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Approaches to Teaching the Works of Italo Calvino

Editor(s): Franco Ricci

Pages: vi & 159 pp.
Published: 2013
ISBN: 9781603291248 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603291231 (cloth)


“The volume’s readability and bibliographic and pedagogical detail and each essay’s careful framework render the volume valuable for nonspecialists, for Italianists, and for Calvino specialists, too.”
Tommasina Gabriele, Wheaton College, Massachusetts

Italo Calvino, whose works reflect the major literary and cultural trends of the second half of the twentieth century, is known for his imagination, humor, and technical virtuosity. He explores topics such as neorealism, folktale, fantasy, and social and political allegory and experiments with narrative style and structure. Students take delight in Calvino’s wide-ranging and inventive work, whether in Italian courses or in courses in comparative or world literature, literary criticism, cultural studies, philosophy, or even architecture.

Given the range of his writing, teaching Calvino can seem a daunting task. This volume aims to help instructors develop creative and engaging classroom strategies. Part 1, “Materials,” presents an overview of Calvino’s writings, nearly all of which are available in English translation, as well as critical works and online resources. The essays in part 2, “Approaches,” focus on general themes and cultural contexts, address theoretical issues, and provide practical classroom applications. Contributors describe strategies for teaching Calvino that are as varied as his writings, whether having students study narrative theory through If on a winter’s night a traveler, explore literary genre with Cosmicomics, improve their writing using Six Memos for the Next Millennium, or read Mr. Palomar in a general education humanities course.

Douglas Basford
Eugenio Bolongaro
Anna Botta
JoAnn Cannon
Rocco Capozzi
Natasha V. Chang
Julia M. Cozzarelli
Andrea Dini
John Domini
Joseph Francese
Rita Gagliano
Giulia Guarnieri
Carol Lazzaro-Weis
Massimo Lollini
Andrew Martino
Guy P. Raffa
Susan Rogers
Robert Rushing
Dean Swinford

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