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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

INVISIBLE CITIES XIX -- Chapter 2, ..... 2

  1. Considering what "an hourglass could mean," what are your thoughts on everything we've read to this point?  Has your interpretation changed?
  2. Similarly, we've discussed a few times how getting to the root of an author's motives or the source of his creativity or his biography can assist the interpretation of a text, so here is Marco Polo an author.  Is it possible for his audience, Kublai Kahn, to get behind the stories?
  3. How might Polo's stories, despite their general incomprehensibility yet provide a new avenue for Kublai to understand his own cities?
  4. "The foreigner had learned to speak the emperor's language or the emperor to understand the language of the foreigner."  Is there a difference?
  5. This exposition was an "aha" moment for me the first time I read it.  What is the great benefit of the charades over the "precise words"?  How do the verbal descriptions given by Calvino perhaps fit better the charades than whatever Polo may have actually spoken?

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