Imaginary conversations between Marco Polo and his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, conjure up cities of magical times. Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvelous invention like Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant (Gore Vidal).
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 com ...more
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 th ...more
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 ...more
Where to begin with this one? I thought the writing was beautiful. Calvino and his translator painted vivid pictures of various cities, each a seemingly magical realm with its own quirks. As Marco tells more and more stories, Kublai questions the nature of his empire.
Unfortunately, very little actually happens. While they are very well written, the individual city tales read almost like entries in a poet's travel journal. There's not re ...more
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 ...more
But we find our city, and our city finds us, right? The Flamethrowers' artist Reno moves to a New York full of artists madly creating. Patrick Bateman is fake, and he lives in a fake New York. The Street's Lutie lives in a cruel New York, and ...more
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 ...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 ...more
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 ...more
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! ...more
Calvino's 'Invisible Cities' is a series of descriptions of mythical, impossible cities told by Marco Polo to Kublai ...more
[P]: A short Borgesian novel by Italo Calvino in which the traveller Marco Polo describes a series of [mostly fantastical] cities for the Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan.
You: What’s it all about?
[P]: I just told you.
You: No, you gave me a synopsis. What’s it really about? What was this Calvino guy trying to say?
[P]: Ah, shit.
You: You don’t know?
[P]: I’m not sure. It’s hard to explain. Marcel Proust once wrote, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new ...more
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 ...more
There is a world that lies atop a mound of green, where the treetops are tinged with rust and people fly by on bicycles and shoes with wheels. The saunterers wander off the criss-crossed madness of paths and cut up and down hills, across grassy plains, diving into the forested fringes.
We are on Mount Royal, the fabled dead volcano visited by schoolchildren on geography trips and tourists searching for a grander view of the city below. The air is crisp up here. Each inch of space ...more
"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 just ...more
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, some ...more
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 ...more
A novel about mystical cities illuminated through a discussion between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. Imagery: Masterful. Plot: Nonexistent. But does it even matter? The book reads like a hypnogogic state, and dares the reader to continue... to go on... to finish...but dreams never finish, not really. The dreams of one night hold no beginning (or end) for the dreams of the next.
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 ...more
Marco Polo, o grande viajante, relata 55 cidades imaginárias ao Grão Kan, o imperador dos Tártaros que, impossibilitado de conhecer a vastidão dos seus domínios ,ora se encanta, ora desconfia de tão fantasiosas descrições.
Cidades com nomes femininos organizadas em 11 tópicos:
As cidades e a memória
As cidades e o desejo
As cidades e os sinais
As cidades subtis
As cidades e as trocas
As cidades e os olhos
As cidade ...more
|Novels of very short stories or fragments||6||41||May 01, 2015 02:03PM|
|Guardian Newspape...: March- invisible cities||10||16||Apr 01, 2015 04:08PM|
|Invisible cities as imagined by artist Colleen Corradi Brannigan||1||87||May 20, 2013 05:15PM|
|The Italo Calvino...: Favourite city from Invisible Cities||7||110||Apr 13, 2013 06:00AM|
|This was my first Calvino book, which next?||10||136||Jan 06, 2013 07:20AM|
His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic ...more