Blog #9 – Calvino & Postmodernism

While reading about Calvino, his story Invisible Cities was mentioned and it piqued my interest. Calvino, being heavily influenced by modernism and part of the postmodernism movement, included many postmodernist ideas in the story. I found it interesting that the story displays a story within a story; the poems describing the city, and then Marco Polo’s communication with Kublai Khan. This, coupled with the obvious language barrier between Polo and Khan, highlights an important feature of postmodernism: a disbelief in absolute truth. Postmodernists believed that ones’ perception of the world is subjective. I believe that by juxtaposing Marco Polo and Kublai Khan and their language and social barriers, Calvino attempts to force the reader to imagine on his own. It almost becomes open-ended in a sense. The reader’s views are subjective and the author cannot determine them for him. This ambiguous nature, I believe, was a key factor of Calvino’s writing and his postmodernist ideals.

One Response to “Blog #9 – Calvino & Postmodernism”

  1. Kim Sasser says:

    Postmodernism can be mind-boggling sometimes!

    You pick up on a fascinating feature – the frame tale and the disjunction b/t the interlocutors of the external narrative. As you’ll read in Weinstein, the critic argues that this kind of radical and unstable subjectivity you describe contrasts with postcolonial fiction, which places importance on subjectivity – it needs and relies upon a degree of stable subjectivity. Let me know your thoughts (do you agree?) after you read it.

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