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Se numa noite de inverno um viajante by…

Se numa noite de inverno um viajante (original 1979; edition 2009)

by Italo, Calvino, Jos℗e Cola co, Barreiros

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,630240488 (4.05)1 / 542
Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.… (more)
Title:Se numa noite de inverno um viajante
Authors:Italo, Calvino
Other authors:Jos℗e Cola co, Barreiros
Info:Lisboa, Teorema,, imp. 2009
Collections:Your library

Work Information

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (1979)

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1970s (4)
My TBR (21)

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 Name that Book: Book about you reading the Book9 unread / 9nbs29, June 2013

» See also 542 mentions

English (212)  Italian (7)  French (6)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (240)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
This book was amazing. I was floored. I was also strangely reminded of a series of books... an unfortunate series... the self-aware narrator, bizarre characters, meta-fictional elements, and general absurdity of this book reminded me at odd points of A Series of Unfortunate Events. And I have LT members to thank for bringing this book up in a Talk post so I was able to learn about it! ( )
  knerd.knitter | Nov 29, 2022 |
“I have had the idea of writing a novel composed only of beginnings of novels. The protagonist could be a Reader who is continually interrupted. The Reader buys the new novel A by the author Z. But it is a defective copy, he can’t go beyond the beginning.” – Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler

This novel is the ultimate in breaking the fourth wall – the narrator talks to the reader throughout the book. Just when we are beginning to get interested in the story, the narrator informs us we are reading a different novel, and it jumps to the middle of a completely different story. [At this point, I am thinking, Wait, what happened to the guy with the suitcase?] So, this becomes the pattern of the book. It jumps from one story to something different, and each time leaves the reader wondering what is going on. It is similar to dreaming, where nothing seems to make sense.

Reading further it will become obvious that the author is having a bit of fun with us. He has something to say about the process of reading and writing books. I found it extremely creative, but frustrating –which was the point. If you like linear storytelling, with a clear beginning, middle and end, then give this one a pass. It will appeal to those that enjoy experimental or metanarratives.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Every book lover should at least read the first chapter of this novel. As for the rest of it...eh...go with your gut. The middle started to feel gimmicky and my attention often waned, but I did appreciate how everything tied together in the end. ( )
  SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
This is going to be a very short review of a very long, long book--a book that seemed interminable at times, a book that began and ended and began again and never reached any point that would have made it worth the effort for me.

Yes, I know it is clever. There are moments of laughter and enjoyment at the beginning. The book is mostly about readers and their relationships to books, and there were times when you looked into the mirror of Calvino’s words and saw your own face staring back at you.

the Books You've Been Planning To Read For Ages,
the Books You've Been Hunting For Years Without Success,
the Books Dealing With Something You're Working On At The Moment,
the Books You Want To Own So They'll Be Handy Just In Case,
the Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer,
the Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves,
the Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified.

I’ve known all of these books, and I’m betting you have all known them as well. As the ultimate reader, you are almost one of the characters in the book, and Calvino knows you and exploits you. You will want to like this, you will find some quotable moments, some ideas you can relate to:

“Your case gives me new hope,” I said to him. “With me more and more often, I happen to pick up a novel that has just appeared and find myself reading the same book I have read a hundred times.”

Happens to us all. If that is your only criteria, I can promise you that you have not read this book 100 times.

This is theatre of the absurd without purpose; this is an author wallowing in the phrase “I am different”; this is surrealism gone amok; this is a book without a plot, any defined characters, any sense of setting, whose only driver is its narrator’s point of view. The author has blurred the lines between what is real and what is fictional and he continues to stir the elements of the novel into an eddy that eventually dragged me down into boredom and ennui. By the halfway mark, the cleverness had worn thin and I no longer cared a whit for whatever point Calvino might have been attempting. I pressed on to see if there was some cohesion in the end, but alas, I found none.

To those of you who will be tempted to tell me I am simply not intelligent enough to get this book, to appreciate the complicated and innovative nature of its construction, to decipher the complexities of its author’s mind and intent, I say “poppycock”.

I started this book a few years back and DNF’d it almost immediately. My instincts said it was not for me. Had I been smart, I would have left it on the shelf. Maybe if I live to be 100 I will eventually learn to listen to those instincts--they are usually on target.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
highly convoluted, self-referential story, something that Douglas Hofstadter would appreciate ( )
  MarkLacy | May 29, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Re-reading a novel you loved is like revisiting a city where you loved: you do it in the company of your younger self. You may not get on with your younger self, or else the absence of what is missing colours your judgment. Despite my reservations, however, I wouldn't want a word of If on a winter's night a traveller to be different, and if Calvino's ghost seeks me out after this, I'll still get down on my knees and pay homage.

» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Calvino, Italoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
功, 脇Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benítez, EstherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooley, StevenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari, JormaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kroeber, BurkhartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mays, JeffersonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melander, VivecaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raboni, GiovanniAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sallenave, DanièleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salu, MichaelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strömberg, RagnarPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlot, HennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsmith, SheltonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Washington, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Daniele Ponchiroli
First words
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler.
"Your case gives me new hope," I said to him. "With me, more and more often I happen to pick up a novel that has just appeared and I find myself reading the same book I have read a hundred times."
In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past the thick barricade of Books You Haven’t Read, which were frowning at you from tables and shelves, trying to cow you. But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extend for acres and acres the Books You Needn’t Read, the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written. And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days are Numbered.
What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from time and measurable space.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
If on a winter's night a traveler

Outside the town of Malbork

Leaning from the steep slope

Without fear of wind or vertigo

Looks down in the gathering shadow

In a network of lines that enlace

In a network of lines that intersect

On the carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon

Around an empty grave

What story down there awaits its end?
Haiku summary
Reader do beware / You are just a reader, yet / Here you're subject too. (Ludi_Ling)

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