BookThe Male Reader wants to continue The Book he beganThe Male Reader is happy to meet The Female Reader againThe beginning of The Begun Book doesn t satisfy The Female ReaderThe Book which was Begun has no desire to continueThe Female Reader wants to continue a different bookThe beginning of this book looks for A New ReaderChapter III has three diagrams and new signifiers The Intrigued Female Reader savours The Art of the NovelThe Art of the Novel implies a character such as The Intellectual Female ReaderThe Intellectual Female Reader analyses The Novel s IdeologyIdeology doesn t accept a character such as The Intrigued Female ReaderLudmilla understands her sister LothariaIdeology tears poetry to piecesThe Male Reader looks for The Mysterious BookThe Mysterious book is The Hyper reader s areaThe Hyper reader gives an unfinished book to the readerThe unfinished book is not the one The Male Reader was looking forThe Hyper reader doesn t read the same books as The Male ReaderThe mystery of a book is not in its end but its beginningThe Hyper reader finds written words sublimeThe Non reader only sees written words as silenceThe sublime finds its fulfilment in silenceThe Hyper reader finds his fulfilment in The Non readerIt is not enough not to read to achieve the sublimeNot every Hyper reader succeeds in interpreting silenceThere s an explanation for every diagram and every chapter, with many knew signifiers added into the mix The Forger, The Professor, The Professional Reader, The Book s Apocrypha, The Pleasure of Reading, The Fatigue of Writing, The Author who has a nightmare that his book will be written by a computer , The Tormented Author, The Productive Author, Real Books, Power, Censorship On that note, I m going to cut the rest of the explanations and skip to Chapter XII which, like Chapter I, has only one square The Male Reader is finishing the bookThe Female Reader has exited the bookThe Female Reader turns out the lightThe Male Reader approaches her in the darkThe Male Reader and The Female Reader lie down together Life continues and The Book ends there.In a little super added note at the end, Calvino reminds us that each partial story is written with a selection of Oulipian constraints eg lipograms , but he doesn t tell us what they are Get out your books and start looking My original review wasn t too far off the mark I had figured the entire exercise was about the male reader getting what he wanted in the end

  6. says:

    An experimental novel The main character is a reader who can t finish a book because the print copies are mixed up and he ends up reading first chapters of various novels over and over again He meets up with a woman who has the same problem and he goes on a search to find the rest of the book for both of them Actually there are two women, sisters, who have different ideas about books and what the purpose of reading is They appear in different guises throughout the story The narrative is labyrinth like, as if Borges had written it But it s not fair to really focus on the plot Like many of Calvino s works, this is a work of philosophy than a novel And, like all of Calvino s work, there s a heavy dose of fantasy and absurdity There s a professor of Cimmerian literature and Bothno Ugaric languages which sounded so realistic I looked them up to be sure they weren t real The book is made up of ten stories think of them as chapters A recurring theme is messages that he sees around him It s focused on how we relate to books Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be There is discussion of someone who has learned not to read He touches on issues with translated books There s a chapter on ways of reading a book While reading, something must always remain that eludes us, which, of course, has often been said of poetry I enjoyed his digs at deconstruction and the French scholars, such as this passage referring to a conference during the reading there must be some who underline the reflections of production methods, others the process of reification, others the sublimation of repression, others the sexual semantic codes, others the metalanguages of the body, others the transgressions of roles, in politics and in private life This I thought was apropos given current concerns about fake news We re in a country where everything that can be falsified has been falsified paintings in museums, gold ingots, bus tickets The counterrevolution and the revolution fight with salvos of falsification the result is that no one can be sure what is true and what is false, the political police simulate revolutionary actions and the revolutionaries disguise themselves as policemen I have liked other works by Calvino Invisible Cities The Watcher, short stories but this one just didn t do it for me I was lost at times in the narrative and had to re read to figure out what was going on, and at times didn t seem worth all the effort But many passages had great insight photo from

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    It s one of those books which stands alone and shine like sun There is nothing quite like it It s one of its kind Unique There are a few books which you come across where the writing, the prose so lyrical, and beautiful , makes such an impact that it leaves you completely dazzled, and for a while you are stunned that, wow what just happened and then you are spellbound, speechless And it is one of those books The Writing is magical, hypnotizing It snares you in its magical net It casts a spell and you can feel nothing but in awe Each word, sentence, paragraph, page, takes you in the subtlest places of your mind, and make you feel in a dreamland, a world of twists and turns and which is never ending, and abrupt in its beginnings and endings It goes very deep into the psyche of the readers which happens to be human though , and always astonishes you with great insights into the experience of reading It s a book about books and has such a plot that no one can ever spoil it, no matter how hard anyone tries And yeah, it doesn t teach you anything, not even philosophy Reading this book is like having the experience of experience of reading Its a work of sheer genius.

