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Our Ancestors: The Cloven Viscount, The Baron in the Trees, The Non-Existent Knight (I nostri antenati #1-3)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,780 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Contains 3 novellas originally published between 1952-1959: The Cloven Viscount, The Baron In the Trees, The Non-Existent Knight.
Paperback, 393 pages
Published December 31st 1980 by Picador (first published 1960)
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Michael Finocchiaro
My favourite story in this collection is The Baron in the Trees which is a wonderful fairy tale about a kid who wouldn't finish his dinner, decides to live in a tree, and crosses Europe from Italy to southern Spain without once touching the ground. It is a beautiful, masterful tale that reminds us how man in the last 6 or 7 centuries has destroyed many of the forests and natural diversity that existed on the Mediterranean coast in the middle ages. It can be read again and again and is absolutely ...more
If these are our ancestors then we do indeed have a troubled and difficult inheritance, although it could be that the collection title is the gift of the publisher. This collection of three Calvino stories features partial people, an empty suit of armour, a half man, chopped in half by a war would and a baron who doesn't have his feet on the ground.

Apparently then we are in the world of fables, are they critical views of our heroic past? Or simply games toying with notions? The great heroism of
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tri Kalvinova dela spojena od strane njega samog u jednu tematsku trilogiju o našim precima: čoveku dobra i zla, tvrdoglavom idealisti i vitezu koji je sam sebe ubedio da postoji.

Prepolovljeni knez/vikont (4+) je novela, a po duhu odužena pripovetka, o jednom, gle čuda, knezu, koji biva, gle čuda, prepolovljen u ratu, i to u luni-tuns šmeku gde top ne napravi rupu samo u stomaku, već odnese čitavu jednu stranu tela. I tako, vraća se naš knez koji spreda izgleda kao iz profila u rodno mu selo, sa
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
Calvino is probably my favourite writer. His books are as varied and beautiful as it is possible to be. For a long time I tried to learn Italian in part so as to be able to read him in the original language. These are a fascinating series of stories, almost stories for young adults, but also allegories on a world divided into East and West.

My favourite of these stories is Baron in the Trees. The tale of a young man who fights with his family, storms out of the house in a fit of fury and climbs a
Tim Pendry
This volume pulls together two novellas and one novel written across the length of the 1950s by Italo Calvino as partial pastiches of past literature, all with an implied commentary about the position of the intellectual in post-war Italy.

This tells us all we need to know about the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

On the one hand, Calvino writes fluently and with a mastery of the forms he is working with – the (comic) Gothic novel, the moral tale of the Enlightenment and the courtly romanc
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sólo me salen suspiros cuando se trata de esta trilogía. Qué imágenes tan bellas, tan fuertes. Mi amor por siempre a este autor y a estos tres libros. Los temas...miles: metaliterarios; el ser humano en conjunción con la naturaleza (aquí surgen las metáforas y símiles más hermosos que haya leído); el amor; la enajenación; el dilema por la libertad individual o en sociedad [¿se dice así?]; la existencia del mundo; la percepción que tiene el hombre de él. Espacios, tiempos históricos, géneros lite ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Υπέροχο, γεμάτο φαντασία, ξεχνιέσαι!
Inderjit Sanghera
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This triptych of stories, in which Calvino coalesces fantasy, folk-tale and pastiche into a set of wonderful, irreverent and beautiful stories and represents one of the high points in Calvino’s oeuvre. ‘The Cloven Viscount’ is the story of a viscount whose body is split into two by virtue of jumping in front of a cannonball. In a kind of macabre re-working of the double theme-and in particular Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde-one side is evil and the other good and the viscount is able to terrorize his sub ...more
Seher Andaç
İtalo Calvino’nun 1960 yılında yazdığı sonsöz(?) ile birlikte Vikont, Baron ve Şövalye ile tanışmış oldum. Okurun yolculuğu “okuma” eylemi devam ettiği için sonsöz henüz okur için söylenmedi:)
Sıradan Asyalı bir kadın olarak - ünvansız- şunu açık ve net olarak söyleyebilirim ki kitap farkındalığa yol açıyor!
Dhanaraj Rajan
The stars should be four and half.

I now realise that I can not get enough of Italo Calvino. He entertains and amazes me all the time. In fact I began his "Invisible Cities" first and then read his "If On a Winter's Night a Traveller." Both of them are his later writings and they are very post-modern. I loved both of them and then when I picked this up (One of his earlier works) I was prepared myself to face the intellectual challenge. But then I found myself in the fairy world. This book contai
Ricardo Lourenço
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Recolho neste volume três histórias que escrevi no decénio 1950-1960 e que têm em comum o facto de serem inverosímeis e de decorrerem em épocas distantes e em terras imaginárias.”

