Week 7: 7/3/16
Invisible Cities, the book by Italo Calvino, describes different cities through a common perspective. In the entire book, the cities either visually or metaphorically represent different traits. Such traits, habits or concepts that are depicted through different elements in the cities. These scenarios in each of the cities in the book eventually lead into portraying a single city. Similarly, while leading a certain kind of life, it is inevitable to experience and go through different circumstances but eventually life and the person remain as it is.
Fedora, one of the cities from the book, can be understood through various lenses. The globes can be assigned different meanings. They maybe memories, hopes or dreams. The changes in the cities might depict different circumstances. To each person the story induces a different feeling and hence a different perspective.
To think of the globes as memories, or a collective memory, each and every small aspect of the city which might not exist the very next moment starts holding an important value. The cities in the little globes, portray what one once desired and how it was visually.
The city which the inhabitants desired were spaces, as the time passes by the city grows and so do the desires, there is a change observed not only in the dimensions of the city but also the how the time has shaped different desires. The only certainty about Fedora is the fact that it exists. On the map of Fedora, there is a space that is occupied by Fedora. This space is made up of not only the actual city but also the imagined and desired forms of the city.
When the city is viewed through visuals only, we understand the different elements mentioned in the passage hold a meaning which can be related metaphorically. To understand the city through signs, simple elements are taken into account and studied deeply. In Fedora, different aspects of the city like the elephants, or the minarets depict how the city have surroundings that differ every now and then.
Finally what Fedora portrays and means differs from person to person. To me, Fedora is a an experience. We all have some sort of desire of how we want things to take place and how they should proceed according to our wishes, but it never really works that way. We repeatedly think of these situations and hence they are etched into our minds. Even if we were to visit Fedora, we would have at least one memory or desire that we would remember amongst all the changing phases of the city. That one desire, so vivid, that would soon be the only memory we hold of Fedora. This memory or desire, to its inhabitants are the globes. In the mayhem caused by the repeated changes in the city, the inhabitants have one place to go to, where their minds can be at peace and their desires can be revisited till some extent. Hence, these globes in Fedora hold a lot of importance, rather than just keeping a record of desires and memories.