  8. says:

    If on a Winter s Night a TravellerItalo CalvinoJust one word AWESOME You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino s new novel, If on a winter s night a traveller Relax Let the world around you fade The opening line of this unusual book really fades the world around you and immerses you in a mystical, eccentric, surreal world where you are energised right from the scratch to encounter the world which refers to its own existence something which is unprecedented The book is a genius in a way that how it approaches the story narrative of the book is in second person the protagonist is a young male reader known simply as The Reader There is a second character, a female reader, referred to by the author as the Other Reader The relationship between the two characters is one of the two plot drivers of the book Calvino borrows plot and style from authors of each of different genres, inserting them in his novel, making it inter textual, or based off of many texts The author has a lot to stay with the ongoing story The protagonist of the book is apparently you the reader who then moves through the inter textuality of the novel to come across different manuscripts each of which is interrupted just after You begins to relish it and You continues to search for a thread through which You can connect these manuscripts, however soon You realizes that it s a futile attempt to look for such a thread , and that too not before You finds another character facing the same dilemma both of you spans bookshops, probable authors of those manuscripts to look for such a thread Eventually, You accepts that it s the structure of book those manuscripts are written not to be connected and when You starts enjoying it its structure, puzzles, prose style just then it ends and You gets the same feeling which You gets after finishing a surreal movie It happens that You start a chapter and feel it was not very good and then Calvino would do something brilliant and You would feel wow by what he did as earlier what seemed to be boorish and distracted chapter turns into a great experience and it continues throughout the book.The novel which can be best described as book within a book about many books can be said as epitome of postmodern literature a perfect example of meta fiction Calvino proposes that novels could be quickly read by having a computer break them down into lists of word frequencies he sets down sample lists to evoke whole novels He shows You the developments in modern literature the books which have become prominent examples of contemporary literature in the process he depicts human nature about possessions while spanning You through a bookshop to finally arrive at If on a winter s night a traveller But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extend acres and acres the Books You needn t read, the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Written And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered but this relative relief is then undermined by the ambush of Books Read Long Ago Which It s Now Time to Reread and The Books You ve Always Pretended to Have Read And Now It s Time to Sit Down and Really Read Themyou have turned toward a stack of If on a winter s night a traveller fresh off the press, you grasped a copy, and you have carried it to the cashier so that your right to own it can be established Your house, being the place in which you read, can tell us the position books occupy in your life,if they are defense you set up to keep the outside world at a distance, if they are dream into which you sink as if into a drug, or bridges you cast toward the world that interests you so much that you want to multiply and extend its dimensions through books Calvino explores human sexuality through the relationship between two characters through interaction between them, their interests The two central characters share a love of reading for reading s sake, in contrast to some of the other characters in the book It is this shared love which drives the romance, but the book recognizes that reading is ultimately an activity you do alone One reads alone, even in another s presence But Calvino also draws the parallel between love making and reading The narrative of the book here gradually moves to The Other Reader from You Ludmilla, now you are being read Your body is being subjected to a systematic reading, through channels of tactile information, visual, olfactory, and not without some intervention of the taste buds Hearing also has its role, alert to your gasps and your trills It is not only the body that is, in you, the object of reading the body matters insofar as it is part of a complex of elaborate elements, not all visible and not all present, but manifested in visible and present events the clouding of your eyes, your laughing, the words you speak, your way of gathering and spreading your hair, your initiatives and your reticences, and all the signs that are on the frontier between you and usage and habits and memory and prehistory and fashion, all codes, all the poor alphabets by which one human being believes at certain moments that he is reading another human being In the last chapter Calvino shares his thought his different point of views about reading through different readers, the first reader says Don t be amazed if you see my eyes always wandering In fact, this is my way of reading, and it is only in this way that reading proves fruitful for me If a book truly interests me, I cannot follow it for than a few lines before my mind, having seized on a thought that the text suggests to it, or a feeling, or a question, or an image, goes off on a tangent and springs from thought to thought, from image to image, in an itinerary of reasonings and fantasies that I feel the need to pursue ot the end, moving away from the book until I have lost sight of it The stimulus of reading is indispensable to me, and of meaty reading, even if, of every book, I manage to read no than a few pages But those few pages already enclose for me whole universes, which I can never exhaust Calvino best describes the experience of reading through the sixth reader The moment that counts most for me is the one that precedes reading At times a title is enough to kindle in me the desire for a book that perhaps does not exist At times it is the incipit of the book, the first sentences In other words if you need little to set the imagination going, I require even less the promise of reading is enough At this juncture, I am facing the dilemma which is unique to works of Calvino it isn t easy to review them and this one also seems to be another futile attempt.However, there s one thing which can be said with assurance that If on a winter s night a traveller is a book about the pleasure of reading.

