Invisible Cities Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why does Kublai Khan listen to Marco Polo's fantastic stories about cities he's visited?

Khan is mesmerized by the stories, so much so that it doesn't matter to him whether or not these stories are completely true.

2. Why does Polo say that it is best to visit Diomira on a September evening?

Polo explains that in this city defined by beautiful things such as domed buildings and bronze statues; multicolored lamps are lit in doorways of food stalls on a September evening.

3. Why does Polo say its pointless to try to describe the city of Zaira?

Zaira is made up of relationships between measurements of its space and events from its past. It does not simply tell its past; it contains it.

4. What is it about Anastasia that it would make slaves of men?

A city full of both precious and mundane objects, Anastasia enslaves men with its power to awaken long-stifled desires.

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