to be read: invisible cities
invisible cities - italo calvino
this short 165 page book composed of just 9 chapters is framed around the setting of marco polo telling the stories of his adventures and travels to kublai khan in a time when the khan's empire is coming to an end. each chapter contains a number of sections, each section only around a page long devoted to describing a different city. the book as a whole is fascinating, creative, and gives the imagination a thorough workout. i love what the book says about human existence, about memories and desires and how speech and writing affects those things. calvino speaks of cities with an entirely fantastical manner that conveys truths, questions, provocation of thought all at once. i wish i could illustrate each city he speaks of in the splendor and detail i envision in my head. invisible cities carries a particular impact for me while i'm away from the city i call home and will do the same for any traveller or resident when the place you live is placed under scrutiny.
"Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if i speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little."