Invisible Cities - Study Guide Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

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On some evenings, Khan grows impatient with Polo's stories. He accuses Polo of lying to him about the decaying state of the empire. Polo admits that the empire is sick and that is why he travels to the distant areas. He goes to gauge the amount of happiness left in the empire. He wants to let the emperor know how much darkness is out there by focusing on the small glimmers of light. Other times, the emperor is euphoric and claim how splendid his empire is. On these nights, he asks why Polo focuses on inessential and disappointing things. Polo answers that he is collecting the memories of these cities before they vanish to make room for new ones.

Marco Polo warns the emperor of confusing a city with the words used to describe it. If he describes the city of Olivia as being rich in both...

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