if on a winter’s night a traveler
Two of my favorite books are Italo Calvino’s ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler’ and Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Everything Is Illuminated’, which reminds me very much of Calvino’s novel. Both books switch between two story arcs; Foer’s between himself telling a beautifully written quasi-magical story of the people of Trachimbrod and Alex, his translator, telling his own straightforward/broken english story of searching for Trachimbrod. Calvino’s novel also plays with who the narrator of the novel is, and takes it even further where events are happening to the novel’s reader (i.e. the man narrated as “you” is the same as the “you” who is actually reading).