Comparison of invisible (cities): Calvino’s view on Raissa

… connectivity in the means of Gibson … and finally a look at Latour’s sociological web opera …..


In a world that has grown out of the human proportion, characters are engulfed by alien encounters and constant stimulation from mysterious realms of projection. Perhaps the most poignant of all experiences within this invisible system, is the potential of losing the capability of human interaction and happiness in this connection with others. In Calvino’s book, he describes Raissa, the city of Sadness:

“In Raissa, the city of sadness, there runs and invisible thread that binds one living being to another for a moment, then unravels, then is stretched again between moving points as it draws new and rapid patterns so that at every second, the unhappy city contains a happy city unaware of its own existence.

Gibson’s dystopic world is one in which characters are continually isolated from one another, where invisible “threads” do in fact exist, though they are untractable. Describing cyberspace as a shared experience, we are equally aware, that the relation of one to the system is HREF=”xu.html”>isolationist. As millions might read the same novel, and interact with the text, these millions are sharing the experience of reading that text at the same time as being isolated from one another. This “invisible thread” binds each participant in cyberspace to similar experience, but it is not shared experience:

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding. [p. 51]
from Gibson’s Invisible City by Laura Lee

… listen to Calvino’s Invisible Cities as audiostream at il narrattore via threshold/the souljerky

… and take a glimps at Paris: Invisible City – a sociological web opera by Bruno Latour

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