Em Os Nossos Antepassados, Italo Calvino procura, enveredando pelo género fantástico, analisar de uma posição privilegiada as relações sociais, políticas e morais que o ser humano estabelece e, sobretudo, observar as suas diferentes formas de auto-realização, tema transversal às três histórias.

“Quando eu estava inteir
Dvd (polemologico e pantoclastico)
Uno dei primi libri importanti che ho letto in vita mia. Splendidi tutti e 3 i racconti, con Il barone rampante forse in cima al podio.

Devo rileggerlo, un giorno o l'altro...
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite work of fiction ever. In a sense it is cheating for me to say this because there are actually three novels here presented between covers as a single book. This work is a trilogy that isn't really a trilogy. The three novels are related to each other, yes, but not by plot, characters, location or even mood, only by the fact that they each seek to play with the profound truths that stem from a single incident or situation or conceit.

There is so much richness in this volume tha
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a symbolic story in wich the principal character has had divided in two parts. A good and a bad than constantly are fighting for their own interests. And it was until the end that they had an agreement.
In my opinion, all of us have a good and a bad personality inside us. In many ocations we have to mediate between both of them. But that is our human escence and that makes us unique.
El libro "Nuestros antepasados" está conformado por tres de las mejores obras de Calvino, todas ellas pertenecientes al género fantástico, el realismo mágico y la fábula, y ubicadas cronológicamente en edades antiguas: "El vizconde demediado" se sitúa en el siglo XV, "El barón rampante" se desarrolla a finales del siglo XVIII, en la época de la Revolución francesa, y "El caballero inexistente" se localiza en la Edad Media, en tiempos de Carlomagno.

Según tengo entendido, Calvino era lector y admi
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book after a positive review by both a friend and Salman Rushdie (in 'Imaginary homeland').

The cloven viscount was not really my thing, i liked the style in wich it was written (the opening scène made me think of some of Durer's etchings), but i found the main theme of a viscount trying to find self-completeness after finding himself torn in two conflicting halves a bit rigid.

In 'the Baron in the trees' and in 'the non-existent knight' Calvino's style had become more colourful and sp
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il visconte dimezzato
Era da tantissimo che volevo leggere questa famosissima “trilogia” di Calvino! E finalmente ho cominciato col primo romanzo! Bello, indubbiamente, ma non bellissimo come immaginavo. Non so, forse mi aspettavo troppo, o ho aspettato troppo per leggerlo, fatto sta che non sono riuscita a dargli le 5 stelline. Ma quattro sono fuor di dubbio, perché è veramente un bel libro! :)

Il barone rampante
Secondo capitolo della trilogia degli antenat
Marcelo Lannes
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of three small novels from the 1950's. One of the best books I've ever read for the beauty of its language and the creativity of the stories. I am lucky that I could read it in the original. I do not know how the translations fare. The three stories are all narrated from an external point of view, but by somebody who was a direct witness of the fantastic events. In all three, but particularly in the last story of the "Non-existent knight" whose existence is defined by his armor and ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa
C'è forse un'altra valutazione possibile se non le cinque stelle per la trilogia araldica?

Da bambina, avrò avuto 11-12 anni, cercai di leggere il barone rampante, ma lo piantai dopo 10 pagine.
Per troppi anni lasciai perdere Calvino e la sua trilogia.
E così la ripresi in mano solo 10 anni dopo, per (ri)scoprirne la potenza. Ma ancora ci sono parti che riescono a sorprendermi, come quando sentii la lettura de Il Cavaliere inesistente (quello che avevo sottovalutato) su Radio3 e mi affascinò come s
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I often used to think that the postmodernist Calvino is the one with the magic ink. But This book has performed a certain metamorphosis on my thoughts. To be honest, Cosmicomics and this book together establishes Calvino as the invincible fabulist. I cannot remember a writer of modern era telling such deceptively simple tales to mystify generations of fable-readers.
Loved all three stories, read a few books by Calvino and like his style. His tales are full of amazing characters such as the knight who isn't there, the baron who lives in the trees and a group of spanish exiles.
Yehia Nasser
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
for war can be well fought where there’s a glimpse of a woman’s mouth between lance points, when nothing, wounds, dust, horses’ stink, means anything, but that smile.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Two novellas and a short novel in a single book, all three of them excellent. The first two take place in Liguria, all three have themes related to fighting the Turks and they succeed in being what Calvino describes in the introduction as "the book I myself would have liked to read, the sort by an unknown writer, from another age and another country, discovered in an attic." He succeeds in summing up this feel very well by having each story told by a first person protagonist who is a minor chara ...more
Jacqueline Wagenstein
РАЗПОЛОВЕНИЯТ ВИКОНТ: Не минава лунна нощ, без в черните души като кълбо от змии да се сплетат куп пъклени мисли и без в състрадателните да разцъфтят лилиите на жертвоготовността и себеотдаването. Така двете Медардови половини веднъж се защурали сред чукарите на Тералба, разяждани от противоположни терзания. И след като всеки от тях взел своето решение, на сутринта предприел необходимото, за да го приведе в изпълнение.

