Serpent's Tail £7.99
Venice is a Fish, By Tiziano Scarpa trs Shaun Whiteside
Sunday 06 September 2009
Venice is a fish – because it is shaped like a sole. It is also a tortoise, a serial killer and "an uninterrupted Braille handrail", according to the novelist and native Venetian, Tiziano Scarpa. This brief, lyrical meditation on a unique city is not your usual travel book. It pointedly refuses to name a single hotel, restaurant, bar or shop, advising the tourist to wander aimlessly and get themselves lost.
Scarpa conjures up the sights (crooked bridges, paintings by Tiepolo), the sounds (the chugging of vaporetti, the foghorns of distant ships, the nocturnal yowling of cats), the tastes (spaghetti cooked with onions and sardines, calves' liver fried with onions and Marsala), smells (shit, fruit, fish, the scent of ghosts), and tactilities (he counts 3,128 pieces of chewing-gum on the arch of a bridge). This "physical and emotional stroll through Venice" abounds with odd, charming stories – such as the teenage couple making love in a doorway who courteously interrupt what they're doing to give directions to a party of tourists. Scarpa has a neat way with metaphor, too. Sample: "Life is a cat asleep on the window sill suddenly waking as it falls from the third floor."
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia