Cities and the Soul
December 30, 2012 9:12 AM   Subscribe

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.

Calvino previously on the blue, including this moving obituary by Gore Vidal

More on Invisible Cities:
A list of the cities, with illustrations
Assorted artistic takes
An illustrated English translation
Watercolors of selected cities
Tumblr text/art collage

If on a winter's night a traveler
A playfully mindbending maze of language and narrative. Wikipedia attempts to explain:
The book begins with a chapter on the art and nature of reading, and is subsequently divided into twenty-two passages. The odd-numbered passages and the final passage are narrated in the second person. That is, they concern events purportedly happening to the novel's reader. (Some contain further discussions about whether the man narrated as "you" is the same as the "you" who is actually reading.) These chapters concern the reader's adventures in reading Italo Calvino's novel, If on a winter's night a traveller. Eventually the reader meets a woman, who is also addressed in her own chapter, separately, and also in the second person.

Alternating between second-person narrative chapters of this story are the remaining (even) passages, each of which is a first chapter in ten different novels, of widely varying style, genre, and subject-matter. All are broken off, for various reasons explained in the interspersed passages, most of them at some moment of plot climax.

The second-person narrative passages develop into a fairly cohesive novel that puts its two protagonists on the track of an international book-fraud conspiracy, a mischievous translator, a reclusive novelist, a collapsing publishing house, and several repressive governments.
English translation (part two) - A delightfully meta TVTropes page

Cosmicomics (previously)
A collection of short stories that spins various scientific concepts into whimsical fables. As TVTropes puts it: As indicated by its title, Cosmicomics is a book that is at once cosmic and comic, the sublime and the ridiculous coexisting on the same plane. Each chapter opens with a scientific fact and a following assertion by Qfwfq that he was there to see that science in action, before launching into a narrative that spins an imaginative and strangely human story from a seemingly cut-and-dry factoid with inhuman creatures as the characters. Atoms and galaxies become toys for children. A universe comes into being thanks to a statement about tagliatelle. Major historical events on Earth are the subjects of bidding between immortals. The love between two mollusks enables everyone around them to gain eyesight. Sometimes the scientific premise will actually be a disproven one. This in no way hinders Qfwfq.

Scholarly site Italo Calvino in China provides translations (descriptions from Wikipedia):
The Distance of the Moon - Calvino takes the fact that the Moon used to be much closer to the Earth, and builds a story about a love triangle among people who used to jump between the Earth and the Moon, in which lovers drift apart as the Moon recedes. [See also this wistful animated version]

At Daybreak — Life before matter condenses.

A Sign in Space — The idea that the galaxy slowly revolves becomes a story about a being who is desperate to leave behind some unique sign of his existence.

All at One Point — The fact that all matter and creation used to exist in a single point. "Naturally, we were all there—old Qfwfq said—where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space. Or time either: what use did we have for time, packed in there like sardines?"

Without Colors — Before there was an atmosphere, everything was the same shade of gray. As the atmosphere appears, so do colors.

Games Without End — A galactic game of marbles back before the universe had formed much more than particles.

The Aquatic Uncle — A tale on the fact that at one stage in evolution animals left the sea and came to live on land. The story is about a family living on land that is a bit ashamed of their old uncle who still lives in the sea, refusing to come ashore like "civilized" people.

How Much Shall We Bet? — A story about betting on the long term evolution of mankind.

The Dinosaurs — How some dinosaurs lived after most of them had become extinct, and how it felt to be that last existing dinosaur in an age where all the current mammals feared his kind as demons.

The Form of Space — As the unnamed narrator "falls" through space, he cannot help but notice that his trajectory is parallel to that of a beautiful woman, Ursula H'x, and that of lieutenant Fenimore, who is also in love with Ursula. The narrator dreams of the shape of space changing, so that he may touch Ursula (or fight with Fenimore).

