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The Castle of Crossed Destinies

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  3,825 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
A group of travellers chance to meet, first in a castle, then a tavern. Their powers of speech are magically taken from them and instead they have only tarot cards with which to tell their stories. What follows is an exquisite interlinking of narratives, and a fantastic, surreal and chaotic history of all human consciousness.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 2nd 1997 by Vintage Classics (first published 1969)
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Jul 24, 2009 Trevor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
‘I always feel the need to alternate one type of writing with another, completely different, to begin writing again as if I had never written anything before.’

And thus ends Italo Calvino’s The Castle of Crossed Destinies. There are times when I forget just how much I love Calvino’s writing. This is a very short book, but one that requires intense concentration to read – in fact, it requires intense concentration right up until the point where you realise that you simply aren’t smart enough to ge
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 07, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
To be my friend here in Goodreads, my question is: "What is your favorite literary genre?" In response to that, I received several answers ranging from classics, noir, thrillers (very few), mystery and suspense and romance (every now and then) but mostly YA and "none in particular" or as "I read anything" (that sometimes makes me ask myself what's the use of asking the question). Well, I now have 200+ friends and more than half of those I guess wanted me to be their friend instead of the other w ...more
Jeff Jackson
Aug 18, 2013 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-2
This one looked like pure candy - stories of knight, hermits, and queens told from Tarot cards! - but that proved to be a mirage. Instead it's an Oulipian experiment in how to generate multiple stories from two Tarot decks which differ only in their illustrations. The stories unfold one card at a time - the selected cards are also shown in the margins - as the narrator struggles to create coherence between each card and an overall narrative thread throughout the course of the reading.

There's a
Shaimaa Ali
Dec 31, 2015 Shaimaa Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
حسناً .. كانت هذه أفضل خاتمة لهذا العام - الغير موفق معي بالمرة - وقراءتى للرواية العبقرية لكالڤينو ( قلعة المصائر المتقاطعة)
فكرة عبقرية حقاً ربط فيها كالڤينو قصص متنوعة بأوراق التاروت -على إختلاف نوعيه- وبينما يشدك الأسلوب السردي فى البدء وتتعود على غرابته (من متابعة رسومات كل ورقة وما تحمله من معنى يناسب القصة) .. حتى يتكشف لك شيئاً مذهلاً فى النهاية وهو تداخل مصائر القصص بشكل طولى وعرضى - كمؤلف كلمات متقاطعة ماهر- ويتصاعد هذا البناء القصصي ويصل إلى ذروته فى آخر قصة وهى التى حوت تمازجاً بين ر
Paul Bryant
Mar 16, 2010 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
People sit around in pubs and get drunk and bandy ridiculous ideas about - hey, what if you wrote a novel but you couldn't use one letter of the alphabet! Wow, great idea. Hey what about a bunch of characters who can only communicate by means of tarot cards? Whoah, that's cool. Hey - what about someone getting in the next round? Well, we've been part of those evenings, and the next day we've got a fat headache and forgotten all that nonsense. Except for Italo Calvino and Georges Perec. They don' ...more
Paolo Gianoglio
Mar 28, 2016 Paolo Gianoglio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L’opinione comune è che le storie siano create dagli uomini. Poi a volte leggiamo di qualche scrittore che ci racconta di una storia “che voleva essere raccontata”, e ci fermiamo a pensare se non sia vero che le storie sono già tutte presenti, e attendono solo qualcuno che le voglia raccontare. Con questo libro Calvino fa un altro passo, per portarci a riflettere sul rapporto tra scrittura e narrazione, tra significato e forma. La storia emerge dalle carte dei tarocchi, quasi che il mazzo fosse ...more
Amy (Other Amy)
Feb 11, 2016 Amy (Other Amy) rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who like to watch experimental fiction crash and burn
Recommended to Amy (Other Amy) by: The 1001 people, who need their heads examined
I publish this book to be free of it: it has obsessed me for years. I began by trying to line up the tarots at random, to see if I could read the story in them. "The Waverer's Tale" emerged; I started writing it down; I looked for other combinations of the same cards; I realized the tarots were a machine for constructing stories; I thought of a book, and I imagined its frame: the mute narrators, the forest, the inn; I was tempted by the diabolical idea of conjuring up all the stories that could ...more
رغد قاسم
حتى قبل أن اصل إلى الحكاية اﻷخيرة، عرفت أن قلعة المصائر المتقاطعة هي قلعة الكتابة
أعتقد أن أجمل ما في الرواية هي أسطرها الأخيرة والتي يتحدث فيها كاليفانو عن ناجين من الحرب أخرسهم هول ما شاهدوه ولم يبق لهم في عزلتهم في نزل بعيد سوى صفحة التسالي من جريدة قديمة!
يا الله
كيف لخص كاليفانوا الحكاية كلها، وكيف غير رأيك في عمله فجأة وأنت تقرأ هذه السطور الأخيرة بعد أن يكون رأسك قد دار من تشابك القصص.
الرواية تجريبية، تمثل شغف الكاتب على فترة طويلة بالتفرج على أوراق التاروت ومحاولة تخيل قصص منها ، قصص مت
Mar 10, 2015 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics, fantasy
I don’t know why I keep trying; it’s quite obvious that while there are aspects of Calvino’s writing that I love, even coming blurred through the translations, his structures, styles, plots, characters (or lack thereof) really get on my nerves. The idea is fine, but then telling a whole series of stories via someone guessing at what other people mean by laying out certain patterns of tarot cards… gets wearing.

