Miguel Angel & the invisible cities

Miguel Angel (32), student, from Tijuana recommends „Invisible Cities“ by Italo Calvino.

1. What is the book about?
Invisible Cities is a description of 55 cities that Marco Polo and emperor Kublai Khan witnessed during their travels. It is a poetic exploration of the imagination constructed by small utopias and dystopias.

2. Why do you recommend the book?
I believe that this book has the power to transport you directly to the cities described by Calvino. It puts your mind to work and is inspiring – especially if you are involved in creative city making.

3. You read the last sentence and finish the book. What stays?
After reading this book, you go out and walk the city with a new vision.

4. What is your favorite passage?
„When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference. The dreamed-of city contained him as a young man; he arrives at Isidora in his old age. In the square there is the wall where the old men sit and watch the young go by; he is seated in a row with them. Desires are already memories.“

Italo Calvino. Invisible Cities. 1972