Presentation on theme: "ISTITUTO COMPRENSIVO DI GATTEO Rediscover Real European Values Comenius Project."— Presentation transcript:
ISTITUTO COMPRENSIVO DI GATTEO Rediscover Real European Values Comenius Project
Marcovaldo Author : Italo Calvino Title : Marcovaldo (The seasons in the city) Publisher and date of publication : Einaudi 1963 Time : the 1950s-1960s, the boom years Place : a northen Italian city Kind of book : short stories
The author Italo Calvino (1923 – 1986) was an Italian jornalist and writer of short stories and novels. Idolized in Britain and in the United States, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death, and a noted contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Subject. This book of Calvino is divided into twenty short stories; each story belongs to a season, and all of them together take their shape from the cycle of seasons. In other words, the first story takes place in Spring, the second in Summer, and so on. He satirized the modern, destructive urban way of living. Marcovaldo is a chaplinisque character, described as an unskilled laborer living in an industrial northen city, whose name is not mentioned, but that is thought to be Milan or Turin, with all the problems you can find there: pollution, lack of green, stifling heat in summer, cold and fog in winter. Marcovaldo has a low-wage job in a factory that represents the typical modern industry. This humble man has to provide for a big family: his wife Domitilla and six children. In the rising consumer society of the 50s and 60s he can only watch other people buying and he cant take part in the orgy of increasing consumerism. So he tries to take advantage of every opportunity to get something, but he lives a series of tragicomic adventures and, unfortunately, he is always defeated
The character Marcovaldo is a strange character, he is sensitive, imaginative and romantic, hes a dreamer. He doesnt like his job and doesnt bear the grey and artificial atmosphere of the drab city, he wants to reintroduce nature into his life. Only natural events seem to stir up his attention and his fascination lay in the quiet marvels of nature.
Anyway, with each season new discoveries and failures come. Through his perceptiveness for nature he discovers mushrooms in the city and he picks them up, as an unusual gift, to make a soup for his family and these turn out to be poisonous; he goes fishing in a stream hoping to take home a tench for the whole family and discovers that the fish is polluted; he is lost in the fog and ends on the runway; the day he can bring his children to the hills, they end up in the garden of a sanatorium …and so on. Poor Marcovaldo, nothing ever seems to be good for him! Nevertheless Marcovaldo is not a sad man and still wants to find something beautiful in the world around him.
Comments It is a beautiful urban tale, suitable for children for its amusing situations and a clear writing, but also for adult readers as it conveys clearly important and deep issues in a poetic and ironic style. We become fascinated with Marcovaldos innocent wonder for the natural world and his disappointment with his grey surroundings. Why you have to read Marcovaldo This book can teach us to slow down and begin to rediscover the beauty in simple things: starlight, fresh parks and gardens, snowfall, clean water…. Marcovaldo embodies values like humanity, hope, imagination, sensitivity, desire, dream. In hostile surroundings he is keeping with his nature and doesnt let anything to corrupt him. Calvino believed that fables are true and that reality is fabulous. Even the new generations –fan of all that is modern, technological, consumerist need nature in their life.
RECOMMENDED! Marcovaldo seems to be a funny lost creature, coming from another planet, but Calvino says that this stranger in the city is the citizen above all others.