Italo Calvino  

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"The term metafiction appears to have been coined in English by William H. Gass in his 1970 essay “Philosophy and the Form of Fiction” while the term metapainting appeared in English perhaps for the first time in the 1978 essay "Levels of Reality in Literature" by Italo Calvino." --Sholem Stein

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Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923September 19, 1985) was an Italian writer and novelist. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979).

His style defies easy classification; much of his writing has an air of light fantasy reminiscent of fairy tales (Our Ancestors, Cosmicomics), but sometimes his writing is more "realistic" and in the scenic mode of observation ("Difficult Loves", for example). Some of his writing has been called postmodern, reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled magical realist, others fables, others simply "modern". Twelve years before his death, he was invited to and joined the Oulipo group of experimental writers. He wrote: "my working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language." (Six Memos for the Next Millenium)


(dates are of original publication)

Posthumous editions:

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