Il visconte dimezzato

by Italo Calvino




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"In this fantastically macabre tale, the separate halves of a nobleman split in two by a cannonball go on to pursue their own independent adventures. In a battle against the Turks, Viscount Medardo of Terralba is bissected lengthwise by a cannonball. One half of him returns to his feudal estate and takes up a lavishly evil life. Soon the other, virtuous half appears. The two halves become rivals for the love of the same woman, fight a bloody duel, and achieve a miraculous resolution. Now available in an independent volume for the first time, this deliciously bizarre novella is Calvino at his most devious and winning"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member donato
Another fantabulous fable from a wonderful weaver of tales.
Here we have a man cut in half (both literally and figuratively of course). It would be too easy to say, this is a story of man who's not complete. Sure it's that, but it's so much more (as all great art, it has layers).

In only 90 pages,
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it's also about everyone else reacting to this incompleteness. It's about how we do things without realizing it, and it's about how we see and act in the world through our own narrow lenses.

But the beauty of it is the way it's told, with that Calvino-esque fluidity that makes it seem natural and real (but it's just a fairy tale...), and just-the-way-it-is. And the thing is, all those layers of meaning, they're there because the story is true...
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LibraryThing member electrascaife
A viscount gets blown in two by cannon fire during battle but miraculously survives and returns home as literally half a man. This half is all evil, though, and spends his days terrorizing the countryside. One day his other half, which also survived the battle, arrives home and travels round to the
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local residents doing as much good as he possibly can, even if the results are sometimes not exactly wanted. So one is too evil and the other too good, until they finally battle one another and rediscover an equilibrium.
Meh. I've loved the other Calvino stuff I've read, but this one fell flat for me. A little too heavy handed with the parable feel, maybe, and also maybe a little too silly.
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Original publication date



8804336315 / 9788804336310
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