The Light Years — The unnamed narrator looking at other galaxies, and spotting one with a sign pointed right at him saying "I saw you." Given that there's a gulf of 100,000,000 light years, he checks his diary to find out what he had been doing that day, and finds out that it was something he wished to hide. Then he starts to worry.

The Spiral — A story about life as a mollusc, and the nature of love and writing.
Six Memos for the Next Millennium - a lecture series Calvino almost completed before his death, discussing six key values:

Lightness - Quickness - Exactitude - Visibility - Multiplicity - Consistency (unfinished)

Why Read the Classics? A discussion of the 14 aspects of true classic literature, summarized:
1. The classics are those books about which you usually hear people saying: 'I'm rereading…', never 'I'm reading….'

2. The Classics are those books which constitute a treasured experience for those who have read and loved them; but they remain just as rich an experience for those who reserve the chance to read them for when they are in the best condition to enjoy them.

3. The classics are books which exercise a particular influence, both when they imprint themselves on our imagination as unforgettable, and when they hide in the layers of memory disguised as the individual's or the collective unconscious.

4. A classic is a book which with each rereading offers as much of a sense of discovery as the first reading.

5. A classic is a book which even when we read it for the first time gives the sense of rereading something we have read before.

6. A classic is a book which has never exhausted all it has to say to its readers.

7. The classics are those books which come to us bearing the aura of previous interpretations, and trailing behind them the traces they have left in the culture or cultures (or just in the languages and customs) through which they have passed.

8. A classic is a work which constantly generates a pulviscular cloud of critical discourse around it, but which always shakes the particles off.

9. Classics are books which, the more we think we know them through hearsay, the more original, unexpected, and innovative we find them when we actually read them.

10. A classic is the term given to any book which comes to represent the whole universe, a book on a par with ancient talismans.

11. 'Your' classic is a book to which you cannot remain indifferent, and which helps you define yourself in relation or even in opposition to it.

12. A classic is a work that comes before other classics; but those who have read other classics first immediately recognize its place in the genealogy of classic works.

13. A classic is a work which relegates the noise of the present to a background hum, which at the same time the classics cannot exist without.

14. A classic is a work which persists as a background noise even when a present that is totally incompatible with it holds sway.
Calvino on Myth - Inevitability in Storytelling

More English translations and excerpts

And in case you missed it, this is a fantastic resource.
"What meaning does your construction have?" he asks. "What is the aim of a city under construction unless it is a city? Where is the plan you are following, the blueprint?"

"We will show it to you as soon as the working day is over; we cannot interrupt our work now," they answer.

Work stops at sunset. Darkness falls over the building site. The sky is filled with stars. "There is the blueprint," they say.
posted by Rhaomi (26 comments total) 225 users marked this as a favorite
You know there's no contest this month right?
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 AM on December 30, 2012 [7 favorites]

Also, oh man I developed an obsession with IC cause The Most Beautiful Boy In The World ( long story) lent me his copy - like I did an illustration of Octavia for a book design class and written a Calvino pastiche for creative writing ( town of forgetting, very Dark City) that was actually an heavily coded attempt to ask him on a date.

Which is a very long way of saying I'll be spending a very long time with this post.
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Brilliant post.

Reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler was a watershed moment in my life. Following it up with Invisible Cities, which, by chance, I read alongside Bachelard's The Poetics of Space is what made me want to become a scholar. In one of my undergraduate classes, we read "All at One Point" to close the semester. I'm probably flattering myself, but every time, I get choked up thinking about what a privilege it is to trigger for some 20 year old kid the same sort of intellectual awakening that set me on my own intellectual course.

It's been a while. I should go back and read more Calvino.
posted by R. Schlock at 9:26 AM on December 30, 2012

If On A Winter's Night A Traveler remains one of the most sublime reading experiences I've ever encountered. It makes the act of reading part of the act of reading, if that makes any sense at all. It contains within itself the thrill and exasperation of hunting for a book to read, repeated explorations of the thrill of a new book and the joy of beginning to read, constant frustration both as a reader and as The Reader in the novel, a great deal of love of language and of playing with it, and this odd Pynchonesque background plot which moves inexorably forward even as you keep starting over.

