The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino

The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Italian: Il castello dei destini incrociati) is a 1973 novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. Its narrative details a meeting among travelers who are inexplicably unable to speak after traveling through a forest. The characters in the novel recount their tales via Tarot cards, which are reconstructed by the narrator. The novel is in two parts, each using a different style Tarot deck. The first part was published alone in 1969 as Tarocchi: Il mazzo visconteo di Bergamo e New York (Tarots: The Visconti Pack in Bergamo and New York). The second part, with the header "The Tavern of Crossed Destinies", features the Tarot of Marseilles. The novel is an exploration of how meaning is created, whether that be written via words (by the author, via the book, since the characters in the book cannot speak to each other) or by images (the tarot cards – considered prophetic by some, and themselves open to many symbolic interpretations). It is, as often in Calvino's works, multi-layered, and several levels of interpretations and readings are possible, based on the author–narrator–character–reader relationship.

The 1447th greatest fiction book of all time


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  1. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Chinese Edition) Hardcover 7585737 $7.80 $35.00 2012
The Castle of Crossed Destinies Hardcover 498188 $74.64 $58.80
The Castle of Crossed Destinies Paperback 1625042 $11.77 $5.53 1997
The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino (1979-04-16) Paperback 3342963 $60.90 $30.74
The Castle of Crossed Destinies Paperback 184984 $13.76 $8.47 1979