Subway – Literature in Venice
From 31 August to 17 September will take place the first Venetian edition of Subway-literature: 500,000 copies of unpublished short stories and poems by young Italian writers will be distributed for free through several “literary jukeboxes” set at the main ACTV stops of the vaporetti, the Venetian public boats.
The ACTV stops of:
This initiative, conceived by Davide Franzini, Oliviero Ponte di Pino and Davide Rondoni, editor of the poetry section, is sponsored by the Venice City Council, locally organized by Andrea Crozzoli and the Studio Castiglioni Federici and made possible thanks to a contribution by Tratto Pen; the mayor Massimo Cacciari and the author Enrico Palandri liked the initiative and wanted to encourage young literary production by offering two texts, which have been published in one of the books distributed.
Subway – Venice interviews Massimo Cacciari
Which are the books about Venice that you liked most. Name one for fiction and one for non-fiction.
As to non-fiction, I would sayForma di Venezia by Sergio Bettini, a lesson from 1959, a work that is central in the thought of this great scholar, unfindable since decades and now republished by the Consorzio Venezia Nuova: after almost half a century, it is still incredibly topical for the ones who want to understand Venice. Bettini reads and describes Venice (the city completely constructed, the most contructed city in the world, as he loved to say) as a total work of art, alive and changing, in continuous dialogue with nature, history and art, opposed to a late-Romantic vision unfortunately dominating. Of Venice, Bettini teaches us "the time" beaten by the rhythm of water and tides, and its being "on a human scale" beacause the people feel it according to their own scale, going along it on foot and referring to themselves distances, heights, dimensions. And he does it using a fascinating language, rich in suggestions and literary cross-references, making the reading pleasant.
As to fiction, Andreas e i ricongiunti an unfinished novel by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Venice - a border threshold and place where the Mitteleuropean and the Mediterranean culture meet, but also space of equivocal exchange between reality and apparence – is for Hofmannsthal the city of the mask, of the separating ego that “travels” searching for itself through the adventures of chance, the place of encounter and nameless charme. The prose of the first part, the finished one, is neat and flowing; while it is fragmentary and obscure in the second part, the one to which Hofmannsthal worked until his death, without managing to put an end to the unboundless digressions of his thought.
[ Publication date: 27 September 2006 ]