I cannot say enough good things about this book, and recommend it heartily to anyone who reads books for pleasure. I love much of what he wrote, but that one volume is a special special thing.
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on December 30, 2012 [6 favorites]

Thank you so much for this - Calvino is my favourite author. I'm halfway through Hermit In Paris, a collection of his autobiographical writings. His "American Diary" which is included in that book is fascinating, it's Calvino channelling Mad Men era America.

I've always thought The Baron In the Trees would make a fantastic movie.
posted by oulipian at 9:37 AM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

There are chapters in ...if on a winter's night that seem like parodies or homages to other authors - at least one chapter is pretty much a direct lift from Borges - and I've always wondered how much of that was intentional and what all references I'm not picking up on.

My first semester of studio in architecture school involved designing a city. My professor gave us a list of recommended reading on the subject, and one book on the list was Invisible Cities, but of course, none of us actually read anything since it wasn't technically required. A couple months later, in the next semester, I was listening to the radio while getting ready to head out and tuned in halfway into a reading. I basically sat there dumbfounded in the midst of putting on my shoes until it was done, when the host announced that I'd just heard the first chapter (basically the first collection of cities) from Invisible Cities. I went to the bookstore and bought it immediately.

I got about halfway through Italian Folktales before I stupidly left it behind in a hotel room in New York. The front desk said they didn't find anything in the room.
posted by LionIndex at 10:07 AM on December 30, 2012

That he never won a Noble is a travesty. I don't see any Dario Fo posts.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:09 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

What a wonderful post. Thank you.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 10:27 AM on December 30, 2012

I got about halfway through Italian Folktales before I stupidly left it behind in a hotel room in New York. The front desk said they didn't find anything in the room.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I don't understand. We don't have a room in this hotel with that number. Are you sure it was here that you stayed?"
posted by Rock Steady at 10:33 AM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

I'm with Schlock. Reading Calvino changed the way I look at and think about the world and the people I share it with. I can't remember which I read first, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler or the slim and charming The Nonexistent Knight and the Cloven Viscount, but I do remember finishing one in a sitting and rushing out the same day to the used book store to get the other.

I think I've read everything else since, but I'll be reading through this post carefully to make sure I haven't missed any of it.
posted by Mister_A at 11:37 AM on December 30, 2012

Thank you for an amazing post. I've been looking for Why Read the Classics for ages, not remembering where I had read it first.
posted by mumimor at 11:39 AM on December 30, 2012

Wow! This is an incredible post and it totally made my day, can't wait to read through all of it. Invisible Cities is one of my all-time favorites.
posted by sc114 at 12:01 PM on December 30, 2012

Love this post. Besides Invisible Cities, my favorite Calvino book is Difficult Loves.
posted by hopeless romantique at 1:46 PM on December 30, 2012

A friend once told me that all of the different cities described in 'Invisible Cities' were different versions of homesick Marco Polo's hometown, Venice.
posted by ovvl at 2:19 PM on December 30, 2012

". . . You leave there and ride for three days between the northeast and east-by-northeast winds . . ." Marco resumed saying, enumerating names and customs and wares of a great number of lands. His repertory could be called inexhaustible, but now he was the one who had to give in. Dawn had broken when he said: "Sire, now I have told you about all the cities I know."

"There is still one of which you never speak."

Marco Polo bowed his head.

"Venice," the Khan said.

Marco smiled. "What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?"

The emperor did not turn a hair. "And yet I have never heard you mention that name."

And Polo said: "Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice."

"When I ask you about other cities, I want to hear about them. And about Venice, when I ask you about Venice."

"To distinguish the other cities' qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice."

"You should then begin each tale of your travels from the departure, describing Venice as it is, all of it, not omitting anything you remember of it."

