convinced that every innovation in the city influences the sky’s pattern

This is a scattered selection of some favorite passages in Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: [Eusapia:] They say that every time they go below they find something changed in the lower Eusapia; the dead make innovations in their city; not many, but surely the fruit of sober reflection, not passing whims. From one year toContinue reading “convinced that every innovation in the city influences the sky’s pattern”

perhaps this garden exists

From Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (Marco Polo speaking to Kublai Khan): Perhaps this garden exists only in the shadow of our lowered eyelids, and we have never stopped: you, from raising dust on the fields of battle; and I, from bargaining for sacks of pepper in distant bazaars. But each time we halfclose ourContinue reading “perhaps this garden exists”

a first city that remains implicit

From Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: “To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice.” “…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. OrContinue reading “a first city that remains implicit”

the tracery of a pattern so subtle

From the prolog of Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: In the lives of emperors there is a moment which follows pride in the boundless extension of the territories we have conquered, and the melancholy and relief of knowing we shall soon give up any thought of knowing and understanding them. …It is the desperate momentContinue reading “the tracery of a pattern so subtle”