It’s nice at first to keep your mind on the cards, the symbolism, the way the story hap
Bhavya Viswarajan
Mar 06, 2016 Bhavya Viswarajan rated it liked it
I like books. And I like books on books. Italo Calvino creates an air of suspended fictional narratives, with 78 tarot cards, weaving in, amongst others, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Oedipus and Sigismund of Vindabola and his interpretation of dreams.

Travellers meet in a tavern, wish to share their stories, but find themselves rendered mute. With just tarot cards at their disposal, though the the tales they create look clichéd, their telling is very much not. Interpretations are questioned, and C
Alan Chen
Aug 13, 2016 Alan Chen rated it liked it
I appreciate Calvino. He is a truly awe inspiring writer. In every one of his books he plays with form, function, or content in a different way. He explores the limits of literature in a way that shows his passion for language and the ways he can manipulate it. In The Castle of Crossed Destinies he has travelers meet up in a castle for the first part and a tavern in the second part. They use tarot decks to tell their stories because they are unable to speak. The storytellers are sharing the same ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, italia
Calvino è geniale. Il commento potrebbe limitarsi a queste parole.
Un tesoro questo piccolo libro, che raccoglie due racconti (o forse potrei dire due romanzi con mille storie dentro), uno quello che dà il titolo al libro, “il castello dei destini incrociati”, l’altro si intitola “la taverna dei destini incrociati”.
Dico subito che mi è piaciuto tantissimo il primo, un po’ meno il secondo.
Ne “il castello dei destini incrociati”, partendo dai Tarocchi del mazzo visconteo, il più antico che si conos
This is kind of a splendid book. It is demanding; the reader must engage with it, examining each card as it is revealed and disputing its meaning with the narrator. It also helps to be well-versed in folklore and literature, both because recognizing many of the tales makes them more comprehensible and because Calvino's style is a strange, almost challenging mix of archaic and modern literary styles that sits uneasily on genre shelves.

It actually reminds me quite a bit of Catherynne M. Valente's
Travelling Sunny
May 27, 2016 Travelling Sunny rated it did not like it
A group of guests - unknown to each other - at a castle in the woods find they have lost the power of speech, so they use a deck of tarot cards to "show" their stories to each other. Some cards are reused in more than one tale, resulting in a tapestry of cards that can be read forward, backward, sideways, slantways, etc.

Cool idea, right? Add to that the format of the book, which illustrates each card in the margins of the book and provides layout pictures of everyone's stories as they intertwine
Sep 15, 2015 Rand rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Astrid
Recommended to Rand by: Fate
This book is 144 pages. It is a book, translated from the Italian. The stories are based upon the Tarot. The Tarot is based upon life. Life is based upon stories.

If you are reading this far through all of the reviews for The Castle of Crossed Destinies, none of this is news to you. This off-site review includes images of the Visconti deck which Calvino used.

This review is number 141. Once three more reviews are added, there will be one review for every page in the book. After that direct corres
Sei un giovane scrittore in erba? Stai pensando di vendere un rene per frequentare quel master di scrittura creativa che tanto agogni?

