If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

Front Cover
Knopf, 1993 - Fiction - 254 pages
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Introduction by Peter Washington; Translation by William Weaver

Italo Calvino's masterpiece combines a love story and a detective story into an exhilarating allegory of reading, in which the reader of the book becomes the book's central character.

Based on a witty analogy between the reader's desire to finish the story and the lover's desire to consummate his or her passion, IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER is the tale of two bemused readers whose attempts to reach the end of the same book—IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER, by Italo Calvino, of course—are constantly and comically frustrated. In between chasing missing chapters of the book, the hapless readers tangle with an international conspiracy, a rogue translator, an elusive novelist, a disintegrating publishing house, and several oppressive governments. The result is a literary labyrinth of storylines that interrupt one another—an Arabian Nights of the postmodern age.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Charon07 - LibraryThing

A book for every reader who likes to think about reading! A tour de force about the role of fiction, the function of writers, and especially the act of reading. It's also the only book I can think of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alexlubertozzi - LibraryThing

“At times a title is enough to kindle in me the desire for a book that perhaps does not exist.” When I first attempted to read Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler years ago, I was not ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Italo Calvino's works include Numbers in the Dark, The Road to San Giovanni, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, The Baron in the Trees, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Invisible Cities, Marcovaldo, and Mr. Palomar. He died in 1985.

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