Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino

Chosen by Becks

Marco Polo describes the cities he visited on his expeditions to Kublai Khan, emperor of the Tartars.

◉ “A small strange little book that needs to be read slowly as if you have all the time in the world. Calvino packs so much into each sentence, the language is like a series of poems. Each chapter needs to be read in isolation of the other. This book makes you see the world at completely different angles, it is a thought provoking and challenging read. I loved it but I do suggest researching before reading to really get the most enjoyment  from it.” – Becks
◉ “I’m not going to lie. Invisible Cities was hard work. It was like reading a novel composed entirely of poetry: Each sentence a small journey in itself, requiring careful contemplation and interpretation. It was like reading an artwork, with layers and depth and emotion, colour and texture, light and shadow. Wonderful! Brilliant! Genius! Or should I say, it could be…  because I didn’t really get it. Invisible Cities is for advanced readers, it’s a triple “X” downhill, expert only kind of a read, for people in peak fitness. Not me, sorry.” – Sonya
◉ “There’s no story in this book. It’s hard to read. I did see some of the cities but they were few and far between. I will, no I should try and read it again but I can’t promise I can make myself try it again! This book required patience and careful consideration which I couldn’t provide right now. One day!” – Jo
◉ “I started this book several times unable to get into the rhythm of it. The reason to persevere presented itself as I lay in bed one night: I was contemplating the book and my trouble in reading it, only to realise I could ‘see’ the cities in my mind. They were like art works, with depth and texture and lives of their own. So I continued reading, barely remembering the words, but always able to ‘see’ the prose. This is how I remember Invisible Cities, as an artwork, and that’s good enough for me.” – Rachel

Published 1972
Giulio Einaudi Editore
174 pages

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