Saturday, September 23, 2023

Harvest Time in the Vineyard of the Cemetery Island of San Michele

A sure sign that the book or video you are watching is written by or presented by someone who has no actual experience of living in Venice as any thing other than, at best, a long-term tourist, is when they refer to the city and lagoon as mournful and "redolent of death" and with similar other tired old Romantic cliches that have been lazily repeated for the last two centuries by people more interested in posturing than perceiving (eg, Peter Ackroyd, who, not content with disgorging--I wouldn't call it writing--one of the worst books on the city I've ever read, followed it up with an equally ridiculous BBC series). They have no idea of the local life that's carried on behind the walls of even the cemetery island, as seen above. (22 September 2023)


  1. I agree about the Ackroyd comments. Feel all his work is similarly - not real!

    1. I believe the old term for a writer like him is "hack." What makes him worse is that he's a pompous hack. I often got the impression that his book on Venice consisted largely of him emptying all his old notebooks willy-nilly onto its pages, without regard to fact-checking or even whether his remarks were dated (eg, his comments about how many feral cats crowd the city--by the time his book was published this hadn't been true for many many years).