15-10-16

Italo Calvino, Tessa de Loo, P.G. Wodehouse, Mario Puzo, Vergilius, Kees Beekmans

 

De Italiaanse schrijver Italo Calvino werd geboren in Santiago de las Vegas op Cuba op 15 oktober 1923. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Italo Calvino op dit blog.

Uit:Invisible Cities (Vertaald door William Weaver)

"And these innovations do not disturb your city's astral rhythm?" I asked.
"Our city and the sky correspond so perfectly, " they answered, "that any change in Andria involves some novelty among the stars." The astronomers, after each change takes place in Andria, peer into their telescopes and report a nova's explosion, or a remote point in the firmament's change of color from orange to yellow, the expansion of a nebula, the bending of a spiral of the Milky Way. Each change implies a sequence of other changes, in Andria as among the stars: the city and the sky never remain the same.
As for the character of Andria's inhabitants, two virtues are worth mentioning: self-confidence and prudence. Convinced that every innovation in the city influences the sky's pattern, before taking any decision they calculate the risks and advantages for themselves and for the city and for all worlds.
If you choose to believe me, good. Now I will tell how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made. There is a precipice between two steep mountains: the city is over the void, bound to the two crests with ropes and chains and catwalks. You walk on the little wooden ties, careful not to set your foot in the open spaces, or you cling to the hempen strands. Below there is nothing for hundreds and hundreds of feet: a few clouds glide past; farther down you can glimpse the chasm's bed.
This is the foundation of the city: a net which serves as passage and as support. All the rest, instead of rising up, is hung below: rope ladders, hammocks, houses made like sacks, clothes hangers, terraces like gondolas, skins of water, gas jets, spits, baskets on strings, dumb-waiters, showers, trapezes and rings for children's games, cable cars, chandeliers, pots with trailing plants.
Suspended over the abyss, the life of Octavia's inhabitants is less uncertain than in other cities. They know the net will last only so long. "

 

 
Italo Calvino (15 oktober 1923 - 19 november 1985)

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