Lascia perdere. Per soli 8,00 puoi avere "Il castello dei destini incrociati" di un tal Calvino che ti spiega come si fa a scrivere una storia dal nulla. Basta un mazzo di tarocchi. Li butti giù e ti immagini una storia. Ma non è detto che bisogna usare per forza i tarocchi. Anche combinare vari dipinti tra loro va benissimo. Insomma, qualsiasi elemento è utilizza
Nov 27, 2015 Erdinç rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Calvino'nun hayli deneysel, açıkçası herhangi iyi bir edebiyat okuruna "okumalısınız" diye de öneremeyeceğim tek çalışması. Deneysel kitaplar olmalıdır, severim, iyidir de, ancak Kesişen Yazgılar Şatosu'nun bunun yanında, hiç okur dostu bir metin olmama gibi bir sorununun olduğunu da düşünüyorum. Tarot kartlarından öykü kurma çabası içinde türlü yaratıcılık olanakları barındıran anlamlı bir çaba olsa ve Calvino'nun kitabında yer yer bu olanaklardan başarıyla faydalanılmış da olsa, özellikle kart ...more
Simona Bartolotta
Aug 23, 2015 Simona Bartolotta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1900, collections
Ho preferito molto di più la prima parte rispetto alla seconda.
Le storie ben scritte hanno sempre un fascino nascosto ed esercitano un richiamo talmente intenso, incomprensibile eppure così ovviamente chiaro, che è impossibile non rispondere.
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
I bumped into this book via wikipedia. I was (actually still am, as I write this) reading Orlando Furioso, and on the wikipedia page under Later Literature, read this:
The Italian novelist Italo Calvino drew on Ariosto for several of his works of fiction including Il cavaliere inesistente ("The Nonexistent Knight", 1959) and Il castello dei destini incrociati ("The Castle of Crossed Destinies", 1973). In 1970 Calvino brought out his own selection of extracts from the poem.
I can't tell you if Calv
Le carte dei tarocchi combinate per raccontare delle storie. Esperimento narrativo, intreccio di letteratura, matematica ed esoterismo; eppure il vero colpo di genio è all'inizio di ciascuna delle due raccolte che compongono questo volume: nel Castello dei destini incrociati i personaggi sono costretti da un improvviso mutismo collettivo a utilizzare le carte per raccontare le proprie disavventure; nella Taverna dei destini incrociati la loro voce è dominata dal chiasso del locale, e ancora una ...more
Rob Adey
Mar 19, 2013 Rob Adey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was probably supposed to read this, or books like it, when I was
studying English, but I was scared off by the rays of post-structuralist
zeal shooting out of the eyes of my theory-crazed lecturers,
deconstructing everything in their path.

But there's nothing scary here - at least, semiotically speaking. The
central conceit is a twist on Doctor Terror's House of Horror - a
traveller escapes from a wild wood into a castle, eager to share his
story with the other travellers feasting there. But he and t
a  Lena
Oct 09, 2015 a Lena rated it liked it
Uzeh ovu knjižicu u okviru Dewey's read-a-thon izazova (pročitaj što više u 24 sata) zato što je kratka, da mi drži pažnju, ali samo me izmrcvarila. Putnici putujući kroz začaranu šumu ostanu bez glasa i osuđeni su da svoje priče pričaju slikama, odnosno Tarot kartama. Navodno je ovo Kalvinov eksperiment o važnosti slika i simbola nad riječima. Tarot karte slažu priču sa beskonačno mnogo interpretacija, što riječi same ne mogu. Zanimljiv koncept ne znači nužno i zanimljivu knjigu, ali ovaj put j ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
I bought this book in a small Brooklyn bookshop during a rain storm. I was on vacation and felt like a little post-modern fiction. I'm writing this mostly for myself, so sorry if that doesn't add anything to the review. The book itself was exactly what I was looking for: a nerdy delight to make my brain hurt. The fashion in which Calvino weaves his narratives around the formation of tarot cards is masterful. The man is a storyteller by trade and a mathematician at heart. Or the other way around. ...more
May 20, 2012 Emanuela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ecco, questo sarebbe un libro da tablet che riproducesse le immagini dei tarocchi che Calvino fa giostrare per raccontare le storie di questo bi-romanzo, del castello e della taverna dei destini incrociati.

