Monday, June 7, 2010

I went to see Laurie Anderson’s Delusion at the Barbican a few weeks ago. I think she’s brilliant at subtly establishing the ways in which she needs your attention, and the ways in which your active imaginative participation is required. // Seeing Delusion really reminded me of a passage in Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities, in which he describes Marco Polo’s attempts to communicate without language the stories of his travels to Kubla Khan. It goes like this: “The connections between one element of the story and another were not always obvious to the emperor; the objects could have various meanings. [. . .] But what enhanced for Kubla Khan every event or piece of news reported by his inarticulate informer was the space that remained around it, a void not filled with words. The descriptions of cities Marco Polo visited had this virtue: you could wander through them in thought, become lost, stop and enjoy the cool air, or run off.”

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