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January's book: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

  • The Woolpack

    23 Mildmay Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0DN (map)

    51.729244 0.474920

  • Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino


    This is a very different, fascinating sounding book...


    “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



    Wikipedia (very interesting on book structure etc):


    Artbound presents a one hour special focused on the avant-garde opera, "Invisible Cities." Produced by The Industry, L.A.'s experimental opera company, in partnership with the L.A. Dance Project, "Invisible Cities" depicts the meeting between emperor Kublai Khan at the end of his life with the explorer Marco Polo, as told in Italo Calvino's fantastical book. An innovative production staged in the iconic Union Station, the opera utilizes wireless technology provided by Sennheiser, offering audience members headphones to hear the opera amid the normal "hustle and bustle" of the train station's everyday life. "Invisible Cities" is composed and adapted by Christopher Cerrone, directed by The Industry's founder and artistic director Yuval Sharon, with choreography by Danielle Agami.


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