Майката на Памела тръгна за вода, стъпи на една подвижна дъска и пропадна в кл
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Selon "1001 books you have to read before you die" la trilogie bizarre et surréaliste de Calvino est un eufemisme pour respectivement la guerre froide (the cloven viscount), les lumières (Baron in the trees) et la bureaucratie anti-humaine (the non-existent knight). Cela demontre que la fiction est parfois la meilleure facon de déborder des thèmes philosophiques et difficiles, car cela permet d'aborder le sujet d'une facon plus libre et de cette manière de s'approcher de la vérité (si elle exist ...more
Oct 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
Yo veo que las obras de Calvino pueden resultar interesantes en cierto modo, porque más que nada son una reflexión acerca de la literatura y de la vida, pero precisamente porque pretenden ser una reflexión me parecen aburridas de leer, aunque reconozco que es divertido hasta cierto punto analizarlas y comentarlas. Pero a mí esto no me sirve. Sus libros nacen de otros libros, y no de la vida. Esto de por sí no es malo, ya que por ejemplo Borges también lo hacía y los cuentos suyos que he podido l ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001-books
This is a wholly bizarre and unusual book - by turns magical, humorous, historical, fantasy, fairy tale, medieval, realist...Calvino definitely had his own take on life. Its three stories: firstly the story of a knight blown up and chopped in half. The bad half returns home to reek havoc (but is naturally terribly thin), whilst the good half wonders round homeless. Then there is the `Baron in the trees', where a 12 year old decides he will spend the rest of his life up in the trees. This is help ...more
Ана Хелс
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
С Калвино не можем да се разберем и това си е. Тази книга изглежда идеалната , смес между рицарски романи с почти автентичност, и фентъзийни приказности с ироничен привкус. И като добавим неоспоримото майсторство на Калвино да създава увличащи с привидната си простота текстове – какво по-хубаво. Но просто не е моята бира, и това си е. Имаме две части на разполовен виконт, всяка от която я дърпа към крайностите на черното и бялото; един млад барон, решил в пристъп на тийнейджърско бунтарство да с ...more
Our Ancestors contains three short stories by Calvino: The Cloven Viscount, Baron in the Trees, and The Non-Existent Knight.

The Cloven Viscount deals with a viscount split in two on the field of battle and whose two separate halves continue living: one who is good, the other bad.

The Baron in the Trees deals with a young boy who renounces earthly existence in favour of an arboreal one, and how he comes to terms with his independence. One of the more overtly philosophical works in the collection
Sadiq sagheer
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Our Ancestors contains three short stories by Calvino: The Cloven Viscount, Baron in the Trees, and The Non-Existent Knight.

The Cloven Viscount deals with a viscount split in two on the field of battle and whose two separate halves continue living: one who is good, the other bad.

The Baron in the Trees deals with a young boy who renounces earthly existence in favour of an arboreal one, and how he comes to terms with his independence. One of the more overtly philosophical works in the collection
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Goodreads Librari...: add Italian version of Calvino work 1 19 Apr 20, 2013 01:48AM  
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  • Sessanta racconti
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  • History
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  • Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
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  • The Notebooks of Serafino Gubbio
  • 54
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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

Other books in the series

I nostri antenati (3 books)
  • Il visconte dimezzato
  • The Baron in the Trees
  • Il cavaliere inesistente

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“No, writing has not changed me for the better at all; I have merely used up part of my restless, conscienceless youth. What value to me will these discontented pages be? The book, the vow, are worth no more than one is worth oneself. One can never be sure of saving one's soul by writing. One may go writing on and on with a soul already lost.” 5 likes
“… El único camino para estar con los otros de verdad era estar separado de los otros, imponer tercamente a sí y a los otros esa incómoda singularidad y soledad en todas las horas y en todos los momentos de su vida, como es la vocación del poeta, del explorador, del revolucionario.” 2 likes
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