Difficult Loves (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
Italo Calvino is known to English-speaking readers for the engaging science fantasies of Le cosmicomiche (1965; Cosmicomics, 1968) and such disarmingly if eruditely playful metafictions as Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore (1979; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, 1981). Calvino is essentially a storyteller or fabulist. Whether classified as novels or short stories, his works almost always take the form of interconnected tales: in Cosmicomics, as episodes in the evolution of the universe and from the perspective of Qfwfq, a sort of protean cosmic consciousness, or in La città invisibili (1972; Invisible Cities, 1974), Il castello dei destini incrociati (1973; The Castle of Crossed Destinies, 1977), and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, as tales generated from a frame story and standing for the narrative impulse itself. Difficult Loves, a collection of stories from Calvino’s early career, from the mid-1940’s and the 1950’s, is a delightful “portable Calvino” and a portrait of the artist as several younger men. It offers interwoven variations, at once delicate and dazzling, on themes of desire and fulfillment, alienation and language.
The collection has four categories: “Riviera Stories,” “Wartime Stories,” “Postwar Stories,”...
(The entire section is 2448 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1985)
Book World. XIV, November 18, 1984, p. 3.
The Canadian Forum. LXIV, August, 1984, p. 41.
Library Journal. CIX, October 1, 1984, p. 1859.
The Nation. CCXXXIX, December 29, 1984, p. 718.
New Statesman. CVII, April 6, 1984, p. 34.
The New York Review of Books. XXXI, December 6, 1984, p. 33.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXIX, June 10, 1984, p. 36.
Newsweek. CIV, October 8, 1984, p. 83.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXVI, August 3, 1984, p. 53.
Time. CXXIV, October 1, 1984, p. 80.
Times Literary Supplement. June 29, 1984, p. 716.
(The entire section is 62 words.)