8 Unforgettable Quotes From “Invisible Cities,” By Italo Calvino



“Memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.”


“The traveler’s past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, but the more remote past.”


“You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.”


“It is not so much [the murderers’] copulating or murdering that matters as the copulating or murdering of the images, limpid and cold in the mirror.”


“If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance.”


“The bridge is not supported by one stone or another, but by the line of the arch that they form. Without stones there is no arch.”


“Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice. Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased. 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.”


“You reach a moment in life when, among the people you have known, the dead outnumber the living.”

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