One thing I found really fascinating about Invisible Cities is the relation of Kublai Khans Atlas versus the cities Marco Polo describes. In chapter nine we are introduced to the Atlas. Many cities located in this book have names the reader can find familiar. We all know of Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam, and Timbuktu. Cities that have yet to be created in Marco Polo and Kublai Khan’s world. To them, these places are just imaginary, a place that could exist if fate decides to travel that way. Personally, I feel like the relationship between Marco Polo and the places the reader knows of is similar to the lands that Marco Polo has “seen”. To him these places, even though they are imaginary, still exist. These other worlds on Kublai Khan’s Atlas are worlds that Marco Polo has never heard of. To him they can be considered foreign and strange just like his worlds or foreign and strange to us.
I also found it interesting that there was really no sense of time in this story. You think with the mention of Kublai Khan or Marco Polo you would be thinking about sometime around the 15th century. But with the mention of flying and skyscrapers and the Golden Gate Bridge you get a sense of timelessness in the story. If the names of the characters were changed a reader could input their own idea of when this story would take place. The novel itself could seem timeless.