and other unfounded stories
In his novel, Le città invisibili the author Italo Calvino presents an improbable discussion between
Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. The merchant describes to the Emperor one after the other the
towns he has visited during his numerous voyages. Quickly, the reader realizes that these cities are
all imaginary constructions, inventions of the Venetian, but they nonetheless delight the conqueror
who does not formalize himself from being so gently misled.
We can no longer, like Kublai Khan, be lured on the fictional paths of the storyteller. For our
greatest misfortune, everything has been documented, photographed, inventoried and described. Everything. Should you wish to visit the most remote countries, the magic of Google takes you there in seconds. What is left for us to discover? Very little I fear.
The Norwegian Lofoten islands used to be among these last far away places of mystery, which we
had known in our youth through ancient engravings, more suggestive than descriptive. The generic
nature of this knowledge then gave way to our imagination and these distant lands were places of
fantasies and speculation until the nuova documentazione fotografica universale exposed them to the sight of all, object of a geographical debauchery of an unnamed indecency. Then started the barbarian invasions of unsophisticated tourists from all around the world. They forever destroyed
everything, annihilating any remains of the magical nature of their new territories. Hidden behind
the soft concept of modernity they are only the plague, the red death of our dreams.