Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This thesis deals with the interaction between the reader and the author within the literary experience. The selected novels by Italo Calvino demonstrate the need for the reader to become part of the creative process and consequently help in recreating the text. The introductory chapter is a biographical sketch that outlines some of the reasons behind Calvino's distinctive writing style and how the experiences in his life helped to form his artistic vision. The novels selected, The Baron in the Trees, Mr. Palomar, and Invisible Cities, delineate certain aspects related to the reading experience that are suggested by the author and anticipated from the reader for a more imaginative and interactive approach to the reading experience. Additionally, the progression of the selected novels points to a need for more intimate and increasingly complex interplay between the reader and the author. My thesis highlights that the reading experience needs to be a cooperative effort between the reader and author and an experience that, when engaged in a consequential way, will both educate and enlighten the reader. Most importantly, the thesis presents the premise that by engaging with a text in this cooperative manner, and by "disengaging our thinking from the regimens imposed by society and ourselves," the reader's imaginative process can be emancipated. This emancipation then allows for a deeper and more meaningful way in which to apply the knowledge gained to our relationship with literature, with each other, and the world in general.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Tibor Munkacsi



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

62 pages