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If on a winter's night a traveler

If on a winter's night a traveler


by Italo Calvino

 Table of Contents

If on a winter's night a traveler Characters

Meet the Cast

You, The Reader

Straight European MaleReady for weird? From its opening line, Calvino establishes that you, the Reader, are the story's main character. So take a deep breath, and get ready for some action.Beware,...


Ludmilla is a sneaky one, isn't she? At first, she seems to just be the love interest for you, the person assumed to be a straight male reader. But throughout the course of the book, you discover t...


Annoying AcademicWe can't even tell you how much pleasure it gave us to write that heading. Because let's be honest: academics can be really, really annoying. And Lotaria is one of them.Lotaria is...

Ermes Marana

"The Bad Guy"With a book as confusing as this one, it might be tough to pick out one lone antagonist. But if we have to (which we don't, but we will anyway), we'll go with the trickster translator,...

Silas Flannery

The SelloutFlannery is an aging writer who has figured out a very successful formula for creating best-selling detective books. Just one problem: the formula is a little too predictable, because Er...

Professor Uzzi-Tuzii

Remember Lotaria, Ludmilla's obnoxious sister? Well, Calvino got his jab at grad students in with her, and now it's time to take a jab at the only people stuffier than grad students: their professo...

Mr. Cavedagna

Mr. Cavedagna is kind of a stooge. He's described as a "little man, shrunken and bent, who seems to shrink and bend more and more every time anyone calls him" (9.35). He works super hard, but he's...


Good ol' Irnerio is the "lanky young man" you meet in the university hallway while looking for Ludmilla. From the get-go, you (yep, you) get jealous and start wondering what his relationship with L...

Ten Main Characters from Ten Interrupted Novels

Throughout If on a winter's night a traveler, we get to read the first chapters of ten different novels. Frustrating, yes, but there's a point. Did you notice that all of the protagonists are kind...
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