- Many (all, actually, if I'm not mistaken) of Calvino's cities are girls' names. Diomira is no exception. My go-to site for name etymology is behindthename.com, which I've used here before. Today, it failed me. I found information instead here, and by extension here, which gives the meaning as the "important woman in the village." The name is allegedly Spanish, but if we look at it from the Italian perspective (admittedly not all that different, particularly in this case), then we can break it into its constituent parts: Dio and mira. Dio is, of course, God, and Mira (in nominal form) aim, sight, target, butt, end, goal, design (from my well-worn, i.e. beat-to-ribbons, Dizionario Inglese E Italiano by Loescher) and (verbal, "mirare") to take aim, to admire, to gaze, or in its reflexive, to look at oneself. Thoughts?
- Notice the motion of the first sentence? From where are we leaving? Why begin thus if, without context, we cannot know the starting point, in which case the direction and distance are useless, geographically speaking?
- What is the poetical power (that is to say dripping rhetoric) of this line, "...is that he feels envy toward those who now believe they have once before lived an evening identical to this and who think they were happy, that time"?
- Compare that line above to the general theme of entropy from the introductory ......
- There's a dreamlike quality to Diomira--idyllic and distant. Does it regard the name, Diomira, as discussed above? How does it regard the type, Cities of Memory?
- Notice also the sense of fairytale to the description: the 60 of this, the golden and crystal that, the idealized season. How does this correlate back to Marco Polo and begin build his character (this is a longterm as well as an immediate question)?