Exercise: Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities
Cities and Grief
When you pass through the fenlands you find an ancient grief festered through the city of Novantiqua, sullenly stalking you through the earthy passages, trapped in twisted crevices between rotting stones. If you ask the people why the moss grows upwards on the walls, they ignore you and look for the sun. The moisture has set in the neglected grey plaster for nineteen years, tormenting the bodies, forgetting their space to unbroken rains. The buildings become crumbling monuments, they stand alone. Lovers blindly dig for meaning and you pity them as they plunge their lusts to the shadows. The children would not wait, and old Novantiqua cannot find its path over the fens and so the glint in the fog is merely a memory to her.