Geniale nella costruzione geometrica delle storie, raffinatissimo e coltissimo nella scelta dei personaggi che pesca nell'Orlando Furioso, nella mitologia, nelle tragedie di Shakespeare.

Il passaggio che preferisco è: "Anch'io cerco di dire la mia" dove l'autore si lascia condurre dalla success
Nate D
Jun 22, 2010 Nate D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fortune-tellers and mythologers
Recommended to Nate D by: That awesome New Paltz used bookstore
Guests at a castle in the woods, finding themselves unable to speak, tell their stories through a deck of Tarot cards, building an elaborate matrix of their interconnected narratives and suymbologies. Mythic, elegant, and formally inventive, which is to say it's an Italo Calvino novel. Who else would attempt a project like this. In some ways it is more an intriguing project than a necessary one, but many of the individual stories do manage to startle and delight, and The story culminates in kind ...more
Ebtihal Abuali
هذا العمل ليس لمتعة القراءة بقدر ما هو لابراز براعة كاتب في التجريب.
كالفينو يراهن هنا على قدرته على ابتكار الحكايا من مجرد صف ورق التاروت، وليس حكايا منفردة وقائمة بذاتها فقط، بل حكايا تتقاطع فيما بينها ككلمات متقاطعة.
هكذا ينتهي الى صف لوحة كاملة من البطاقات التي تشكل قصص تقرأ افقيا وعموديا وتتقاطع فيما بينها.
القصص ذاتها بسيطة وكلاسيكية وتتضمن فرسان وغابات واسلحة وصراعات ملوك وسحرة الخ. لم اجد فيها ما يمتع عدا ان متابعتها مرهقة وعلى شيء من الصعوبة. لكني متأكدة ان كالفينو استمتع بتصميمها. النجمتي
Apr 12, 2016 Amira rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
نجمة وحدة لتكريم فكرة استخدام أوراق التاروت..أكثر من نجمة حيكون نفاق من طرفي..لأني بصراحة مافهمتش الهدف..المغزى من الكتاب غير استعراض كالفينو لحدة ذكائه وقدرته على استنباط قصص معروفة من رسوم الأوراق..
باختصار..الكتاب يا أما عظيم بشكل رهيب يستعصي على فهمي المحدود وبالتالي نفكر في منحه فرصة أخرى بعد عمر طويل..يا أما فعلًا كتاب عبيط بشكل ممل.
لو حد شاف الريفيو هادا وكان قاري الكتاب وفاهمه ومعجب بيه ياريت ينورني..اعتبروها رسالة في شيشة ملوحة في المحيط
از متن کتاب :

«تو کی هستی؟ »
«من مردی هستم که میخواست با دختری ازدواج کند که تو انتخاب نکردی،
کسی که میخواست بر سر دوراهی آن مسیر دیگر را انتخاب کند، تشنگیاش را بر
سر آن چاه دیگر برطرف کند. تو با انتخابنکردن مانع انتخابهای من شدهای. »
«کجا میروی؟ »
«به مهمانسرایی غیر از آنکه تو خواهی رفت. »
« کجا دوباره تو را خواهم دید؟»
«آویزان بر چوبهی داری غیر از آنکه تو خودت را بر آن دار خواهی زد.
Cristina - Athenae Noctua
Un'opera bifronte, esaltante nella prima metà, limacciosa nella seconda: la consiglio a chi, più che la piacevolezza narrativa, ricerchi l'approfondimento tecnico, campo in cui Calvino ha molto da offrire e molti elementi con cui sorprendere.
محمد سيد رشوان
بعد لو أن مسافرًا في ليلة شتاء، و حكايا ماركو فالدو.. وختامًا بقلعة المصائر المتقاطعة.. أحب أن أقول أن إيتالو كالفينو أصبح من أقرب وأعز أصدقائي.. آه والله العظيم..

قدس الله روحك أيها الإيطالي الجميل
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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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“every choice has its obverse, that is to say a renunciation, and so there is no difference between the act of choosing and the act of renouncing” 17 likes
“From this arid sphere every discourse and every poem sets forth; and every journey
through forests, battles, treasures, banquets, bedchambers, brings us back here, to the center
of an empty horizon.”
More quotes…