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Neviditelná města

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  24,868 ratings  ·  1,722 reviews
Nejznamenitější cestovatel všech dob, Marco Polo, popisuje Kublaj chánovi krajiny a města, která nejsou na žádné mapě, jejichž znaky a tvary, věže, mosty, domy, ulice, sociální a společenské struktury jsou nám však přesto povědomé, jako by sumarizovaly naše zkušenosti, poznatky a sny, neboť nejsou ničím jiným než "cestami do paměti". Všechna města jsou v Markově podání v p ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published 2007 by Dokořán (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

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Riku Sayuj

Invisible Cities; Imagined Lives

Marco Polo was a dreamer. He had great ambitions - wanting to be a traveller, a writer and a favored courtier. He wanted to live in the lap of luxury in his lifetime and in the best illustrated pages of history later. But he could only be a dreamer and never much more. Was it good enough? He never travelled anywhere and spent his life dreaming away in hisVenice and is remembered to this day as the greatest explorer and travel writer of all time. How did that come

Heidi Whitman - Brain Terrain.

I have not read Marco Polos’s Journeys, but I could imagine what he has written. Had I read it, I also would have had to imagine what he had written. Same verbs, different tenses.

As I am sitting on a bench in front of a museum, waiting for a friend, a family of Italian tourists comes and sits next to me. They come from the land of Marco Polo, or maybe not, may be from the land of Italo Calvino since I do not know if they are Venetians. Italy was a projection of the
Paquita Maria Sanchez
This is the third book that I have attempted to write a response to this week, and failed. I think I am going through a very internal, sponge-like phase. To say that I haven't been going out much would be a ridiculous understatement. I hole up in my bed, finish a book, set it down and grab another almost instantly, comparing the smell of the old to that of the new, then dive straight in, surfacing only rarely for air. I haven't felt up to hammering down my feelings about these things that I have ...more
Rakhi Dalal
A city inhabiting one’s inside, its streets, lanes and by-lanes running in the veins and arteries, the hubbub of the city enlivening even the tiniest fraction of a being. The city; living, breathing, growing and leaving an impression in the very essence, even if it is never visited in one’s lifetime. And then - a multitude of such cities, standing under the auspices of their heritage, a witness to the chronicles of their golden times, cities with their halos; an invisible but inescapable allure. ...more
Italo Calvino is a veritable drug. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and don't trust them if they do.

Ever since the rapturous reading experience that is If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, I have been hooked on the man's words. As it is with most blossoming relationships, I'm a little wary of coming on too strong or getting too close too quickly and chipping away at the charming veneer of novelty in the throes of my overeager enthusiasm before we've gotten comfortable with each other, but this

If on a winter's night a traveller were to set out to traverse the garden of forking paths, she could perhaps follow the moon in its flight to catch the sleepwalkers caught in a midsummer night's dream. She could walk east of Eden to see midnight's children appear, only to lose themselves into a frolic of their own. She could turn at a bend in the river to come upon the savage detectives figuring out the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. She could walk up to the tree of smoke and fin
Since my copy of if on a winter's night a traveler is on its way, I thought of equipping myself with writings of Italo Calvino. In the meanwhile I laid my hands upon Invisible Cities. It’s one of the few books to which I have given 5 stars making it clearly evident as to how much I loved it. This work of Calvino is an unadulterated imagination booksonified. It can best be described as the figment of everybody’s imagination. I hope I can safely say for everyone that once in our lives we have imag ...more
After sunset, on the terraces of the palace, Marco Polo expounded to the sovereign the results of his missions. As a rule the Great Khan concluded his day savoring these tales with half-closed eyes until his first yawn was the signal for the suite of pages to light the flames that guided the monarch to the Pavilion of August Slumber.
But this time Kublai seemed unwilling to give in to the weariness.
"Tell me another city!" he insisted.

With Marco Polo cast in the role of Scheherezade and Kublai K
Given the subject matter—um, descriptions of cities—I wasn’t expecting this book to affect me on such a personal, visceral level. But during the final city description and again in Marco Polo’s closing dialogue with Kublai Khan, I got serious chills. And to put that in perspective, I was finishing it outside (90+ degrees) George Bush Intercontinental Houston, or whatever the hell that airport’s called. Now this effect may have been compounded by the fact that I was also listening to the Conan th ...more
All the spaces we inhabit are in some way our dreams. All the spaces we pass through are composed by our subjective perceptions for us as much as they are composed of the objective material that works on those perceptions. All spaces hold and reflect something of ourselves, our histories. I sit in my carefully arranged room composing this piece on Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities; I am seated in a comfortable chair, it is arranged below a window that lets in copious light in the mornings and aft ...more

