Monday, June 22, 2009

City, Invisible

"To hear that voice, one must enter the tiny chambers and corners of the city, live the city's unpeopled interior and well-girded solitude. And what is even more admirable, explore one's own intimacy, one's own secret, taking a definitively lyrical perspective on things."

This is Lorca talking about his beloved Granada, but it also applies to all the cities that we have visited and felt connections with, and those that existed in our hearts or imaginations, some what invisible but more real, as Calvino wrote about.

"Just the opposite of Seville. Seville is man at full complexity of his sensuality and emotion. Granada is like the narration of what already happened in Seville.

There is the empitiness of something that is gone forever".

I was reading Lorca today on the subway ride, longing again to go to that part of the world, South of Spain, longing the scent of orange flowers in the breeze, longing of the city that loves tiny things, that is silent but yet full of longings, green and gold.

This vast city where I have been living, suddenly felt so big, untouchable and namelessly strange. Have I lost the path to its secret chambers? Or it is because I was tempted to stop imagining the invisible part of it, and fully immensed only in the past.
That ability to feel and imagine is what I promise msyelf that I would never lost.


Baomin said...

I guess many feelings about city are really about people living in it.

If we feel lonely, a thriving city could feel deadly. If we feel enamored, the filthy scent of a market could smell like lively spiritedness.

viv said...


Yes, it is partialy projections of ourselves. But i do see the only way of truly appreciating a city is in your solitude of personal intimacy and your joy of sharing that intimacy with others who could truly understand that intimacy, or better, part of.

I truly enjoy what Lorca has described Grananda, a paradise closed to many, he said.

Baomin said...

That's what a great writer does: transporting you into a world of his perception/imagination. Whether what he discribed truly exists in others' eyes is secondary. From novels of Tolstoy and Turgnev, we appreciate how russian nobles lived their lives centuries ago. From Proust, we imagine how a lovely French town sounds and smells.

viv said...


Yes, the smells and sounds of the city of Proust....I remember how you enjoyed that. ;-)

But I was a bit sentimental yesterday, I need to get out of that. Saw "Away We Go" today, pure, simple living, supporting and loving and laughing and crying, that is what I need to do. ;-)