Marcovaldo: or the Seasons in the City and the Fantastic Cover Image

Marcovaldo ovvero le stagioni in città e il fantastico
Marcovaldo: or the Seasons in the City and the Fantastic

Author(s): Iulia Cosma
Subject(s): Studies of Literature
Published by: Editura Universităţii de Vest din Timişoara
Keywords: fantastic; fantasy; the fantastic in Italian literature; postmodernism and fantasy; Calvino’s stories

Summary/Abstract: The present paper aims to investigate a peculiarity of the Italian fantastic, specific to the first half of the 20th century, and present in some of Italo Calvino’s stories about Marcovaldo, a labourer from the countryside, trapped in the big city and struggling with material difficulties. In doing so, we intend to increase the visibility of the texts in question, which became extremely popular amongst general readers, but received limited attention from the academia, who rushed into following the author’s opinion and labelling them as children’s literature. The first part of the study focuses on some theoretical considerations on the fantastic, starting from Remo Ceserani’s essential book, Il fantastico (1996), and continuing with other writings dedicated to the subject. The second part is concerned with underlying Calvino’s views on the fantastic, by looking into his essays on the fantastic and Italian fairytales. The last part will add another significant aspect to the discussion, namely the identification of certain fantastical elements embedded in the narrative structure of Calvino’s stories, elements considered by McHale, author of Postmodernist Fiction, as characteristic of a new type of fantasy, the postmodern one. We argue that the banality of Calvino’s setting is only apparent and that his protagonist is involved in some adventures that are far from being common.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 54
  • Page Range: 115-125
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Italian