The lake's surface was barely wrinkled; the copper reflection of the ancient palace of the Sung was shattered into sparkling glints like floating leaves.

"Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little."

posted by hopeless romantique at 2:27 PM on December 30, 2012 [6 favorites]

Yes, it's Venice.

Many years ago, when I was young and working the night shift, CBC Radio-Canada would recite a chapter from an audiobook every night at 3 in the morning. Once I heard by random the dramatic chapter of the star-crossed lovers in the revolution. I really had to find out what happened next, so I rushed out and got a copy of 'If on a winter's night a traveler'... and, well, you know how this story goes...
posted by ovvl at 3:09 PM on December 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I read a bunch of Cosmicomics while visiting a two-years-older friend at college; I was a senior in high school and had never driven as far as Cornell, which I liked well enough. He recommended the book. I stole it. It's there on my shelf now, but I haven't opened it in years.

The summer after, what, sophomore or junior year at MIT, I used to ride the #1 bus up and down Mass Ave and read long stretches of Ulysses or Borges's stories and lose slowly my mind, or I guess I mean my me. My favourite ideas. I somehow overflowed a toilet at a Chinese restaurant at Wellesley while wearing a purple flightsuit. That is not germane to the story except that I had Joyce with me at the time and felt therefore like I shouldn't be blamed for things going wrong, like fuck you I'm doing something serious here.

I count as maybe the best reading experience of that summer, though, the time I took the Blue Line to Logan and sat (this was well before '9/11' hahahahahahahahahahhaha) in Terminal B overlooking the runway and read If on a winter's night a traveler. I bawled my eyes out because it was so unimaginably beautiful and sounded, I remember, like what the city looked like to me. Not then, as seen from Logan, which doesn't offer a great view as I recall; I mean when young-me would walk around in Boston I'd see it the way that book sounded to me. Frames overlaid, halfstories kind of shuffling forward and then sprouting new story-buds whose course of growth would be the next, what, five minutes or an hour of my day. Of young-me. That was a blissful summer. Or no, it was the summer when Jen and I split up and I was sad all the time; but then young-me worked like a dog that summer, and drove home from SIGGRAPH in 'The Violet Beauregard,' which Xor insisted was actually called 'Flumph' or something awful; and the toilet overflowed a little while after that.

For the life of me I can't care about that. The toilet. The only important thing was bliss in the Terminal, and changing. Is. The only important thing is.
posted by waxbanks at 6:23 PM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

If on a winter's night a traveler was given to me by a slightly mad uncle, and was utterly astonishing to me. It retains a special place in my heart.

Anyway, with regards to cities that don't exist, I'm assuming everyone is well aware of Borges' work, but there's something equally amazing, which isn't nearly as well known.

Les Cités obscures is a Belgian series of BD/graphic novels of which only the first handful have been translated into English under the title of Cities of the Fantastic. They take place on a counter-earth, of bizarre and slightly surreal city states. BLDG has a rather nice introduction, and you'll see these titles pop up in odd places.

Unfortunately, the English versions are hard to track down, and only a single issue is readily available through the official publishers. Scans are available through the generally less reputable areas of the internet. They're really wonderful, and if you can get hold of either of the first two volumes to read, they're something special.
posted by themadthinker at 7:50 PM on December 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

Wow, thank you so much for this inspiring post. When I was, hmm, I want to say 12, but it was probably before that, my friend's father gave me a copy of Italian Folktales before he and his son moved out to the west coast. I loved (love) that book and still dip into it often today. Much later I had been enchanted by Invisible Cities for years (and somewhere in there a beautiful woman asked me to read If on a Winter's Night a Traveller to her; reading that book to someone else puts yet another spin on the second person chapters) before realising that it was by the same author as Italian Folktales.

