Friday, April 17, 2020

A Piazza of One's Own, Today, 1 pm

Actually, not just a piazza, but the piazza: the only space so named in Venice, and one of the most famously crowded in the world--but not these days.


  1. Fabulous. Not dreamy circumstances but a silver lining for Venice and true venetians perhaps..

    1. Well, it's complicated, as they say, Kent. We've been limited by lock down rules in how much any resident has been able to go out into the quiet streets. And, more to the point, concerns about how businesses will survive this, and the extended period with no tourists, impinges upon that silver lining. But I think this is the kind of complications that Italians, or Europeans, or probably most other nations in the world, abide rather better than most people in my native land of America, where we believe that things can or should be able to resolved into simple oppositions of good vs bad. I've been thinking a lot about the opening segment of the film KAOS (released in 1984) by the Taviani brothers which is a moving fable about the conflicted origins of the modern state of Italy and its relation to all its emigrant sons and daughters. And I've also been thinking about the opening segment of a recent Netflix film by the Coen brothers, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS, which is a darkly satirical and comic look at some of the most cherished myths of the American West--which is to say of America itself, as the frontier mythos continues to influence US rhetoric and policy. Side-by-side each seems to me to get at something essential about their countries through very different methods, and each does so in about only 20 minutes time!

  2. Such a timeless / out of time feeling conjured up by the black and white image. Thank you.