Marco Polo : Now I shall tell you of the beautiful city of Nottingham where the buildings are made mostly of blue glass, onyx and sausagemeat. The men of the city trade in fur, spices and photographs of each other with their respective spouses. All the men have large phalluses, sometimes so large they must cut pieces out of the tops of their front doors before they can exit their houses in the morning. This is a city of dreamers and anthropophagi, of astronomers and chess players, all with the l
Nov 12, 2012 Emma rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The world
Recommended to Emma by: Shan Jago
Calvino is an extraordinary writer, isn’t he? I’m consistently blown away by his prose, imagination and originality. He is not a writer that I was familiar with before goodreads. I try to discuss him with my friends, but they have never heard of him. Even my mother in-law, who is a retired English teacher, is not au fait with his work. When I read a book like Invisible Cities, I want to shout from the rooftops how brilliant Calvino is and that nobody should wait, like me, until they are 32 to pi ...more
Henry Martin
You past adolescence and enter the world of adult literature. At first, you read anything and everything that found its way to your hands; then, slowly you begin discovering your own, unique literary taste, and you become selective. The more you read, the more selective you become. Your list of favorite authors and genres grows; you find literary voices that speak directly to your soul. By now, you have reached mid age, and you have over two decades of serious reading under your belt. Any new bo ...more
Invisible Cities: A Parody

Now i shall tell of the city of Yendys, which is wonderful in this fashion: though set on an even coastal plane with mediocre breeze and timid weather, the houses and decorated sheds are of bricks and corrugated iron, connected to each other with quiet courtyards split by pairs, surrounded with exotic, tidy bush of ginormous flowers, man-sized tin water tanks, weather vanes and shinny Japanese vehicles parked on dark grey gravel street that glistens under the sun.

No on
Lit Bug
I should probably admit that Calvino is a gifted writer – he writes so exquisitely, it is difficult to put down a book by him even if it doesn’t make sense to me. My second Calvino, and my response to it is the same I had when I read his first some years ago (If on a winter’s night a traveler) – I didn’t understand a damn thing, and couldn’t put it down either. Worse, I couldn’t rate it at all. I didn’t even know what I thought of it. Fortunately, I re-read ‘If on a…’ some time back, and to my u ...more
In writing, pretension is the act of pulling your hamstring while lifting your pen. It is that sudden, clear, and unfortunate. It should also be avoidable, but anyone gifted with a grain of brilliance is tempted to extend it as far as they can, like Donne's speck of dust stretched the length of the universe, one is left wondering whether it was more ludicrous or thought-provoking.

Calvino's 'Invisible Cities' is a series of descriptions of mythical, impossible cities told by Marco Polo to Kublai

Artwork: Jacek Yerka “Piana”

The stories in Invisible Cities are dreamy and overflowing with creativity which alone is enough of a reason to read them. But then Calvino goes deeper and carries the reader into the realms of philosophy and metaphysics, using his cities to ponder the very nature of perception. I felt like I was on a wild ride at times!

At one moment in the book Kublai Kahn becomes skeptical and wonders if Marco Polo is in fact making up his cities, basing them merely on impressions
Ian Heidin-Seek
Hidden Cities * 6

You once asked me to describe Venice, and I told you that, every time I described a city, I was saying something about Venice. That was only partly true. In a way, I told you everything I knew about Venice, and nothing.

The truth is that when we first met, I barely knew Venice, its buildings, its canals, its gardens, its squares, its people. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Let me explain why.

Do you know how old I was when I first left Venice with my father and uncle? Six!
 Δx Δp ≥ ½ ħ
"Tidak mudah untuk menjelaskan isi novel ini. Setiap usaha untuk melakukannya tampaknya hanya akan berakhir sia-sia. Bukan semata karena gambaran kota-kota magis dan surealis yang ada di dalamnya, tetapi juga karena keindahan puitisnya. Inilah novel dimana kemustahilan imajinasi bertemu dengan pasangan sempurnanya : kefasihan bercerita "

Itu kata endorsementnya.

Tadinya saya mengira bahwa pujian untuk buku ini terlampau berlebihan. Tapi begitu habis bab-bab awal, saya sadar, pujian tersebut justr
MJ Nicholls
I read the edition translated into Scots by Wullie Weaver. Here are a few excerpts:

Repulsive Cities ∙ 2

The red brick edifices tower over the populace, signifers of a forgotten dream, of a thought abandoned in the ailing conscious of intrepid colonial adventurers. A range of hominids patrol the looming DSS office walls, dishing out abuse to obese mothers and wageless wanderers. This is a city of broken faeces, a city of cross-eyed big brothers, watching from the skies for a sign of salvation, som
Sep 27, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Just read it!
Recommended to John by: I'd heard of Calvino & bought the '74 hardcover
Membership in Goodreads has its requirements, and I'd have to turn in my badge if I didn't post something on the late-century grandmaster Calvino. INVISIBLE CITIES emerges as the one to celebrate, though he never wrote a loser, and I'd never have a library without COSMICOMICS or THE BARON IN THE TREES. Still, CITIES is the one that's laid out songlines across all the continents of reading. By some miracle of imagination, Calvino pulls off both a form no one had ever seen before and a structure t ...more
Calvino's Invisible Cities is more a chronicle of linked prose poetry than it is a novel. Marco Polo, the Scheherazadean narrator, tells Kublai Khan about the fifty-five (is it really only that many?) of impossibly imaginative cities which he has encountered along his travels. Whether cities of the dead, or continuous cities, or what-have-you, every city has some element of the paradoxical, or the impossible and irrational. This Borgesian labyrinth of falsity mixed with truth is gripping. And th ...more
Stephanie Sun

Imagine holding in a fart for eleven years and finally being able to let it out.

