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review 2017-08-29 14:20
A symphony of cities
Die unsichtbaren Städte - Italo Calvino,Heinz Riedt

Italo Calvino is always worth reading in my opinion and so is Invisible Cities. The minimalistic story which forms the framework consists of dialogues between Marco Polo and the Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan during which Marco Polo describes the various cities within the Khan’s kingdom. But by doing so, he is actually creating them, only to tear them down again soon afterwards.

 

Every city (there are 55 of them) is an allegorical image of a certain aspect of our own way of life and their consequences. The further the story goes, the darker and more cheerless the cities become. Elegance, gracefulness, symmetry and even sublimity make way for endless mountains of garbage, violence and ruthlessness, up to the point when people are unable to determine whether they are still living or already dead, because the dead seem to be more alive than the living.

 

Oddly enough, Inivisible Cities is also about the impossibility of describing any city, because no description can ever be like the actual city, maybe in the end all the cities are just like Venice and basically the same anyway.


Invisible Cities was definitely an unexpected, experimental read, even quite confusing at the beginning, but it got better and better. Even though you get descriptions of 55 different cities in 200 pages and it is impossible to distinguish them all, there are a lot of beautiful metaphorical images which I think will stick with me for a long time.

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text 2017-08-07 11:30
7th August 2017
The Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino,Archibald Colquhoun

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness. 

 

Italo Calvino

 

August 7, 1957: On this day, Italo Calvino published his letter of resignation from the Italian Communist Party. He never joined another political party, but he did write a fantasy novel, The Baron in the Trees, about political disillusionment. 

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review 2017-01-09 23:44
Typical Calvino, but not his best...
Οι δύσκολοι έρωτες - Ανταίος Χρυσοστομί... Οι δύσκολοι έρωτες - Ανταίος Χρυσοστομίδης,Italo Calvino

3.5 / 5

A typical Calvino book, characterized by his excellent descriptive style and unique eye for all those cultural and behavioral details that make his writing so unique. Most of the stories are very interesting and varied. There are some that were not such big hits with me but I feel that they don't affect the whole quality of the book negatively in any way. In short, if you're a fan of Calvino then this is another must-read. If not, you might still find it very interesting and easy to read. Recommended!

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review 2016-11-14 09:04
You Are About To Embark On A Journey...
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller - Italo Calvino

You are about to read Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller that you bought from your favorite book store. As you turn to the first chapter, you realize you are reading you. You begin to read a description of you and what you would do in the book. You realize you are going through the book and wonder what are you reading. You realize this book has two different sections - one that you read about you doing the things Italo Calvino wants you to do and the other, all pieces of chapters that has nothing to do with the story itself but you have a grand fine time reading adventure, romance, mystery, a satire, an erotic, a diary and a quest piece. You wonder where it will take you and then, in the end - you realize how good this story is by the time you are done.

 

It took me a long time to read this and why such a long time is due to 1). Work, 2). there is so much to absorb in this book and 3). I am trying to figure out what it all means. Towards the end of the book, I realize how ingenious this book was written for the reader. Its unique, its weird and its interesting unlike I have ever read before. While the story do take different turns in many ways, its so inventive that what I had read is enjoyable in many ways. Although at times I was confuse, it does took me a while to like it. I have never read any thing from Italy but this is one of the interesting ones that I do enjoy and thankful on a whim when I pick this up, is worth a read.

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review 2016-07-01 00:00
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler - William Weaver,Italo Calvino Well, it's what you always wanted: to be part of the book you are reading, to read about yourself.
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