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This title in other editions

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

by

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Cover

ISBN13: 9780156439619
ISBN10: 0156439611
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

One of the most inventive books in recent decades, Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler has a nearly animate quality (or barely inanimate quality); its succession of unwinding mysteries suggests what it might be like to find oneself in a roomful of new, young ghosts. What is reading, then, if not the art of assembling and reassembling intimacies, in silent complement to whatever book is poised to lure its Reader (the keeper and helpless, hopeful audience of all of those apparitions) forth into hazily familiar but mutable terrain?
Recommended by Gin, Powells.com

For those with an amorous affair with books, this may, perhaps, be the ultimate love letter to the reader. Calvino's novel, or more precisely, his book of ten interrelated stories, is both masterfully created and startlingly unique. Told alternately in second and third persons, the book is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between the author and the reader. Flawlessly composed, the novel weaves together seemingly unrelated tales, all of which relate directly to you, the reader. At its core is an ingenious concept the likes of which could have only come from the unparalleled imagination of Calvino. By the time you reach its dazzling conclusion, you'll be wishing you could somehow read it again for the very first time.
Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Publisher Comments:

Calvino's anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able to get to the second chapter of any of them; nor are the actual readers of this novel, who share their puzzlement and frustration — as well as their delight in the situation. Finally, the two marry and settle down to read in bed — a novel called If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. Among other things, Calvino insists that novels cannot be a form of "escape" from the world, because reading and life are inseparable. The text provides an examination of the different ways of reading and of the expectations of different kinds of readers; it is also an exploration of the relationship between the writer and the reader.

Synopsis:

Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers.

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambiance, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.

About the Author

Italo Calvino's superb storytelling gifts earned him international renown and a reputation as "one of the world's best fabulists" (New York Times Book Review). He is the author of numerous works of fiction, as well as essays, criticism, and literary anthologies. Born in Cuba in 1923, Calvino was raised in Italy, where he lived most of his life. At the time of his death, in Siena in 1985, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Lucy Black, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Lucy Black)
Almost a mystery, almost a romance, almost an ode to reading itself, this book should be required material for all self-proclaimed bibliophiles.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
GeoffreyW913, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by GeoffreyW913)
My first experience with Italo Calvino and man, what a book. It is definitely not something you read through in a linear fashion nor do should you think about the story in such. It is layered in satire, intrigue, and even humor and drama, but it is simply this - a work of art. There are parts where it is almost like reading a journal of your life that has yet to happen. Some of the passages described happened to me when I look for new books to read. Like I said, it is not easy to follow at times or even comprehend (and not even the most complicated book of its kind i.e. House of Leaves, but it was very easy for me to forget that the book was written in 1979), so be prepared, but that being said - it was a complete and utter joy to read and experience. Definitely a re-read just for the sake of making sure I didn't miss anything.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Nima, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Nima)
Got to read it!
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(2 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780156439619
Author:
Calvino, Italo
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Translator:
Weaver, William
Author:
Weaver, William
Location:
San Diego
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Harvest/HBJ ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
v. 4.
Publication Date:
19821031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
276
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.55 lb

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Related Subjects


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If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Used Trade Paper
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 276 pages Mariner Books - English 9780156439619 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One of the most inventive books in recent decades, Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler has a nearly animate quality (or barely inanimate quality); its succession of unwinding mysteries suggests what it might be like to find oneself in a roomful of new, young ghosts. What is reading, then, if not the art of assembling and reassembling intimacies, in silent complement to whatever book is poised to lure its Reader (the keeper and helpless, hopeful audience of all of those apparitions) forth into hazily familiar but mutable terrain?

"Staff Pick" by ,

For those with an amorous affair with books, this may, perhaps, be the ultimate love letter to the reader. Calvino's novel, or more precisely, his book of ten interrelated stories, is both masterfully created and startlingly unique. Told alternately in second and third persons, the book is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between the author and the reader. Flawlessly composed, the novel weaves together seemingly unrelated tales, all of which relate directly to you, the reader. At its core is an ingenious concept the likes of which could have only come from the unparalleled imagination of Calvino. By the time you reach its dazzling conclusion, you'll be wishing you could somehow read it again for the very first time.

"Synopsis" by , Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers.

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambiance, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.

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