Memory, death, love, beauty, dreams – Brodsky touches on all of these in this wonderfully evocative book, says PD Smith. A very, very short prose-exercise by Nobelist Brodsky about Venice, his many wintertime trips there, the enchantment and ironies and visual. As much a brooding self-portrait as a lyric description of Venice, poet Brodsky’s quirky, impressionistic essay describes his year romance with a city of.

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The City Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky Called Paradise

A paw, at any rate, is a better instrument for turning pages than a hoof. Aesthetic sense is the twin of one’s instinct for self-preservation and is more reliable than ethics.

And of course, a better solution would be to give this city and some of its environs the status of a national park.

The address given was in the Salute sestiere, the part of town with the greatest, to my knowledge, percentage of foreigners in it, Anglos especially.

Every traveler knows this fix: Indeed, novels set in Venice by writers who weren’t Venetian is a kind of literary sub-genre that ranges from Henry James to Ian Fleming.

What saves Venice, like Penelope, from her suitors is their rivalry, the competitive nature of capitalism boiled down to fat cats’ blood relations to different political parties. For beauty is solace, since beauty is safe.

Watermark: An Essay on Venice by Joseph Brodsky – review

After all, for three centuries, nothing here reigned supreme. The Bosporus was overlapping the Adriatic, and you couldn’t tell which wave was which.

Presumably cherubs, too, are part of the species’ evolution. This is the way, and in my case the why, I set my eyes on this city.

Oct 07, Kalliope rated it really liked it Recommended to Kalliope by: Brodsky has piquant ideas about space and time see Less Than One, that lend interesting angles to his Venice-for-visitors: I had to really push myself to get through the pages of disjointed prose This of course helped toward their subsequent association with desert fathers; other than that, the Christians could have encountered the animal only as its diet in Roman circuses, where lions were imported from African shores for entertainment.


With their similar effect on your purse, hotels and pensiones therefore feel very congenial. Christianity was no longer Islam’s senior. Like eggs, which oftenespecially while I’m fixing myself breakfastmake me imagine the unknown civilization that came up with the idea of producing canned food in an organic fashion, brick and bricklaying somehow ring of an alternative order of flesh, not raw of course, but scarlet enough, and made up of small, identical cells.

The translations were trash, but came very close to being published, courtesy of some crypto-Nazi on the board of a solid literary magazine now, of course, the man is an avid nationalist.

Wherever he goes, a sick man, for examplea cardiac cripple particularlyis bound to wake up now and then at three o’clock in the morning in a state of sheer terror, thinking he’s going.

Joseph Brodsky. Watermark | Личная библиотека и записная книжка

I had just had lunch in some small trattoria on the remotest part of the Fondamente Nuove, grilled fish and half a bottle of wine.

In the distance you could make out a bunch of other soldiers: Splashing, glittering, glowing, glinting, the element has been casting itself upward for so long that it is not surprising that some of these aspects eventually acquired mass, flesh, and grew solid. Its particles’ only ambition is to reach an object and make it, big or small, visible. A tear is the anticipation of the eye’s future. Subsequently, I was told, she divorced the man and married a U. Wars, revolutions, great discoveries, geniuses, plagues never entered here due to a legal problem.

Fastidiousness was one part of it; the other part was that when, somewhat later, I called the-only-person-I-knew-in-that-city from the depths of my labyrinth one blue evening, the architect, perhaps sensing in my broken Italian something untoward, cut the thread. Whatever the original color and pattern of the drapes had been, they now looked pale yellow and very brittle.

For in dreams, as the poet said, begin responsibilities.

Winter thus was my season; the only thing I lacked, I thought, to look like a local rake or [carbonaro] was a scarf. For water, too, is choral in more ways than one. In fact, the more useless the data, the sharper the focus.


And to the eye, for purely optical reasons, departure is not the body leaving the city but the city abandoning the pupil. Likewise, disappearance of the beloved, especially a gradual one, causes grief no matter who, and for what peripatetic reason, is actually in motion.

Book Review: Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark (a Memoir on Venice) – Books I Read

Worst come to worst, it guarantees that the first-night shock is at least mutual. There was a great deal of bodsky everywhere; the hues and shapes of everything in sight were mitigated by its gray.

Brodsky is a great poet, so when he sets to work to employ an image, he does it the right way. Yet while these characters are far more dangerousindeed more harmfulthan the Turks, the Austrians, and Napoleon all lumped together, since money has more battalions than generals, in the seventeen years that I’ve frequented this city very little has wqtermark here. The last of brdosky was the master bedroom. I have read a couple of novels set there but I’ve never been to that place.

Partly because of that they drew their heads into their shoulders.

No, bipeds go ape about brdsky and dressing up in Venice for reasons not exactly practical; they do so because the city, as it were, challenges them. Because the city is static while we are moving.

We thanked the old lady for the evening and bade her farewell. Ma poi, essendo nebbia, non poteva proprio. On both sides, knee-deep in pitch-black water, stood the enormous carved chests of dark palazzi filled with unfathomable treasuresmost likely gold, judging from the low-intensity yellow electric glow emerging now and then from cracks in the shutters. The above quote is how Joseph Brodsky describes the city of Venice in his brilliant collection of essays titled Watermark.

The ceiling, though, was extraordinarily high and the windows were correspondingly tall.