Sirocco, e outras aflições (II).
O post, como os leitores já sabem, será colocado aqui.
Nothing can be said here (including this statement) that has not been said before. One often hears the Piazza described as an open-air drawing-room; the observation goes back to Napoleon, who called it "the best drawing room in Europe". A friend likens the ornamental coping of St Mark's to sea foam, but Ruskin thought of this first: "... at last, as if in ecstasy, the crests of the arches break into a marbly foam, and toss themselves far into the blue sky in flashes and wreaths of sculptured spray..." Another friend observes that the gondolas are like hearses; I was struck by the novelty of the fancy until I found it, two days later, in Shelley: "that funereal bark". Now I find it everywhere. A young man, boarding the vaporetto, sighs that "Venice is so urban", a remark which at least sounds original and doubtless did when Proust spoke of the "always urban impression" made by Venice in the midst of the sea. And the worst of if is that nearly all of those clichés are true. It is true, for example, that St Mark's at night looks like a painted stage flat; this is a fact which everybody notices and which everybody thinks he has discovered for himself. I blush to remember the sound of my own voice, clear in its own conceit, enunciating this proposition in the Piazza, nine years ago.
"I envy you, writing about Venice", says the newcomer. "I pity you", says the old hand. One thing is certain. Sophistication, that modern kind of sophistication that begs to differ, to be paradoxical, to invert, is not a possible attitude in Venice. In time, this becomes the beauty of the place. One gives up the struggle and submits to a classic experience.