Now I wonder if, while I'm writing this, someone else is writing a post on this topic about how, 30 odd years ago, he gave his copy of Italian Folktales away before moving to the west coast.
posted by Sing Fool Sing at 3:37 AM on December 31, 2012

Nthing Calvino as a revelation. I first read If on a Winter's Night a Traveler on a plane ride back from Seattle, and I felt like I processed the world differently for a week or two. Connections abounded, a casual email was florid and created sparks in my brain. I feel like as I grow older, it's so much harder to find something new and mind-boggling, and Calvino was that something.

I love him so because he takes a mundane observation and strings it out to a paragraph, explaining a phenomenon I've experienced with far greater depth or imagination than I was aware. I'm not sure I'll ever write like that (or have anything to write about), but I appreciate the hell out of the imagination.

My summers in college were spent working at an outdoor history museum, one that gave me a long leash to create my own narrative. This means that, for the right audience, the invention of plausible falsehoods was an unofficial sport. So I've always appreciated that creative spark, but I haven't always had an outlet for it (and even I could have been fired for using the museum as that outlet).

I was a blur of jokes and self-effacing bluster at the time, which has faded in the 6.5 years since. But I stilll love to indulge in playful imagination, which is exemplified by Cosmicomics. After reading The Distance of the Moon, my first thought was "I want to invent stories like this for my kids." I inherit it from my father (who once, apropos of nothing, put his arm around my 18 year-old sister, pointed outside, and said "...and one day there was a solar flare that killed allll the squirrels and alllll the birds") and it's a logical extension of my unauthorized Henry Ford ghost stories, though one that I can pass on. Seems like a far healthier outlet than history jokes.

Reading Calvino keeps alive that spark of invention when most of my day is spent decoding FDA guidelines for medical device design approval. Thanks for this.
posted by Turkey Glue at 7:15 AM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

Turkey Glue: "I want to invent stories like this for my kids."

My daughter and I have a game wherein anytime she says "Hey Dad, guess what?" I must come up with three to five elaborate and unlikely guesses, a la "There was once a young emperor of China who had feathers instead of hair?" or "They've just discovered a species of mollusc that can speak Latin?" or "Right now, in Chile, an old man is dancing a silly dance?" I think I'll start calling that calvinoing.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:33 AM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

Someone wrote an xkcd/Invisible Cities mashhup of an interactive story called Bigger Than You Think recently. It's pretty good!
posted by speicus at 10:35 AM on January 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Every so often, when I'm bored and all I have on hand are my notebook and pen, I try to write imitations of Invisible Cities. They never come out well. For one, I don't have Calvino's talent, not having written or observed as much as he had by the time he wrote his book. For another, the individual cities die when plucked from their roots in the book. The appeal lies in their total effect. Otherwise, the last few cities become conservationist allegories that make no sense coming from Marco Polo.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:40 AM on January 3, 2013

I just realized that you can't divorce the cities from each other without removing Marco Polo from the story, which makes nonsensical the conservationist-allegory complaint above. Oh, well. I just woke up.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:16 AM on January 3, 2013

I've been rereading the handsome paperback copy Fig gifted me for Quonsmas; despite the wonder and imagination of his fantasy cities, some of my favorite imagery is from the end, where he describes real places:
The Great Khan owns an atlas whose drawings depict the terrestrial globe all at once and continent by continent, the borders of the most distant realms, the ships' routes, the coastlines, the maps of the most illustrious metropolises and of the most opulent ports. He leafs through the maps before Marco Polo's eyes to put his knowledge to the test. The traveller recognizes Constantinople in the city which from three shores dominates a long strait, a narrow gulf, and an enclosed sea; he remembers that Jerusalem is set on two hills, of unequal height, facing each other; he has no hesitation in pointing to Samarkand and its gardens.

For other cities he falls back on descriptions handed down by word of mouth, or he guesses on the basis of scant indications: and so Granada, the streaked pearl of the caliphs; Lubeck, the neat, boreal port; Timbuktu, black with ebony and white with ivory; Paris where millions of men come home every day grasping a wand of bread. In coloured miniatures the atlas depicts inhabited places of unusual form: an oasis hidden in a fold of the desert from which only palm crests peer out is surely Nefta; a castle amid quicksands and cows grazing in meadows salted by the tides can only suggest Mont-Saint-Michel; and a palace that instead of rising within a city's walls contains within its own walls a city can only be Urbino.

