Invisible Cities

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1978 - Fiction - 165 pages
989 Reviews
"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
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
493
4 stars
282
3 stars
146
2 stars
50
1 star
18

Review: Invisible Cities

User Review  - Goodreads

In writing, pretension is the act of pulling your hamstring while lifting your pen. It is that sudden, clear, and unfortunate. It should also be avoidable, but anyone gifted with a grain of brilliance ... Read full review

Review: Invisible Cities

User Review  - Goodreads

Enjoyed. Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1978)

Italo Calvino 1923-1984 Novelist and short story writer Italo Calvino was born in Cuba on October 15, 1923, and grew up in Italy, graduating from the University of Turin in 1947. He is remembered for his distinctive style of fables. Much of his first work was political, including Il Sentiero dei Nidi di Ragno (The Path of the Nest Spiders, 1947), considered one of the main novels of neorealism. In the 1950s, Calvino began to explore fantasy and myth as extensions of realism. Il Visconte Dimezzato (The Cloven Knight, 1952), concerns a knight split in two in combat who continues to live on as two separates, one good and one bad, deprived of the link which made them a moral whole. In Il Barone Rampante (Baron in the Trees, 1957), a boy takes to the trees to avoid eating snail soup and lives an entire, fulfilled life without ever coming back down. Calvino was awarded an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1984 and died in 1985, following a cerebral hemorrhage. At the time of his death, he was the most translated contemporary Italian writer and a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Bibliographic information