Italo Calvino, Le città invisibili [Invisible Cities]

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Published in 1972, Le città invisibli (translated into English in 1974 as Invisible Cities) stands as one of Italo Calvino’s most well-known as well as most ambitious works. For many critics, the meticulous structure of this work exemplifies the influence of the Oulipo literary movement on Calvino’s later writing, which emphasized experimentation with new and often constraining narrative structures. In this novel/poem/collection-of-vignettes, Calvino manages to apply a multi-tiered and refashioned storyteller format as a framing device for what is possibly his most non-traditional narrative work—a work that challenges distinctions between descriptive prose and poetry.

The narrative approach employed in Invisible Cities reimagines and interfuses storyteller and travelogue formats,

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Citation: Bolton, Michael Sean. "Le città invisibili". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2014 [, accessed 10 December 2023.]

28605 Le città invisibili 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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