Venice: A Literary Companion by Ian Littlewood

By Ian Littlewood

Venice has consistently attracted a unprecedented variety of writers - pious and impious, earnest and frivolous, enthusiastic and antagonistic. and since a lot of town has remained unchanged, their phrases have a robust carry on our mind's eye. to stroll via Venice is to go into an extravagant theatre the place we will likelihood upon the scene of a Renaissance homicide as simply as that of an eighteenth-century seduction; the place the subsequent turning may perhaps lead us to the execution web site of a dissolute friar or the canal-side domestic of a Victorian poet. All have their position in those pages, besides extracts from the writings of Byron, Casanova, Goethe, Ruskin, Henry James, Thomas Mann, D. H. Lawrence and so forth.

prepared within the kind of a sequence of distinctive walks via Venice, this Literary significant other presents a vibrant consultant to the streets, palaces, church buildings, canals and squares that make up this mysterious and perpetually attractive urban.

‘The really appropriate collection of writings presents a welcome replacement to the tiresome trainspotting mentality of such a lot courses and the author’s personal mellifluous prose ties the big variety of excerpts right into a cogent complete. That one more consultant to Venice shouldn't be superfluous is a degree of his achievement.’
The Literary evaluation

‘If you’re going to Venice, this can be the clever publication to take.'
The day-by-day show

‘The writer makes himself felt as an erudite yet leisurely and good-humoured stroller; an agreeable, occasionally astringent presence throughout.’
The London journal

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For the goods you gave in pawn you would receive two-thirds of their value in money and one-third in cheap wine, allowing you to drink away your family’s substance with more than usual convenience. The appearance and atmosphere of these places is described by Casanova in a paragraph of his memoirs which evokes an interesting corner of contemporary working-class life: In each of the seventy-two parishes of the city of Venice, there is a big tavern called a magazzeno, where wine is sold at retail, which stays open all night, and where one can drink more cheaply than at the other taverns in the city, where food is also provided.

Not a sight much regarded by tourists, it was singled out by the art critic Adrian Stokes in his discussion of the beauty of Venetian brick. One thinks of Venice as a city of stone, he remarks, ‘because stone is the final material, the head and the fruit of walls of brick and stucco. Emergent from duller surfaces, the white stone glows. ’21 But the unhidden brick in Venice has an attraction of its own: Some of the early Gothic and Renaissance Gothic palaces from which the stucco has peeled are remarkably charming.

We had swirled through the narrow part and under the bridge, when the calamity occurred. I was rowing at the prow, and Emily was steering at the poop, the pace being my usual swift and hectic one. A big unwieldy barea of firewood came suddenly towards us, rowed by two of my former gondoglieri, Piero Venerand and Ermengildo Vianel, who had gotten a better winter job than mine in the firewood business of the latter’s father. To avoid collision Emily precipitately twitched my barcheta to one side without much judgement.

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