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The structure, both a discrete puzzle and a unitary big picture – reminds me of other works by Calvino, especially the first book of his that I read: The tradition is to walk in two lines so as to essentially pass everyone in the village as you walk. I guess these stories were written at a later period than the first three collections, because they show Calvino in top form, mixing real urban poetry with his signature exuberance of imagination and his barbed satire of the more foolish habits of his compatriots.

Childhood seemed to go on regardless of what was happening around it. The reader experiences right from the start the beauty and the subversive nature of Calvino’s art – the laughter, the wildness, the deft translation from the factual to the metaphorical narration.

He talks in third person of the influences that shaped his writing and his career. It is relatively easy to break in to commit A Theft in a Pastry Shop ; harder to leave. The English edition is different. I bought this book for someone once and they said that the problem with it was that it had all these men and all they had to do was look at women and the women would have sex with them.

Smog revolves around a man who re-locates to a different city which has for long been victimized of industrial pollution and how he got used to the so-called polluted air around him and consequently made him see the difference between human beings he had known for life and those whom he had known for a short period of time and how in the process he started noticing things he had long ignored throughout his life.


Or does he really survive? These characters are almost inept in their romantic attachment to the love of [being in] love and almost neurotic in their detachment from the reality of reality.

This last one, the ‘Adventure of a Motorist’, stands out. Refresh and try again. All explore similar ideas, with brief moments of universal comprehension and ignorance arising from everyday life.

Calvino has beautifully captured the love story between two characters which again is not according to the conventional standards of love.

He also provides a literary analysis, a criticism of his themes, style and imagery. The “Postwar Stories” loosely embrace desire, except they do so via concrete detail about beds, mattresses, blankets, two-piece swim suits, bra straps, buttons and unbuttonings.

Mar 02, Jinny Chung rated it it was amazing Shelves: And at least for Calvino, difficilj Agronomist, that is where the seeds of his literary abilities germinated. Calvino, hiding his authorship, is guiding our reading of the author Calvino.

Calvino was one of the master tricksters of 20th century literature, an author who builds an imaginary stage of words around the reader, until the reader almost becomes the protagonist themselves. A Gpi and Kurt Wolff Book. These were fatalistic evocations of the unglamorous and deadly aspects of life during wartime: Open Preview See a Problem?

I well remember my beginnings in the art with a basic full manual Russian camera and the smells of chemicals in the bathroom as I patiently waited for an image to be revealed on the blank piece of paper: Both fabulists collected, edited, and reinterpreted older popular tales; both also wrote their own.

Want to Read saving…. Everything else can drown in the unreliable shadow of memory. A tortured, drunken sleep, where one wonders if the conversation, the gaze, the regret was real; or did I dream it, did I read it.

Preview — Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino.

Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino

Amedeo enters the water, troubled. It’s almost as if they have idealised it so much, it’s not obvious to them when it appears before them in a concrete form. She waves, asks for a light for her cigarette.

This was my seventh Calvino, and how ever many other books of his I get to read in the future, I simply can’t see anything topping the masterpiece that was ‘Invisible Cities’. The best thing about this collection of stories is how rewarding they are on repeated reads; initially dense prose gives way to light, colour and details of pretty awe-inspiring clarity. The hidden and revealed authorship transforms the Preface into an uncanny reading.


The first course leads to stupidity; the second to madness. They also capture the first steps of Calvino’s journey towards the fabulous. There are stories of War and what happens after War. Surprisingly, this Preface has not been included in the English edition.

Difficult Loves

A German soldier tries to take one animal after another from the Animal Woods. Including – Soldier, Bather, Photographer, and traveller.

Nothing really happens, but it’s beautiful and significant anyway. But there was always the worrying thought that it was not their garden, and that they might be chased away at any moment.

Ma forse il vero rovescio ital questo, illuminato e pieno di occhi aperti, mentre invece l’unico lato che contasse in ogni cosa era quello in ombra [ Il tono sorridente contraddistingue la gran parte delle storie: Calvino suffuses his style with a sense of lightness and poetry; his words caress the page and the images he conjures delight the reader-if I was to think of a word which categories Calvino’s style it would be whimsy, djfficili whiffs of beauty are interspersed with the quotidian concerns of the nonentities who populate his novel, the ephemeral flickers of beauty which the characters experience serve to ignite the melancholy of his narrators; “The sky could be seen above the roof, no longer limpid, but bleached, covered by an opaque patina, as in Gnei’s memory and opaque whiteness was wiping out every memory of sensations, and the presence of the sun was marked by a vague, still patch of light, like a secret pang of grief.