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Sophie Murphy


Renowned author Italo Calvino viewed literature as a combinatorial art, as did the literary group the Oulipo, to which he belonged. He saw the construction of a novel as a mathematic problem of sorts. It was typical of the Oulipo to set strict limitations on their writing as they believed this bred creativity. Calvino did this in the rigid structuring of his novel Invisible Cities. The cities are spread over nine chapters and divided into eleven categories of five. Calvino’s interests lied in the patterns created by these limitations and the rigidness to which he stuck when writing. This publication aims to radically retell Invisible Cities by showcasing Calvino’s interests in mathematics, limitations and patterns through typographic interpretations of the cities described in the novel.

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