- Series: Harvest/HBJ Book
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (April 16, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156154552
- ISBN-13: 978-0156154550
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Castle of Crossed Destinies 1st Edition
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Semiotic fantasy novel by Italo Calvino, published in Italian in 1973 as Il castello dei destini incrociati. It consists of a series of short tales gathered into two sections, The Castle of Crossed Destinies and The Tavern of Crossed Destinies. The novel concerns two groups of travelers through a forest, both of which have lost the power to speak as the result of traumatic events. One group is spending the night in a tavern, the other in a castle. In each place, the travelers tell the stories of their lives, using tarot cards instead of words. A narrator at each place interprets the cards for the reader, but since the tarot cards are subject to multiple interpretations, the stories the narrators offer are not necessarily the stories intended by the mute storytellers. -- The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature
Text: English, Italian (translation)
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Top Customer Reviews
While not a beginners book per say, if you want to orient your reading style to reading cards as a story, then this is your book. An essential must read for readers who favor the "open" tarot reading style.
The stories are based on two decks, treated separately: the ancient Visconti deck and the also-old Tarot of Marseille. Illustrations line most pages, both in color and as page edgings illustrating his stories. Calvino does not, as a true Italian, try to replace the missing Devil and Tower from the older Florentine deck with the unsatisfactory modern replacements, but simply omits their illustrations. Any deck can be used with his method, and in fact the author toyed with the idea of making a third story-telling deck from modern comic strips.
Italo Calvino is a writer of "magical realism," and this is the technique he uses: the magical elements are simply taken for granted. He mixes his own tarot stories with graceful pastiches stirred together from many classics, and often says quite interesting things about these classics. You can lay out the cards and make stories, too; this is a good book to fit with the modern interest in tarots.