Using The Travels of Marco Polo as his point of departure, he created a model for Invisible Cities that alternates between an ongoing dialogue between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan and short, jewel-like descriptions of imaginary cities. The cities fall into eleven categories, and each category features five model cities; thus there are fifty-five cities in all. The second through eighth chapters each have five cities that appear in a pattern whereby no two categories are repeated, one category is removed, and one new one is added.
There is no plot or character development. Instead, it is a collection of about fifty-five short, highly impressionistic pastiches of arbitrarily named fantastic cities such as Adelma, Berenice, Chloe, Diomira, Irene, Penthesilea, Phyllis, Raissa, Valdrada, Zirma, and Zobeide, to name a fewplaced in a structure that is quite meticulous, yet rambling, that nearly mimics the structure of a full commercial novel.
The stories are set within the framework of a very loose dialogue wherein the famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo comes to the court of the legendary emperor Kublai Khan. Throughout the dialogue—and a true dialogue it is, as Khan and Polo are the only two characters in the work although a case could be made that each city is also its own character —the emperor expresses his belief that Polo is merely describing his home city of Venice in different and fanciful ways, ways that Polo could not use with honesty or impunity in his own land.
Upon a summary first reading, Invisible Cities could be considered a nice collection of prose works on imaginary cities. Indeed, during the interplay between the two characters it is difficult to tell whether the things Polo is describing represent differing aspects of a single city or different cities with the same aspect in each of them.
However, it quickly becomes clear that while some passages are horribly contrived, the novel is larger in scope than mere descriptions of cities. It is a work that muses upon the concept of living in a city, the concept of home, and perhaps even the concept of belonging somewhere.Invisible Cities (Italian: Le città invisibili) is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino.
It was published in Italy in by Giulio Einaudi Editore. Our Invisible Cities satisfies itself by occupying the reverberation. Our stories and poems are our cities and they issue in many respects from Calvino’s meticulous categories: desire, memory, signs, the eyes, the names, the dead.
Calvino complained to a friend in about “working in fits and starts, fragmentarily” while dreaming “of composing encyclopaedic works, universal histories, theogonies, maps of the terraqueous globe and of the firmament, utopias ”—the very beguiling confections, half potted science or philosophy and half fantasy, that are the glories of Cosmicomics/ .
Calvino scholar Peter Washington maintains that Invisible Cities is "impossible to classify in formal terms." But the novel can be loosely described as an exploration—, sometimes playful, sometimes melancholy—, of the powers of the imagination, of the fate of human culture, and of the elusive nature of storytelling itself.
Invisible Cities study guide contains a biography of Italo Calvino, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About Invisible Cities Invisible Cities Summary. Study Guide for Invisible Cities. Invisible Cities study guide contains a biography of Italo Calvino, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a .