A novel by Italo Calvino
published in 1947. It is his first novel. The Path to the Spiders' Nests
is the story of a young boy named Pin
who gets caught up in the anti-fascist
movement in Italy
during World War II
. Pin has grown up, for the most part, without his mother and father and has been raised by his sister, who is a prostitute. Pin is caught and imprisoned for stealing a revolver from a German naval officer
and escapes from prison. Pin spends most of the novel in the hills with the anti-fascists.
With the exception of Mancino and chapter nine, the book contains few references to political ideologies. Although it was anti-female. Calvino mentions in his preface, which is included in every edition since 1964, that the violence and sexism in included in the novel were rather "naive". The characters are not really developed, and thus could stand for mere representations of things, what really makes the novel are Calvino's descriptions. The spiders' nests, the streets of Old Town, the hills all become real places in the mind of the reader.