You, as a reader, are directly addressed and involved in the narrative of Calvino’s text. Did you feel this to be limiting in any way? Did you see yourself in the text? In what ways is Calvino’s text subversive?
At the very beginning of the text, I almost felt as though I was the subject of the numbered chapters, which was an interesting experience. As the book wore on, I did begin to feel somewhat limited by the portrayal of the “main character,” as I certainly wouldn’t be chasing a girl all over town reading, but the story compelled me all the same. That said, I do find myself taken aback quite often, especially in the “book” sections. The author seems to subvert a consistent style while maintaining a single narrator. I would actually argue that within those “book sections,” though the style of prose may change, it is often interrupted, without warning I might add, by a singular consistent narrator. This narrator seeks to force the reader to question the text he is consuming, in effect presenting the past and presenting context as enigmatic and vague. You often will be reading about some strange characters in a far off country, and all of a sudden there’s that narrator, pulling the strings and commenting on their own narrative efforts with a meta sort of flair. These diversions bring some level of familiarity and indicate to me that, eventually, those hanging narrative strings will be knit together.