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Difficult Loves

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  4,328 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
THE BOOK: Difficult Loves is a beautifully translated collection of early stories by the highly regarded Italian writer, Italo Calvino. A genius of twentieth century fiction, Calvino wrote the fictions in the 1940's and 50's. The quirkiness and grace nof the writing, the originality of the imagination at work, the inacandescence of vision make this collection a most suprem ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 27th 1993 by Minerva (first published 1958)
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Oct 03, 2012 Garima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

You, Mr. Calvino! I’ll never forget how this book made me feel.

An immensely gifted writer, Calvino displayed his genius in this collection by plucking the ignored or trivial fragments of moments we experience at one point or another in our lives and weaved them together to present these gems of short stories. How vividly he captured the minute happenings around us and served
Nov 06, 2015 Kalliope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Calvino as a storyteller comes across as a Modernist follower of one of Boccaccio’s literary personas. Both fabulists collected, edited, and reinterpreted older popular tales; both also wrote their own. For them the core of fiction could be extracted from this genre. And at least for Calvino, an Agronomist, that is where the seeds of his literary abilities germinated.

Unlike the The Decameron, Difficult loves does not have a framing story. There is however a story about the way they have been fra
Mar 18, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian
Perhaps you are like me and always have a book. It is physical, the ledge we look over to the other, the real, world. And it is metaphysical, intertwining with our own existence, characters and plotlines merging from the page to the street, the office, the bedroom. Oh, it gets muddled. A tortured, drunken sleep, where one wonders if the conversation, the gaze, the regret was real; or did I dream it, did I read it.

Amedeo Oliva always has a book. He took it to the beach. The book became every book
Ian "Marvin" Graye
My Real Life

This is a collection of short stories that Italo Calvino wrote over about ten years, following World War II.

The four discrete sections were originally published in separate volumes. However, what stands out about the collection is the organic growth that occurs over the duration of the stories.

In effect, we see boys growing into men, and girls growing into women. And Calvino growing into an artist.

Even though Calvino had just experienced the war, it seemed to be important that he doc

Για ακόμη μια φορά μοναδικός Italo Calvino. Η μελωδική, αρμονική ροή της γραφής του με παρέσυρε να το διαβάσω σε λίγες μόλις μέρες. Λίγο παραπλανητικός ο τίτλος αλλά σίγουρα κατά μία άποψη αντιπροσωπευτικός μίας πλευράς των αφηγήσεων. Χωρίς ιδιαίτερα "έντονες" ιστορίες, με απρόσμενες εξελίξεις και τραγικά γεγονότα, αλλά αντίθετα μέσα από καθημερινές σκηνές, απλούς ανθρώπους και λιτές αφηγηματικές μεθόδους μας παρουσιάζει παραστατικά ζητήματα της σύγχρονης ζωής, θίγοντας συγκεκριμένα την έ
Apr 06, 2017 Paradoxe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ο Καλβίνο άλλοτε ακινητοποιεί την εικόνα τις σχέσεις και τα ατομικά συναισθήματα κι άλλοτε χωρίς να τα ονομάζει τα αναλύει. Σε κάθε περίπτωση παραμένει ορθολογιστής αισθήματίας κι αντιμετωπίζει τους χαρακτήρες του - χαρακτήρες μας με απόλυτη συναίσθηση της ισότητας και όχι του κριτή.

Οι περισσότερες ιστορίες της συλλογής αφορούν τις δύο βασικές μορφές που οδηγούν δύο ανθρώπους σε χάσμα, την έλλειψη επικοινωνίας ανάμεσα σ' εκείνους που δε μιλούν την ίδια γλώσσα και την ασυνεννοησία αυτών που οι ερ
I am so happy to know Calvino and can't believe I'm just now getting around to him, but better late than never.

I got the edition with four sections: Riviera Stories, Wartime Stories, Postwar Stories, and Stories of Love and Loneliness. Twenty-eight stories total, most written 1945-1949, some in the 1950s, and with only a couple of exceptions I love them all.

