* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
If on a winter's night a traveler

If on a winter's night a traveler

by Italo Calvino

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(8) Snow Line

No doubt about it. If on a winter's night a traveler is not your normal, straightforward story. It might take a good long pause to step back and realize what Calvino is doing—jumping from second-person narration into the first chapters of novels that don't actually exist. Throw in his tendency to go off on philosophical rants, and you've got a book that's going to toss you a few tough curveballs.

Once you become comfortable with identifying yourself as the Reader, though, it can all start to come together. You still might not understand everything the book is talking about; but worry not. Some of it is meant not to be understood.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement