"Markey emphasizes the coherence of Calvino’s literary production and convincingly and carefully argues that postmodernism—first latent and then increasingly (and exasperatingly) overt—is Calvino’s essential muse."—Wiley Feinstein, Loyola University, Chicago
"By thoroughly and persuasively interpreting and explaining Calvino’s contributions to the postmodern esthetic, this book provides not only a better appreciation of postmodern literature but a better understanding of our postmodern world, where reality and textuality mingle, a world which Calvino anticipated, interrogated, and ultimately helped to fashion, and one which Markey now helps us to perceive and comprehend."—Sante Matteo, Miami University
This primer for Italo Calvino fans looks at the international author in English translation, appraising his place in world literature and tracing his development as a postmodern writer from the start of his career during World War II to his death in 1985.
Constance Markey, who knew Calvino personally, correlates details of his life with the growth of his thinking and artistry, using summaries and analysis of his novels, short stories, and essays to underscore the link between his life and work. Starting with his early writing as a political neorealist, she traces his move away from realism, first toward modernism and fantasy, eventually toward full maturation as a postmodern writer. Though Calvino chronicled uncommon events during a turbulent era, Markey shows that his writing evolved in a consistent, unified, and logical way.
Writing for both the novice Calvino reader and those expert in his work, Markey also examines in depth his ties to other authors such as Conrad, Beckett, Borges, Kafka, and even Twain. She establishes Calvino’s influence as a major force in the shaping of 20th-century literature and offers a persuasive account of postmodernism.
Constance Markey teaches Italian at DePaul University, where she has served as head of the Italian section. She has written widely on Italian and European authors and on film and has published articles in Italica, Italian Quarterly, and Quaderni d’italianistica, and book reviews in the Chicago Tribune.