From what I've read of his biography he's a fascinating person as well as a brilliant short story writer, and a brilliant short story, in m
Dec 20, 2007 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
There was a time when I thought my purpose in life was to encourage as many people as possible to read Calvino. I bought this book for someone once and they said that the problem with it was that it had all these men and all they had to do was look at women and the women would have sex with them. To which the only answer is that it is a work of fiction and it is written by a man.

If this was all the book was about it would not be worth reading, but these short stories are a real delight. My favou
Aug 30, 2012 Guido rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italia, racconti
Un Italo Calvino forse un po' meno a suo agio in questi racconti d'impronta così tradizionale e realista, ma bisogna ammettere che il tema è difficilissimo: gli amori accennati, quelli che potevano essere e non furono; un'intera vita insieme sfiorata, ma mai avvenuta; le occasioni perdute, quelle dimenticate o trascurate, e quelle lasciate ad aspettare per sempre. Notevolissimi i due racconti della seconda parte, intitolata "La vita difficile": "La formica argentina" e "La nuvola di smog", certa ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Vishal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Calvino’s prose is among the best I’ve read. Effortless, fluid beauty. He infuses the most normal situations with a God-like grace and reminds us that we are to other humans is how we are as humans; how our interactions with others is a reflection of our quirks, prejudices, inadequacies, and passions.

The best thing about this collection of stories is how rewarding they are on repeated reads; initially dense prose gives way to light, colour and details of pretty awe-inspiring clarity. Although f
Apr 03, 2016 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

Calvino to the power of four : this volume includes not one, but four of the writer's short story collections, covering distinct periods of both the country and the author's development. We begin with childhood and innocence, youngsters basking in a golden glow of prewar idyllic rural / seaside existence ( Riviera Stories ) ; we are expelled from the Garden of Eden by the cruelties and savagery of the second world war ( Wartime Stories ) ; we suffer from hunger, cold, poverty with the rest of th
Tredici "amori difficili" o forse solo immaginati, sognati. In realtà sono tredici caricature dei comportamenti umani.
Scritti quasi tutti negli anni cinquanta, risultano ancora freschi e attuali, con solo qualche... capello bianco che, come si dice (ma solo per gli uomini!), li rende più interessanti;-)
Simpaticissima l'"Avventura del lettore" che cerca di conciliare il piacere della lettura con quello del nuoto (mi ci sono perfettamente ritrovata!) e di cui, in omaggio ad ogni lettore, riporto q
Mar 01, 2015 Nanu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quedé gratamente sorprendida con este libro. Por el título pensaba que iban a ser cuentos dramáticos o densos, pero el resultado fue distinto ya que me divertí muchísimo con la lectura.
No necesariamente hay relaciones amorosas en cada historia, como dice la sinopsis, sino que se trata de las aventuras de distintos personajes ante pequeños incidentes cotidianos.
Calculo que con una relectura puedo llegar a ponerle 5 estrellas.
Feb 19, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calvino, Italo. DIFFICULT LOVES. (1949; this ed. 1984). ****. This is a collection of short stories by Calvino, originally published in Italian as “Gli Amori Difficili.” Calvino (1923-1984) was born in Cuba, but spent the majority of his life in Italy, where he died in Siena. His work typifies the Italian oral tradition and love for the unusual circumstance. The stories in this collection are divided into four groups: “Riviera Stories,” “Wartime Stories,” “Postwar Stories,” and “Stories of Love ...more
Simona Bartolotta
"Usnelli stava sempre zitto, ma questa angoscia del mondo umano era il contrario di quella che gli comunicava poco prima la bellezza della natura:come là ogni parola veniva meno, così qua era una ressa di parole che gli si affollavano alla mente: parole da descrivere ogni verruca, ogni pelo della magra faccia malrasa del pescatore vecchio, ogni scaglia argentata del muggine."

