2021 Reading Project: Invisible Cities

Posted November 7, 2020 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 6 Comments

As most people are aware, I am a fan of translated literature. I have a blog, YouTube channel, a podcast and talk about It on social media. In the UK, Ann Morgan gained a bit of a following for her blog A Year of Reading The World, which she then turned into a book called Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer (or if you live in the North America, The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe), which has inspired many people to take on similar projects. I have been interested in world literature before reading her book, but I do want to achieve a similar goal. Granted, I do not want to focus it into one year and I want to read more than one book from every country in the world, but I want to grow my knowledge of the world by reading its literature. Beginning in January, I am planning to be involved in a project called Invisible Cities, in which we are encouraging people to read books from different countries.

This idea originates from Yamini (Shakespeare and Spice) and also involves Agnese (Beyond the Epilogue), Stephanie (Time to Read), Natalie (Curious Reader), Nicole (Nicole is Here to Learn) and Wil (My Bookish Empire). The project is to motivate each other to read books from all over the world. Each month there will be three different countries being discussed with a few hosts on each, but all of us have our own personal goals. For me, I would like to talk about at least one book and one film from each country I am assigned. In January, that country is Argentina, not sure what I will read or watch but I love this pick and cannot wait to have conversations about the literature.

The three countries that we are focusing on in January will be Morocco, Argentina and Japan. The focus currently is Africa, South America and Asia, this was done as we want to give more attention to these continents before moving into Europe, Australia and North America. I am looking forward to this project, not just because it will get me reading more widely, but I love talking about world literature. There is a Discord for this project where you can talk to others involved and get resources. However, if you are just a casual fan of world literature or cinema, you should also join my Discord, Literary Salon.

I know I am constantly promoting world literature, but I like the idea of building a community and help others find the joys in the literature I love. I am currently building a database in Notion of books from around the world and I hope to easily see where my reading gaps are, and also document all the books I love from different countries. This obviously is a working project, but I hope that one day, I can look at my reading life and tell people exactly what books I have loved from all over the world. Also, maybe this reading project will mean more guests on my podcast.

Now, I have so much planning to do; I am very excited to continue my journey into translated literature and develop a deeper understanding in world cinema too. I hope others will be inspired to join the project and talk about books from around the world. I now need to read Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities so I can understand the reference.

6 responses to “2021 Reading Project: Invisible Cities

  1. Sounds like a plan! Having something absorbing to focus on in these weird and troubled times is a bonus. Good luck with it all.

    I haven’t even thought about 2021 yet, but I’ll probably just try to whittle down my TBR a bit more. Sadly, I added to the mountain quite substantially this year. I *want* to write more about what I read, but I think I know how that will probably turn out. Such optimism, haha.

    I’m glad you’re still so passionate about world literature and film. General interest in translated lit seems to be growing, which is a very good thing. If only there was more contemporary Russian fiction in translation! (I’m still learning to read & write Russian, and it’s still really hard, lol. )

    • I’m still not optimistic about 2021 actually existing, but just in case, I want to be prepared. I have so many books to read on my TBR, but new books are essential.

      Please write more about your reading, not so I can read it, but so you have a record of it. There isn’t much contemporary Russian, every publisher seems to be obsessed with the classics. We need more contemporary in our lives. Good work on the Russian, it was too hard for me to learn, I’m too old and lazy to try again

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