Italo Calvino, Il Cavaliere inesistente [The Nonexistent Knight]

Simona Wright (College of New Jersey)
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Italo Calvino’s chivalric novella, Il cavaliere inesistente [The Nonexistent Knight], is written in the form of an act of penance by a cloistered nun, sister Theodora, an omniscient narrator who plays a critical part in the story (Barrett 1992). Published in 1959 and included in the trilogy of the Antenati [Our Ancestors 1960], it is the last of the three allegorical tales whose protagonists — Medardo, of Il visconte dimezzato [The Cloven Viscount 1952], Cosimo, of Il barone rampante [The Baron in the Trees 1957], and Agilulf, of this work — form Calvino’s genealogic tree of the archetypal forebears of our modernity. Set in the time of Charlemagne and centered on the life and adventures of the nonexistent knight Agilulf, this surreal story is loosely drawn from the literary…

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Citation: Wright, Simona. "Il Cavaliere inesistente". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 August 2019 [, accessed 06 December 2023.]

11650 Il Cavaliere inesistente 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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