"... you advance for hours and it is not clear to you whether you are already in the city's midst or still outside it. Like a lake with low shores lost in swamps, so Penthesilea spreads for miles around, a soupy city diluted in the plain; pale buildings back to back in mangy fields, among plank fences and corrugated iron sheds. Every now and then at the edges of a street a cluster of construction with shallow facades, very tall or very low, like a snaggle-toothed comb, seems to indicate that from there the city's texture will thicken. But you continue and you find instead other vague spaces, then a rusty suburb of workshops and warehouses, a cemetery, a shambles; you start down a street of scrawny shops which fades amid leprous countryside.
... you have given up trying to understand whether, hidden in some sac or wrinkle of these dilapidated surroundings there exists a Penthesilea the visitor can recognise and remember, or whether Penthesilea is only the outskirts of itself."
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, 1972