Friday, October 11, 2013
One of Venice's Most Lovely Small Palazzi, but Impossible to Photograph
The title of this post should actually read "...but Impossible for Me to Photograph", as I always feel certain that given the many skilled and famous photographers who have passed through this city over the past century and more there must be in existence somewhere at least one great photo of every great building in the city. And probably even on-line.
The above is not a great photo--among other things, in the process of shooting the multiple images that went into this panorama two straight walls of the palazzo acquired a bit of a bend. But it is a palazzo, just behind La Fenice, that I can't help but linger and look at whenever I pass by, no matter how much I should be hurrying onward.
Some years ago I read of a certain American graduate fiction writing program in the 1970s whose central tenet was that truly literary fiction was defined, as least partly, by how utterly impossible it was to turn it into a film. In more recent decades, as even literary novels have adopted the plotting and characterization and pacing and scene structures of film, and writers everywhere dream of breaking into Hollywood, such talk would probably get a professor fired. But it made me wonder, half-seriously, if any analogy might be applied to Venetian palazzi beyond the Grand Canal: that perhaps one defining feature of Venetian palazzi along the most characteristically intimate of Venetian canals are their inimicality to being properly captured on film or disk. No matter how many of us try.
I actually like this idea of impossibility. In this age of overwhelming amounts of information and images, of convenience and instant accessibility and instant gratification, this inimicality of such sights makes them seem all the more precious to me; seems to make one's experience of them truly singular, never to be captured or repeated--preserved only in one's body and mind. So the above image can at best be little more than a spur to remind you of your own view of this same palazzo or, if you're interested, to seek it out yourself.