La maggiore difficoltà l'ho incontrata ad inizio lettura, dal momento che i primi racconti sono inconsistenti e sin troppo
Cristina - Athenae Noctua
Uno dei tanti capolavori di narrativa di Calvino, che sa sempre intrattenere e far riflettere. Qui si concentra sulle relazioni complicate, sugli ostacoli quotidiani, sul contrasto fra situazioni ideali e desiderate e compromessi amari. I racconti de Gli amori difficili possono essere centellinati o gustati in un sol boccone, ma resteranno una gran prelibatezza letteraria.
Vilém Zouhar
May 28, 2015 Vilém Zouhar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Collection of several short stories. Viewing the stories separately, they were mostly sad or melancholical at least, but overall the book managed to make me feel happy (I still have to figure out how that happened). Italo Calvino is slowly becoming my favourite author.
Jinny Chung
Mar 02, 2010 Jinny Chung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
"The Enchanted Garden" is where it's at. Nothing really happens, but it's beautiful and significant anyway.

Calvino, you are rich with the goods.

From 'Adventures of a Reader':

"For some time Amedeo had tended to reduce his participation in active life to the minimum. Not that he didn't like action: on the contrary, love of action nourished his whole character, all his tastes; and yet, from one year to the next, the yearning to be someone who did things declined, declined, until he wondered if he h
Jul 25, 2012 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The eleven stories called ‘Difficult Loves’ are Calvino’s early masterpieces – although written over the course over more than a decade, the echoes between them create an unmistakeable sense of unity.

A series of archetypal figures (‘the reader’, ‘the clerk’, ‘the bather’) pursue superbly bourgeois Continental lives: sea-bathing, catching trains, eating in cafés, having love affairs, drinking coffee, reading, smoking. For each, this ordinary existence is illuminated by a sudden moment of unglamor
Silvia Sirea
Dopo due giorni impiegati a metabolizzare il tutto, riesco finalmente a scrivere qualcosa riguardo questo libro.
Calvino mi piace e, nel complesso, mi è piaciuta anche questa serie di racconti. La raccolta si divide in due parti: Gli amori difficili - da cui prende il nome il libro - e La vita difficile.

I racconti che fanno parte de Gli amori difficili sono quelli che ho apprezzato maggiormente. Sono immediati e caratterizzati da una vena di malinconia; alla fine di gran parte di essi rimane un
Jan 16, 2016 Maíra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-livros
Tirando uns dois contos, me diverti bastante! Ítalo Calvino é sensacional na escrita e percepções do mundo. Apesar de se chamar Amores difíceis, tem dois contos mais longos no final que são "vida difícil" e chego a pensar que "a Formiga-Argentina" é uma história de terror.
Enfim, tenho problemas em amar livros de contos, é uma questão pessoal. Demoro a ser cativada em cada conto, sempre sinto que perdi algo no começo, então não levem minha avaliação muito a sério.
Rosa Ramôa
Oct 19, 2014 Rosa Ramôa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Eu amava-a, em suma. E era infeliz. Mas como poderia ela algum dia entender essa minha infelicidade? Há aqueles que se condenam ao cinzento da vida mais medíocre porque tiveram alguma dor, alguma desgraça; mas há também aqueles que o fazem porque tiveram mais sorte do que poderiam suportar."

Italo Calvino - Amores Dificeis
Aug 13, 2013 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un Calvino assolutamente attuale e che, come sempre, descrive e si prende gioco delle umane debolezze con ironia e dolcezza. Adoro i suoi racconti brevi e i suoi personaggi sono davvero indimenticabili, in ognuno di loro rivedo un pezzetto di me stessa.
Mar 15, 2017 Azzurra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho letto questa raccolta di racconti in maniera abbastanza frammentaria, dovuto al lavoro succhia-anima ed al mio piccolo viaggio a Roma.

Lo stile de Gli amori difficili è quello tipico di Calvino: un po'ostentamente meccanico e preciso, ma... che descrizioni meravigliose! In L'avventura di una bagnante o anche in parte in L'avventura di un poeta, Calvino mi ha regalato suggestioni preziose... immagini quasi palpabili, "visioni" oserei dire, di momenti e di persone scolpite nel tempo e nello spa
Ashley Cracknell
3.5 Stars

Slice of life stories written with Calvino's trademark flowing prose. The Italian writes with a perception that makes me wonder if I have ever really looked at the world around me.

