Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. Published in English 1974. ISBN #978-0-15-645380-6

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. Published in English 1974. ISBN #978-0-15-645380-6

Approaching a book as beautifully simple and profound as "Invisible Cities" requires nothing, merely a willingness to read as fast or as slow as one chooses, and to re-read passages or not based on one's desire for inspiration or fulfillment or escape. Calvino wrote this as a loose dialogue between the Great Khan and Marco Polo, but for me it is more of an aesthetic map, a parable of existence told through unfolding cities explored inside pure imagination. 

It is pleasurable and light, causing moments of reflection that can stretch back into pages circled and sections underlined. Passages like this make this work sublime:

"Rarely does the eye light on a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the tiger's passage; a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower, the end of winter."

Effortless, gorgeous, this novella reopens itself again each time you touch its pages, leaving images both vivid and irrepressible.