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



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 Baronin 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…

3253 words

Citation: Wright, Simona. "Il Cavaliere inesistente". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 August 2019 [, accessed 15 July 2024.]

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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