Mirabilia: Interpretations of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities
Project team: G. Corbo, J. Costanzo, V. Guerrisi
Collaborators: A. Tanzola
“ This belief is handed down in Beersheba Milan: that, suspended in the heavens, there exists another Beersheba Milan. […] The image propagated by tradition is that of a city of pure gold, with silver locks and diamond gates, a jewel-city, all inset and inlaid, as a maximum of laborious study might produce when applied to materials of the maximum worth.
They also believe, these inhabitants, that another Beersheba Milan exists underground, the receptacle of everything base and unworthy that happens to them, and it is their constant care to erase from the visible Beersheba Milan every tie or resemblance to the lower twin. […] Its substance is dark and malleable and thick, like the pitch that pours down from the sewers, prolonging the route of the human bowels, from black hole to black hole, until it splatters against the lowest subterranean floor.
In Beersheba’s Milan’s beliefs there is an element of truth and one of error.
It is true that the city is accompanied by two projections of itself, one celestial and one infernal; but the citizens are mistaken about their consistency.
The inferno that broods in the deepest subsoil of Beersheba Milan is a city designed by the most authoritative architects, built with the most expensive materials on the market, with every device and mechanism and gear system functioning. […] Still, at the zenith of Beersheba Milan there gravitates a celestial body that shines with all the city’s riches, enclosed in the treasury of cast-off things: a planet a-flutter with potato peels, broken umbrellas, old socks, candy wrappings, paved tram tickets, fingernail-cuttings and pared calluses, eggshells.
This is the celestial city, and in its heavens long-tailed comets fly past, released to rotate in space from the only free and happy action of the citizens of Beersheba Milan, a city with, only when it shits, is not miserly, calculating, greedy. ”