That's what reading, and finally finishing (eleven years after receiving it as a college graduation gift), Invisible Cities was like for me in October 2013.

In a journey as recursive, prototypical, and double-blind as anything Italo himself could have hoped for, for eleven

Perhaps my previous experiences with Calvino's writings led me to expect something different out of this book. Each short chapter certainly had plenty to make me think about, but after finishing the book as a whole I am having a hard time putting all of those thoughts together in a coherent way. I liked it. I really did. But I'm left more with a feeling of not having understood something very important from the whole 'story'...something Calvino wanted me to understand. Is it really just the frag
Come mi è stato consigliato, l'ho letto lasciandomi trasportare dall'immaginazione e ho volato su fantastiche città, nel silenzio dei pensieri.
E' il primo libro di cui ho sentito la necessità di sottolineare frasi. Una raccolta che amo riprendere in mano di tanto in tanto, rileggere qua e là, e riscoprirvi ogni volta luci diverse, nuove, stupefacenti. Ciascuna "città" è un caleidoscopio di interpretazioni e letture, in cui ritrovo sempre un pezzo di me o tracce di vita. Perché... è l'umore di ch
As a child I remember being mesmerized by a collection of fairy tales. I could read with proficiency for my age – maybe 6 or 7 – but much of the meaning escaped me, although I could sense, or guess, much of it. At the end, it did not matter, because I was enthralled by the images and language.

Invisible Cities took me back to that early reading experience. I felt lost at times, searching for the meaning when the surreal and exotic images made me drunk. There is a philosophical deepness to this b
By disembodying his conquests to reduce them to the essential, Kublai had arrived at the extreme operation: the definitive conquest, of which the empire's multiform treasures were only illusory envelopes. It was reduced to a square of planed wood: nothingness...

If this quote alone does not highlight that Invisible Cities is a work of existentialist literature I doubt that nothing else will. In a similar vein of writing to If On a Winter's Night a Traveller Italo Calvino creates another beauti
The Great Khan contemplates an empire covered with cities that weigh upon the earth and upon mankind, crammed with wealth and traffic, overladen with ornaments and offices, complicated with mechanisms and hierarchies, swollen, tense, ponderous. "The empire is being crushed by its own weight," Kublai thinks, and in his dreams now cities light as kites appear, pierced cities like laces, cities transparent as mosquito netting, cities like leaves' veins, cities lined like a hand's palm . . .

The Grea
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
I'll risk it and speculate that the cities are our books.
Arun Divakar
For once, just for this once I agree with a review on the book cover. On the cover page of Invisible Cities is written a line by Sunday Times " A subtle, beautiful meditation..", the book lives up to these words in its 165 pages. This is my first Italo Calvino and I intend to find out from some place his acclaimed "If on a winter's night..".

Unfolding as a dialog between the Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan & the legendary explorer Marco Polo, the book is a dream like sojourn through a distant lan
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
BookBunnyPR: Invisible Cities 2015 Reading Challenge 1 9 Oct 30, 2014 04:47AM  
Invisible cities as imagined by artist Colleen Corradi Brannigan 1 78 May 20, 2013 05:15PM  
Novels of very short stories or fragments 5 31 May 16, 2013 09:31AM  
The Italo Calvino...: Favourite city from Invisible Cities 7 95 Apr 13, 2013 06:00AM  
This was my first Calvino book, which next? 10 130 Jan 06, 2013 07:20AM  
Diogenes Club: Le città invisibili 18 25 Nov 27, 2012 08:15AM  
YA e dintorni: Le città invisibili: consiglio 4 17 Nov 27, 2012 07:02AM  
  • That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana
  • Labyrinths:  Selected Stories and Other Writings
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  • To Each His Own
  • Chimera
  • Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
  • The Tartar Steppe
  • Correction
  • The Rings of Saturn
  • Exercises in Style
  • Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan
  • The Moon and the Bonfire
  • The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony
  • The Third Policeman
  • The Street of Crocodiles
  • History
  • The Leopard
  • I Would Have Saved Them If I Could
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...
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler The Baron in the Trees Cosmicomics Il cavaliere inesistente The Nonexistent Knight & The Cloven Viscount

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“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.” 242 likes
“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.” 206 likes
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