The stars all around have paled, except Arcturus, which shines with a defiant air, a bit higher to the east.
… if you look at it slightly enlarged, reveals within itself the roofs, the antennas, the skylights, the gardens, the pools, the streamers across the streets, the kiosks in the squares, the horse-racing track.
Not to find one’s way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling.
Paper is white. This statement may seem terribly obvious, yet paper’s whiteness is far from ordinary.
In fact, the invention of white paper can be seen as having cast a bright light over the course of human history.
Leonardo da Vinci
The atlas is the book, the place where all the signs of the Earth, the natural and the cultural ones, are conventionally represented: mountains, lakes, oceans, cities, villages, stars, islands
In this totality of words and descriptions, we can find the place where we live, or where we’d like to go, and the path to follow.
Perceiving that the earth is a form of writing, a geography of which we had forgotten that we ourselves are the authors.
The earliest need to set places on a map was linked to travel: it was a reminder of the succession of stops, the outline of a journey. It was thus linear in form, and could only be made using a long scroll.
We often preserve the memory of an indefinable charm from these towns we’ve merely brushed against.
The memory indeed of our own indecision, our hesitant footsteps, our gaze which didn’t know what to turn towards and that found almost anything affecting…
What is the heart of a town? The soul of a town?
Why is a town said to be beautiful, or said to be ugly? What’s beautiful and what’s ugly in a town?
That is exactly what he says — “I must” — because he hates waste and believes it is wrong to waste the great quantity of stars that is put at his disposal.
The power of a road is different when one is walking along it from when one is flying over it by airplane.
In Olinda, if you go out with a magnifying glass and hunt carefully, you may find somewhere a point no bigger than the head of a pin which, …
The moon is the most changeable body in the visible universe, and the most regular in its complicated habits: it never fails to show up for an appointment, and you can always wait for it at the appointed spot…
…but if you leave it in one place, you always find it next in another, and if you recall its face turned in a certain way, you see it has already changed its pose, a little or a lot.
Italo Calvino, Mr. Palomar.
The places where water comes together with other water. Those places stand out in my mind like holy places.
Here the outline of the building he is representing holds the mystery of darkness…
…the fascination of night and the absence of definition that is typical of dreams.
Marco Sammicheli, project curator
How do you get to know your town?
When is a beautiful starry night Mr. Palomar says: “I must go and look at the stars.”
The city is like poetry, it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.
E. B. White