The Fabrics of Genre in Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller

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The Fabric of Genres in Italo Calvino’s If on a Winters Night a Traveller by Arka Chakroborty and Shouvik Bhattacharya ‘“Reading,” he says, “is always this: there is a thing that is there, a thing that is made of writing, a solid, material object, which cannot be changed, and through this thing we measure ourselves against something else that is not present…”’ - If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller (page 72) As the World War II poised the humanity at the bottom of an intricate topography of darkness and despair, the postmodern imagination sought to express itself and its pessimist idea about life and existence by discontinuing or by attempting to discontinue with all the traditional attributes of literature as well as society. Postmodernism tried to elbow itself away even from some modern techniques as the postmodernist authors and critics found those techniques already “institutionalized” and conventional. Postmodernist works frequently combine aspects of diverse genres. The purity of genre within a text –an idea originated with Aristotle in his Poetics-is something which postmodernism rejected quite boastfully and the distinction between “high art” and “low art” which the previous literary ages accepted readily was now out of ark in the terrain of postmodernism. Besides not bending towards the traditional elitist “high art” postmodernists have also a tendency to appeal to the popular culture like cartoons, music, “pop art”, and television. The rigid specification of genre of a text became more and more obscure; postmodernist works often “cross” or “mix” genres. Confusion, complexity, uncertainty, frustration are all aspects of postmodern world and Italo Calvino’s novel If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller exemplifies
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