  9. says:

    Why do you read Maybe you want to impress somebody Libraries are cool, or so they say Or you expect to learn something from the books you so carefully select Or you merely have a preference for intellectual entertainment and books are considered a smart option to fulfill that purpose Or maybe you read to remember all the lives you haven t lived, or that important person who left a permanent track on you, whom you don t expect to see again, or to delight again in the innocent thrill of being told a story like in your childhood days Maybe you read to find yourself Or your former selves Or the shadows of the younger, or projected older versions of yourself Or to fill that gnawing void that is tearing you apart Perhaps you read to escape the grey hues of your mundane reality The constant nagging of useless typing that reverberates all day long at the office The futile bureaucracy of preordained jobs that keep you glued to a screen, dying slowly in front of a computer, or behind a counter, or in an assembly line, or behind a wheel, or listening to nonsense of all sorts Maybe you read to defy the large scale absurdity of a world that has lost its humanity To shout out in silence To resist the general predisposition for resigned acceptance without questioning the results of your actions Whatever the reason, burying your nose in a book works like magic because once you have turned the front cover, an exquisite crawl of small inked letters absorbs all your attention while the prosaic surroundings that oppress you vanish in the blink of an eye Gone are the obligations The responsibilities The sacrifices Your failures Past, Present and Future Only the book and you exist A sophisticated game for two A unique chance to start from scratch and get that ending that you didn t manage to secure in your real life Wait Or is it a new beginning that you are seeking Calvino is a masterful teaser Rather than displaying his artistry through a sophisticated or overly ornamented narrative style, he turns the focus on the Reader, who becomes the true protagonist of this contemporary novel s , where the experience of reading mirrors the act of writing Opening a book generates expectation of the purest kind Everything is possible because nothing has happened yet Beginnings imply sheer rapture, for they carry the promises, or even better, the yearnings that make hearts beat and pulses accelerate with anticipation Beginnings carry that wistful aura that hovers around a closed book or a first date, before they lose that original gloss And so what could be better than a book composed of only beginnings The best stories are the ones not yet written, the ones that hold all the potentiality of infinite untrodden paths, countless possible endings Calvino is a brilliant writer, but he is also an observant, a meticulous thief, who has mused long and deep upon the elusive facets of literature He addresses the Reader in second person narrator and gets infiltrated in his mind, stealing his intimate mental pictures to construct his stillborn stories, ruthlessly tantalizing him until the agonizing cacophony of fake characters, secret conspiracies, carefully chosen settings and irresistible femme fatales provide a tapestry of elegant thematic patterns that sing the most symphonious hymn to books and to the art of reading I have ever encountered.Why do I read To see captured in written words what is inexpressible The true essence of what it means to Love Literature To live forever and to die every time the last page of a novel you don t want to end is inevitably turned.

  10. says:

    If, on a summer s morning, a teacher ventured to explain why she loved this novel so much, she would probably end up with an incomplete sentence, leading to a tangle of thoughts strongly opposed to being untangled for fear of losing their beautiful chaotic pattern If on a summer s day, a teacher got sidetracked and started explaining the charm of multiple beginnings, comparing them to the loose ends in life stories, she would probably lose her students to dreams, and they would drift and tangle their own stories in minds full of other things If on a summer s evening, a teacher started reading the beloved book again, she would probably discover that it had changed since she last touched it, and that both writer and reader now seemed to be different persons, even though they are still a perfect match, and she would travel across new and wellknown territory into the wide open storytelling ocean If on a summer s night, a teacher dreamed of a perfect story, it would contain several stories hidden in each other and they would be both a love story and a theory and a magic wand opening doors to the world and to the mind in a way that only travellers of Calvino s calibre manage, and she would smile in her dream and start a new story, and it would never end

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