Monday, April 28, 2008

Invisible Cities

A conversation between Kublai Khan and Marco Polo from Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities"

"Why do your travel impressions stop at disappointing appearances never catching this implacable process? Why do you linger over inessential melancholies?Why do you hide from the emperor the grandeur of his destiny?"

And Marco answered "While, at a sign from you sire, the unique and final city raises its stainless walls, I am collecting the ashes of other possible cities that vanish to make room for it, cities that can be never rebuilt or remembered.When you know at last the residue of unhappiness for which no precious stone an compensate, you will be able to calculate the exact number of carats to which that final diamond must strive.Otherwise, your calculations will be mistaken from the very start."

Something to keep in mind while we endlessly discuss the meaning of development!

1 comment:

Aparna said...

Reminds me a bit of Eliot.

'Some one said: "The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did." Precisely, and they are that which we know.' (Tradition and the Individual Talent)

though remembering Eliot and his dead writers may not be the most politically correct thing to do in this world ... still ...