Cities…invisible or otherwise


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Millions of eyes look up at windows, bridges, capers, and they might be scanning a blank page.

Your footsteps follow not what is outside the eyes, but what is within, buried, erased.

Soon the city fades before your eyes, the rose windows are expunged, the statues on the corbels, the domes.

My mind goes on containing a great number of cities i have never seen and will never see, names that bear with them a figure or a fragment or glimmer of an imagined figure…

And the mind refuses to accept more faces, more expressions: on every new face you encounter, it prints the old forms, for each one it finds the most suitable mask.

…when you concentrate and stare at the carpet, you recognize the street you were seeking in a crimson or indigo or magenta thread which,in a wide loop, brings you to the purple enclosure that is your real destination.

Every now and then at the edges of the street a cluster of constructions with shallow facades, very tall or very low, like a snaggle-toothed comb, seems to indicate that from there the city’s texture will thicken.

Nobody wonders where, each day, they carry their load of refuse.

A cataclysm will flatten the sordid mountain range, canceling every trace of the metropolis always dressed in new clothes.

But first, for many long years, it was uncertain whether or not the final victory would not go to the last species left to fight man’s possession of the city: the rats.

Music is already there, it just has to be written down.

Sentences picked at random from Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.

Found Story


The task:

1) Pick up a book closest to you.

2) Turn to page 56.

3) Copy the 5th sentence into the Facebook message thread.

4) Include the author and title of the book.

The story reads in the order that people respond.

The Story:

Without question Temujin now ranked the best military leader on the steppe, and Ong Khan knew that he could not risk coming against Temujin in battle. Sorrell moved off into a burst of laughter, a cloud of lovely tobacco. Brought to the surface through indirection, by a fit of inexplicable rage or sorrow, or by a particularly vivid recollection, forgotten or repressed memories are enlivened in us, without our knowing about them, except through our feelings and what they make us do. His first move was to distance himself from the grotesque gestures of Dadaism. But for him, they could not be answered simply by pointing out (again) a xenophobia that attacks the black artist or his work from the outside. This is the grandeur. The number of times that there are avalanches and fires are relatively few, so people build upon the crystalline state, oblivious to the infrequent challenges of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, avalanches, and so forth. In the charter given for this fair, it was specified that during the continuance of the fair and for eighteen consecutive days before and after it, merchants would be exempt from imperial taxation, from arrest, from debts or civil processes of any sort, except such as might arise from the transactions of the market itself. He lay ill; i thought looking at him, if he were to get well, if he were to get up again, what then? The unknown was my compass, the unknown was my encyclopedia, the unnamed was my science and progress.

bees9x9-2The Collaborators:

David Greenfield

Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Susan Spencer Crowe

Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels

Carrie Cooperider

Matthew von Unwerth, Freud’s Requiem: Mourning, Memory, and the Invisible History of a Summer Walk

Harry Weil

Gregor Wedekind, Comic Grotesque: Wit and Mockery in German Art

Cathleen Lewis

Darby English, Glenn Ligon: Committed to Difficulty, Glenn Ligon–Some Changes, exhibition catalogue from the Power Plant

Manda Helal

Ian McEwan, Saturday

Dina Helal

Buckminster Fuller, Ideas and Integrities

Kat Howard

Edith Diehl, Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique, Vol. 1

Stephanie Abraitis

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Stavo Craft

Anais Nin, The Diary of…Vol. 4

Many thanks!