As usual, when reading Calvino I long to know what he would have made of our 21st Century. I felt this most keenly when reading The Adventure of a Photographer. The amateur photographer attempts to snap something elusive about life and love, to see the world only through photographs. Sound familiar? No doubt
Hendry Kurniawan
Cinta. Satu kata yang sangat luas maknanya. Cinta dapat dideskripsikan dengan berbagai bentuk atau cara. Ketika membicarakan cinta, kita tidak melulu terpaku pada logika, tetapi perasaan, naluri, dan hasrat juga berperan di dalamnya dan membentuk "sistem" interaksi sosial antara manusia yang satu dengan yang lainnya atau dengan lingkungan sekitarnya. Cinta memang kosmik dan epik, membaca kisah cinta pun menjadi sesuatu yang tak lekang waktu karena selalu ada sisi lain dari sekeping kata cinta. S ...more
Oct 15, 2008 Adiprasatya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indonesian
Diambil dari review gw di multiply.

Tagline buku ini adalah "kisah cinta yang tidak biasa". Dan emang bener, cerita-cerita di kumpulan cerpen ini adalah cerita yang tidak biasa. Kadang-kadang bikin gw bertanya-tanya, ini cinta atau cuma sekedar hubungan emosi antara dua manusia? Cerita-ceritanya muncul di setting yang aneh-aneh, padahal sebetulnya di kejadian sehari-hari. It's just that I never expected a [typical] love story to come out of that kind of situation. Misalnya, ibu muda yang terperan
"Elide andava a letto, spegneva la luce. Dalla propria parte, coricata, strisciava un piede verso il posto di suo marito, per cercare il calore di lui, ma ogni volta s'accorgeva che dove dormiva lei era più caldo, segno che Arturo aveva dormito lì, e ne provava una grande tenerezza."

Gli amori difficili è una raccolta di quindici racconti suddivisi in Parte prima. Gli amori difficili e Parte seconda. La vita difficile. Il filo conduttore della narrazione è il non incontrarsi di una coppia in cui
Feb 24, 2011 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Difficult Loves is a collection of short stories split into four sections: Riviera Stories, Wartime Stories, Post-war Stories, and Stories of Love and Loneliness. I’ve heard that each story is supposed to deal with some form of love, but I’m not sure this is true. Regardless, these stories are fine and unexpected. I’m particularly fond of the Riviera Stories section-- in one story, a gang of young boys explore a crab-infested ship; in another a young man tries to woo a girl by giving her a cornu ...more
Meghan Fidler
Oct 19, 2013 Meghan Fidler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best shot story collections I've had the pleasure of reading. Organized into four themes--Riviera Stories, Wartime stories, Postwar stories and Stories of love and Loneliness-- Calvino draws from his experiences to depict a series of innovative variations. My favorite themes were Wartime stories and Stories of love and loneliness. My enjoyment of the Wartime stories was personally surprising: suffering and violence are hard topics for entertainment, but Calvino's emphasis on t ...more
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  • Un amore
  • Fontamara
  • Il bar sotto il mare
  • Requiem: A Hallucination
  • The Ragazzi
  • Una vita
  • Elephant And Other Stories
  • Reeds in the Wind
  • To Each His Own
  • Boredom
  • That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana
  • A Woman
  • Altri libertini
  • The Skin
  • Mandarins: Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
  • Sillabari
  • Lessico famigliare
  • Night's Lies
Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979).

His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic
More about Italo Calvino...

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“Don't you ever get tired of reading?" she asked. "You could hardly be called good company! Don't you know that, with women, you're supposed to make conversation?" she added; her half smile was perhaps meant to be ironic, though to Amedeo, who at that moment would have paid anything rather than give up his novel, it seemed downright threatening.” 13 likes
“You only have to start saying of something : 'Ah, how beautiful ! We must photograph it !' and you are already close to the view of the person who thinks that everything that is not photographed is lost, as if it never existed, and therefore in order to really live you must photograph as much as you can, and to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographable every moment of your life.” 13 likes
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