The Book of Venice: A City in Short Fiction
DescriptionAn inspector rages against the announcement that police HQ is to relocate - the way so many of the city's residents already have - to the mainland... An aspiring author struggles with the inexorable creep of rentalisation that has forced him to share his apartment, and life, with 'global pilgrims'... An ageing painter rails against the liberties taken by tourists, but finds his anger undermined by his own childhood memories of the place... The Venice presented in these stories is a far cry from the 'impossibly beautiful', frozen-in-time city so familiar to the thousands who flock there every year - a city about which, Henry James once wrote, 'there is nothing new to be said.' Instead, they represent the other Venice, the one tourists rarely see: the real, everyday city that Venetians have to live and work in. Rather than a city in stasis, we see it at a crossroads, fighting to regain its radical, working-class soul, regretting the policies that have seen it turn slowly into a theme park, and taking the pandemic as an opportunity to rethink what kind of city it wants to be.
27 May 2021
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