Review | If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

#QOTD – Have you ever read an experimental literature?

Before I picked up this book, I didn’t even know what that is, and I still have my questions!

This is what I got on Google – “Experimental literature can be roughly defined as literature that is written using innovative techniques, or that is presented in such a way that defies literary norms and conventions. This can include any number of peculiarities, but the focus is usually on form rather than content.”

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is a very innovative novel by Italo Calvino. The book is structured as a series of interconnected stories, each of which begins with the line “If on a winter’s night a traveler.”

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. The reader is drawn into the narrative as a character in the book, searching for the next installment of the story and trying to piece together the larger narrative.

The writing is beautiful and lyrical, with Calvino expertly weaving together different stories and styles. The book is a delightful blend of fiction, philosophy, and meta-fiction.

The book kept me engaged and invested in the story despite the constant shifts in narrative and perspective. Each chapter is a self-contained story, but they all fit together to form a larger, cohesive whole.

Overall, if you want to experiment with experimental literature, this one will give you a weirdly unique reading experience.


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