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Book club “Lisez la littérature italienne!” dedicated to “Marcovaldo: or The Seasons in the City”, by Italo Calvino


Our upcoming book club will feature an Italian novel and will take place Thursday October 26 at 6:30 pm at the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal.

The book chosen for this session is Marcovaldo: or The Seasons in the City“, by Italo Calvino (translated by William Weaver). The discussion will be held in French and moderated by Claudia Polledri. Claudia Polledri is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Art History and Film Studies at the University of Montreal. She has been collaborating with the Italian Cultural Institute for over 10 years, where she teaches Italian language and culture.

Please confirm your presence before October 24 at the following address:

About the book:
“A charming portrait of one man’s dreams and schemes, by “the greatest Italian writer of the twentieth century” (Guardian).
In this enchanting book of linked stories, Italo Calvino charts the disastrous schemes of an Italian peasant, an unskilled worker in a drab northern industrial city in the 1950s and ’60s, struggling to reconcile his old country habits with his current urban life.
Marcovaldo has a practiced eye for spotting natural beauty and an unquenchable longing for the unspoiled rural world of his imagination. Much to the continuing puzzlement of his wife, his children, his boss, and his neighbors, he chases his dreams and gives rein to his fantasies, whether it’s sleeping in the great outdoors on a park bench, following a stray cat, or trying to catch wasps. Unfortunately, the results are never quite what he anticipates.

Spanning from the 1950s to the 1960s, the twenty stories in Marcovaldo are alternately comic and melancholy, farce and fantasy. Throughout, Calvino’s unassuming masterpiece “conveys the sensuous, tangible qualities of life” (New York Times).

About the author:
ITALO CALVINO (1923–1985) attained worldwide renown as one of the twentieth century’s greatest storytellers. Born in Cuba, he was raised in San Remo, Italy, and later lived in Turin, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere. Among his many works are Invisible Cities, If on a winter’s night a traveler, The Baron in the Trees, and other novels, as well as numerous collections of fiction, folktales, criticism, and essays. His works have been translated into dozens of languages.

The book can be obtained (in French) at the following bookstores:

Librairie Gallimard: (10% discount for Lisez l’Europe members)
514 499-2012

Librairie du Square au Carré St-Louis:
514 845-7617

Librairie du Square – Outremont:
514 303-0612

The ebook is available at

French copies are also available through the Grande BibliothèqueFrench and English copies are available through the Montreal public library network.

Reservation no longer available

  • Organized by: Lisez l'Europe