Monday, 24 June 2019

The Nonexistent Knight [#books #review]

by Italo Calvino


"I'm talking to you, paladin!" insisted Charlemagne. "Why don't you show your face to your king?"
A voice came clearly through the gorge piece. "Sire, because I do not exist!"

With Calvino I have a love-sympathy relationship. What I mean is that I liked a lot some of his books, while others not so much, but in the end I still liked them. I had high expectations about The Nonexistent Knight, so high that I feared it might disappoint me in comparison, but instead it enthralled me from the first pages. Every time I put it down (reluctantly) I always said to myself "this book is really beautiful"! What I'm about to say may sound trivial, but nobody can teach you what it means to exist better than someone who is not. But every character in this book expresses a different way to try to simply exist, and I found a bit of myself in everyone. I suffered and exulted with the people of Koowalden (Curvaldia), I rooted for our warriors, I laughed at certain bizarre but so believable descriptions, I was enchanted by Sister Teodora's reflections, and above all I was moved by this knight who strives to exist by pure will power. Maybe this novel didn't give me strong feelings, it's like it's gently insinuated itself in my emotions, but it certainly left a deep sign in me.

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