Date

5-13-2020

Description

If on a winter's night a traveler is postmodern novel that explores the relationship between the author and reader through a game constructed by author, Italo Calvino. This game is focused around the struggle for literary power as the Reader (you) and the Other Reader (a character by the name of Ludmilla) fight desperately to find literary satisfaction while Calvino pushes the boundaries of a reader's dedication. The game unfolds as you are on an adventure as the Reader, seeking the endings of novels fabricated by Calvino that are incomplete, in a desperate attempt to find any form of satisfaction. Calvino is reconstructing the concept of narrative in literature to create a new and innovative way to tell stories as he sets himself apart from other postmodern authors. The reader needs to consider themselves as not only a reader, but as a character, while following a trail of literary breadcrumbs that lead only to dead ends, as they play a game they had no intention of taking part in. Through this piece I argue that within the literary game Calvino has created, the author always remains one step ahead of the reader while he instills a sense of agency into the reader but never succumbs to the stakes of the literary game he has created.

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May 13th, 12:00 AM

Author vs. Reader: A Struggle for Literary Power in Italo Calvino's "If on a winter's night a traveler"

If on a winter's night a traveler is postmodern novel that explores the relationship between the author and reader through a game constructed by author, Italo Calvino. This game is focused around the struggle for literary power as the Reader (you) and the Other Reader (a character by the name of Ludmilla) fight desperately to find literary satisfaction while Calvino pushes the boundaries of a reader's dedication. The game unfolds as you are on an adventure as the Reader, seeking the endings of novels fabricated by Calvino that are incomplete, in a desperate attempt to find any form of satisfaction. Calvino is reconstructing the concept of narrative in literature to create a new and innovative way to tell stories as he sets himself apart from other postmodern authors. The reader needs to consider themselves as not only a reader, but as a character, while following a trail of literary breadcrumbs that lead only to dead ends, as they play a game they had no intention of taking part in. Through this piece I argue that within the literary game Calvino has created, the author always remains one step ahead of the reader while he instills a sense of agency into the reader but never succumbs to the stakes of the literary game he has created.