The atlas depicts cities which neither Marco nor the geographers know exist or where they are, though they cannot be missing among the forms of possible cities: a Cuzco on a radial and multipartite plan which reflects the perfect order of its trade, a verdant Mexico on the lake dominated by Montezuma's palace, a Novgorod with bulb-shaped domes, a Lhasa whose white roofs rise over the cloudy roof of the world. [...]

The Great Khan owns an atlas in which are gathered the maps of all the cities: those whose walls rest on solid foundations, those which fell in ruins and were swallowed up by the sand, those that will exist one day and in whose place now only hares' holes gape.

Marco Polo leafs through the pages; he recognizes Jericho, Ur, Carthage, he points to the landing at the mouth of the Scamander where the Achaean ships waited for ten years to take the besiegers back on board, until the horse nailed together by Ulysses was dragged by windlasses through the Scaean gates. But speaking of Troy, he happened to give the city the form of Constantinople and foresee the siege which Mohammed would lay for long months until, astute as Ulysses, he had his ships drawn at night up the streams from the Bosporus to the Golden Horn, skirting Pera and Galata. And from the mixture of those two cities a third emerged, which might be called San Francisco and which spans the Golden Gate and the bay with long, light bridges and sends open trams climbing its steep streets, and which might blossom as capital of the Pacific a millennium hence, after the long siege of three hundred years that would lead the races of the yellow and the black and the red to fuse with the surviving descendants of the whites in an empire more vast than the Great Khan's.

The atlas has these qualities: it reveals the form of cities that do not yet have a form or a name. There is the city in the shape of Amsterdam, a semicircle facing north, with concentric canals—the princes', the emperor's, the nobles'; there is the city in the shape of York, set among the high moors, walled, bristling with towers; there is the city in the shape of New Amsterdam known also as New York, crammed with towers of glass and steel on an oblong island between two rivers, with streets like deep canals, all of them straight, except Broadway.

The catalogue of forms is endless: until every shape has found its city, new cities will continue be born. When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins. In the last pages of the atlas there is an outpouring of networks without beginning or end, cities in the shape of Los Angeles, in the shape of Kyoto-Osaka, without shape.
There's also the closing passage, which enumerates "the maps of the promised lands visited in thought but not yet discovered or founded: New Atlantis, Utopia, the City of the Sun, Oceana, Tamoe, New Harmony, New Lanark, Icaria..." and "the maps of the cities that menace in nightmares and maledictions: Enoch, Babylon, Yahooland, Butua, Brave New World..." It reminds me of the beautifully intricate Map of Humanity (mirror) that we discussed a few years ago, which plots cities imaginary and real on a map with mountain ranges, rivers, seas, and continents named after the emotions, philosophers, and concepts they're most strongly associated with.

A couple more art projects:

Spanish-narrated animation for Zobeide, "this ugly city, this trap."

And an interesting take on the lifeweb city:
In Ersilia, to establish the relationships that sustain the city’s life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or gray or black-and-white according to whether they mark a relationdhip of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain.

From a mountainside, camping with their household goods, Ersilia’s refugees look at the labyrinth of taut strings and poles that rise in the plain. That is the city of Ersilia still, and they are nothing. They rebuild Ersilia elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their houses still farther away. Thus, when traveling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of abandoned cities, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking a form.
Lastly, rereading all this made me settle on a word to use for the sonnet goodnewsfortheinsane granted me for winning one of the slots in the last installment of the December best posts contest! It probably won't be completed until after this thread closes at the end of the month, but future readers can look for it in my MetaTalk posts; I'll make sure to make a post sharing it there in February (or whenever it's finished).
posted by Rhaomi at 9:10 AM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2013

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