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Recurring Themes In Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveler

685 words - 3 pages

There are a couple of recurring themes in the book by Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. Of these, two themes are “Despite how complicated a situation or problem gets, at the end, when it is solved, you are back at where you started” and “ When you are in love you see your loved one everywhere you go and in everything you do.
The first theme is the one that encompasses the whole book, although it is more of a hidden one. At the beginning of the novel, the Reader buys the new book by Italo Calvino, also named as the title of this novel, and begins reading it. “So here you are, ready to attack the first lines of the first page” (p. 9; Ch. 1). After much time, strange encounters, and weird places, the Reader is finally given a non defective copy of the book he has been wanting to finish reading. “And you say, “Just a moment, I've almost finished reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino'”(p. 254; Ch. 22). These are the last lines of the novel, which shows how the problem of looking for the book is resolved and he is back at where he started or where he was heading to if the problem would not have appeared.
The second theme is also only seen after thinking about the novel for a while. After returning to the bookstore, he encounters a young lady who has his same problem, and offers her help to solve it. After that encounter he finds her in everything he is doing. “Holding your breath, you have followed from letter to letter the transformations of the woman reader, as if it were always the same person. But even if they were many persons, to all of them you attribute the appearance of Ludmilla [the Other Reader]...”(p. 125; Ch. 11). The Reader thinks he sees her in everything he is reading, and at the end he realizes that most references to women were references to her.

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