4 posts tagged with invisiblecities.
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Cities and the Soul

With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. 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. December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities -- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan, the explorer Marco Polo describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 30, 2012 - 26 comments

A Requiem for Syria

The Land of Topless Minarets and Headless Little Girls: A Requiem for Syria. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 13, 2012 - 20 comments

Paris: Invisible City

Paris: Ville Invisible. "This work seeks to show how real cities resemble the 'invisible cities' of Italo Calvino. As cluttered, saturated, and asphyxiating as it is, one can breathe more freely in Paris, the invisible city." The renowned French sociologist Bruno Latour presents a "virtual sociological book" that explores the limits of social theory for the understanding of urban life. The Flash interface is somewhat rickety, but there is a text-only PDF of the English version. (via)
posted by nasreddin on Dec 28, 2008 - 11 comments

sunken cities

When the Mongols invaded Russia in the 13th century, legend has it that when they reached the northern city of Kitezh, the citizens, rather than defending themselves, "engaged in fervent praying, asking god for their redemption. On seeing this, the Mongols rushed to the attack, but then stopped. Suddenly, they saw countless fountains of water bursting from under the ground all around them. The attackers fell back and watched the town submerge into the lake." Ever since, Kitezh has provided Russians "a platform for imagining what their culture might have been like, had it not been stamped by authoritarian rule." And it gave Rimsky-Korsakov the plot of his opera the Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh. [More inside.]
posted by languagehat on Apr 19, 2006 - 22 comments

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