First Lines: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is very meta and a very post-modern novel. Or so I’m told. It’s a book about books: about reading them, and about writing them.

While I was compiling my list of 40 books to read before my 40th birthday I was searching for the ‘classics’, books that are out of my comfort zone, books that other people would put on their required reading lists. So when I came across the description of this book where you, the reader, try to read Italo Calvino’s latest novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, but you keep being interrupted and you keep being pulled into the wrong tale—well, it tickled my fancy.

As it turns out, it was nothing like what I thought it would be like. It wasn’t light reading, it was tough to keep focused when reading, and it wasn’t even particularly about what happened in the story. It was pretty clever though, and a good read.

Book read
Italo Calvino — If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore, translated from the Italian by William Weaver)
First line
You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler.