Invisible cities (Comparative study)

“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel
like home.” – Simon Van Boov.


The book of Invisible cities is a collection of 55 descriptive tales. Marco Polo, a venetian merchant traveller narrates his travel through various cities that have struck him with their distinct elements.

Two cities that I personally couldn’t resist reading multiple time were Adelma and Laudomia. Furthermore I have given a descriptive study and a comparative study of the same.

Descriptive study-

Adelma- The city of dead

The visible details of Marco’s experience at the port of Adelma such as the fisherman, vegetable vendor, etc. make him question the entire presence of the city. He encounters within himself the various possibilities of even the existence of this city that shows him the faces of the dead. Quoting Polo, “Perhaps Adelma is a city where you arrive dying and where each finds again the people he has known. This means I, too, am dead.”

Laudomia- The city of unborn

The city is an expression of how the dead provide to the needs of the living to find answers to possibilities and chances even when everything is completely deprived of the same. Not only the dead and the living are honored by this city’s land but also are the Unborn. The possibilities of the state and features of the unborn are heavily independent. The endless figurative chances of the unborn are never questioned by the selfish living who ask but only of themselves. The question left behind is either the number of unborn is more than that of the entire living and dead together or the dead and unborn are the only two ends that will meet the destiny of this city.

Comparative study- 

Where Adelma talks about the importance of dead in the life of the only living soul (Marco) questioning his existence, the city of Laudomia expresses the importance of the unborn in the life of the dead and living both. Adelma striked into me a need to die and experience the unhappiness in the life after. On the contrary, Laudomia made me want to be an unborn to experience life at the top of the chain manipulating the living and the dead.

Both cities together portray life with contradictory ideas by stating ‘we see only what we want to, and not what really is.’

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