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Cervelli, Filippo and Dellacasa, Claudia (2024) 'Invisible Cities in Japan: Fluid Resonances in Architecture and Literature.' In: Baldi, Elio and Schwartz, Cecilia, (eds.), Circulation, Translation and Reception across Borders: Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities around the World. London: Routledge, pp. 211-227. (Routledge Studies in Literary Translation)

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Abstract

Filippo Cervelli and Claudia Dellacasa begin their chapter “Invisible Cities in Japan – fluid resonances in architecture and literature” with the evocative and meaningful cover image of avant-garde artist Ikeda Tatsuo of the first Japanese edition of Invisible Cities (1977) to explain the many resonances of the book in Japanese culture and vice versa. Both Calvino’s book and Japanese architecture, literature and culture explore what may seem contradictions or opposites to show how they necessarily co-exist. The chapter does not aim to artificially distinguish an order of influence by creating a unidirectional and linear portrait, but instead shows how (very fulfilling) reflections on the void, lightness, death-and-life or cyclical destruction and construction, the spatial representation of time, and a fragmented and metafictional approach to the representation of totality provide multifaceted and fruitful connections between Calvino and Japanese artists and architects from Mishima to Takahashi and from Arakawa to Isozaki. The Japanese (or, occasionally, Asian) space is corroborated not only by the material presence of Japanese books in Calvino’s library, but especially by the clear affinities between the different conceptualisations of these topics, as well as the recognisably Asian context/imagery that Calvino conjures in his descriptions of void and time.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
ISBN: 9781032277653
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the chapter accepted for publication in Baldi, Elio and Schwartz, Cecilia, (eds.), Circulation, Translation and Reception across Borders: Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities around the World. London: Routledge, pp. 211-227 (2024). (Routledge Studies in Literary Translation). Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003293996-14
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2024 09:17
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/41235

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