If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (Hardcover)
(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.
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.
After leaving Princeton in his sophmore year to join the American Field Service, William Weaver drove an ambulance with the British army, first in Africa and then in Italy, initiating his long fascination with that country. After finally graduating from Princeton in 1946, he then returned to Italy, translating many of the most important modern Italians, from Pirandello to Morante, Gadda, Calvino, and Umberto Eco. His translations have received the National Book Award, the Galantiere Prize, the PEN translation prize twice, and the John Florio Prize 3 times. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and teaches at Bard College.
Peter Washington is the author of "Madame Blavatsky's Baboon," He is the editor of several Everyman's Library Pocket Poet anthologies including "Love Poems" and" Friendship Poems,"
“[Italo Calvino is] one of the world’s best fabulists.”
—John Gardner, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
“Calvino is a wizard.”
—Mary McCarthy, NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
“[Calvino] manages to charm and entertain the reader in the teeth of a scheme designed to frustrate all reasonable readerly expectations.”
—John Updike, THE NEW YORKER
“Calvino is that very rare phenomenon, a true original . . . If on a winter’s night a traveler is breathtakingly complex and self-conscious (there are moments when it quite literally makes one gasp with astonishment) . . . [yet it] is one of the most accessible and enchanting novels written in the last fifty years.”
—from the Introduction by Peter Washington