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Marcovaldo: Or the Seasons in the Cityby Italo Calvino
While not as well known as If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, Invisible Cities, or Cosmicomics, Marcovaldo equally exemplifies the peerless brilliance of Italo Calvino's creativity. The tale of Marcovaldo, a hapless laborer living with his family in an Italian city, unfolds over the course of 20 short stories and is set cyclically within the inexorable rhythm of the passing seasons. Marcovaldo's insatiable imagination and affinity for the simple intrigue of everyday existence proves to be more a bane than a boon, not only in his daily meanderings, but also in the lives of all those he comes in contact with. Told with charming sincerity, compassionate humor, and quiet beauty, Calvino deftly employs his gifts as a storyteller to both delight the reader and delineate some of the oft-overlooked elements of modern urban living: nature, pollution, hardship, semblance, distraction, relationship, and simplicity.
Synopses & Reviews
An unskilled worker in a drab northern Italian industrial city of the 1950s and 1960s, Marcovaldo has a practiced eye for spotting natural beauty and an unquenchable longing to come a little closer to the unspoiled world of his imagining. Much to the puzzlement of his wife, his children, his boss, and his neighbors, he chases his dreams, gives rein to his fantasies, tries — with more ingenuousness than skill — to lessen his burden and that of those around him. The results are never the anticipated ones.
"During the last quarter century Italo Calvino has advanced far beyond his American and English contemporaries. As they continue to look for the place where the spiders make their nest, Calvino has not only found that special place, but learned how himself to make that special web of prose to which all things adhere." Gore Vidal
Marcovaldo is an unskilled worker in a drab industrial city in northern Italy. He is an irrepressible dreamer and an inveterate schemer. Much to the puzzlement of his wife, his children, his boss, and his neighbors, he chases his dreams-but the results are never the expected ones. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
About the Author
Italo Calvino's superb storytelling gifts earned him international renown and a reputation as "one of the world's best fabulists" (John Gardner, New York Times Book Review). Born in Cuba in 1923, Calvino was raised in Italy, where he lived most of his life. He died in Sienna at the age of sixty-one.
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