Synopses & Reviews
“The true theme of the nineteenth-century fantastic tale is the reality of what we see: to believe or not to believe in phantasmagoric apparitions, to glimpse another world, enchanted or infernal, behind everyday appearances.” — from Calvino’s introduction to Fantastic Tales
Vampires, ghosts, and other horrors abound in this collection of nineteenth-century fantastic literature, selected and edited by Italo Calvino, a twentieth-century master of the speculative. This posthumously published anthology of enchanting, uncanny, terrifying, and immortally entertaining short stories includes E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman,” Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose,” Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Bottle Imp,” and many more, each with an introduction by Calvino. Fantastic Tales is a delight for the mind and a feast for the senses.
“Impressive and utterly pleasing . . . Each story [Calvino] picks is absorbing, unique, and continually surprising.” — Los Angeles Times
A collection of short stories compiled, edited, and introduced by Italo Calvino — including works of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Balzac, Gogol, Poe, and many others — surveying the phenomenon of the fantastic in 19th-century European literature.
A twentieth-century master of the fantastic pays homage to his nineteenth-century predecessors with this posthumously published anthology of enchanting, uncanny, terrifying, and deliciously entertaining short stories by the likes of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Gogol, and Poe. Calvino compiled and edited this collection and provides an individual introduction to each story, making Fantastic Tales not only an invaluable classroom resource, but also an accessible guide to the subject for general readers.
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.