Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

I just finished reading Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, a book first published the same year I was born. There’s a blurb by Gore Vidal on that says, Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvelous invention like Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant. 

He is correct that a typical description of the contents of Calvino’s book is perfectly irrelevant . His use of the word invention  is also interesting and resonates with my own feeling that this book is an Idea Machine.

Marco Polo is telling Kublai Khan of the different cities he has seen. Each chapter in the book is a one or two page description of more than fifty cities. Periodically there are accounts of the dialogue between the Great Khan and Marco Polo. […]

Before the War it Was the War

I started a new job today, painting houses. One of my co-workers put on a radio station, KGNU. This station has a very pronounced political slant. Another co-worker called it the propaganda machine .

And much of it was definitely propaganda. And even if it’s antiwar propaganda, that stuff is annoying.

But one of the programs did catch my attention, Before the War it Was the War is an audio-documentary on Lebannese blogger: Mazen Kerbaj.

Kerbaj is an artist, living in Lebanon. During the most recent bombings of Beruit, he kept a blog of what was going on.

I want to listen to the program again and spend some time reading his blog. I could […]