Invisible Cities

Calvino, Italo

Book - 1974
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Invisible Cities
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"Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else." -- from Invisible Cities In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo -- Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear. " Invisible Cities changed the way we read and what is possible in the balance between poetry and prose . . . The book I would choose as pillow and plate, alone on a desert island." -- Jeanette Winterson

Publisher: San Diego, Calif. : Harcourt, Brace & Co., c1974
ISBN: 0156453800
9780156453806
Branch Call Number: FICTION CALVINO
Characteristics: 165 p. ;,21 cm

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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 ... Read More »

In Kublai Khan's garden, at sunset, the young Marco Polo diverts the aged emperor from his obsession with the impending end of his empire with tales of countless cities past, present, and future.


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Mar 08, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

"Signs form a language, but not the one you think you know." So, like, Kublai Khan and Marco Polo are just kicking it in a garden and M-Pol starts telling the Khan stories of these fantastic cities, which maybe are all the same city? The great Italian fabulist's novel is a paean to storytelling and imagination in the tradition of the Arabian Nights, Chaucer and Calvino's countryman Boccaccio. I still think "If On A Winter's Night" is his best work. You may also like Salman Rushdie and Umberto Eco.

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