If on a winter’s night a traveler

25 10 2008

I finally did it. For many, many years (read: since high school), I have wanted to read this book. It sort of jumped off a bookstore shelf at me one day, shortly after I’d read Franny and Zooey for the first time (if that is imaginable) and I was fascinated. I loved the name, I loved the tone of the first few pages, I loved the mysterious Italian author. For some reason, however, I wound up reading two other Italo Calvino books before even purchasing If on a winter’s night a traveler. And once purchased, it sat on my bookshelf for another year or so, until, finally, I read it a couple weeks back.

I’ll just say it was worth the wait. In true Calvino form it was beautiful, slightly crazy and totally modernist. It was an experiment of interweaving 10 different novels, which were experienced through a unifying story (the alternate chapters) of an unknown “reader” and his love interest “the other reader.” It was experimental, and I will say it is not my favorite Calvino work, but it was thought-provoking and enjoyable. And after all, you gotta love a good story about a traveler.