Approaches to Teaching the Works of Italo Calvino
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.
About the Author
Franco Ricci is professor of Italian studies at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of Difficult Games: A Reading of I racconti and Painting with Words, Writing with Pictures: Word and Image in the Work of Italo Calvino, as well as articles on contemporary Italian fiction, and is the editor of numerous volumes on Calvino. His most recent book is The Sopranos: Born under a Bad Sign.
"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
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