I was standing there waiting for the only person I knew in that city to meet me. She was quite late. Instead, Brodsky ranges very far and wide, taking in his memories, his experiences of Venice, his reactions to its climate, its architecture, its very soul. The result is a wonderfully impressionistic sketch of a city which in many ways defies definition.
He discusses books set in Venice that were pivotal in his reading life; and objects from his past which drew him to the place. One piece which resonated was his description of the flooding of Venice, an event that takes place on a regular basis; I recall my last boss telling me of her visit to Venice when the city was overtaken by water, and her experience of walking around in waders and the stench….
But crucially there are musings on beauty, where it exists and how our eye finds it.
As you can see from the sheaf of post-its in the picture above, I could have pulled out all manner of quotes but in the end I think you need to read the whole work in one go. Venice cast its spell so strongly over him that he returned annually over a period of 17 years; I wondered if perhaps something about the city was more appealing to an exile, a city suited to someone transient, an observer. Additionally, the constant recurrence of the aquatic motifs left me thinking that Brodsky might have been drawn to the place because of its similarity to Petersburg, another city constructed on land reclaimed from the sea.
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Blog at WordPress. Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings "Vivre le livre! A thin paperback with a dark cover and bold white letters. I couldn't remember why I'd known this title Brodsky was a Russian writer, moved to America, and traveled in Italy, writing his impressions from a Russian and American viewpoint. Maybe you will find Brodsky's words to be very personal and relatable to you So I did it. I bought it. I read it. I barely got two sentences in before my jaw-dropped, and I reached into the bottom of my purse for a pencil, pen, marker I needed to underline these quotes, bookmark the pages, make notes I was amazed.
Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad--now St. Petersburg--in As he was a writer and wanted to dedicate his life to his artistic work, the state sentenced him to five years in exile with hard labor for 'social parasitism. He often traveled, in particular to Venice; and in he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the youngest person ever to receive the honor at the time. Having only recently finished Watermark , I have spent a lot of my time going back, reading through the passages I've underlined, and thinking why I enjoyed his impressions so much.
Brodsky's style is incomparable. If I could be so bold, without measuring myself next to such a great man, I have to say that my style of throwing down my thoughts comes out in a similar albeit much more amateur way. I found solace, and shelter in Brodsky's words, in his way of describing the concept of 'travel,' the way he incorporates the sense of smell in the smallest ways I felt as if Brodsky's words were describing my own memories; my own comprehension of beauty, and the world around me.
Venice in the wintertime, in all its chaos, horrid smells, and misery Water represents ourselves; our reflections, it represents emotion, love, beauty, and definitely music. Water acts, throughout the essay as a metaphor for everything. Everything can be tied back to water. I realized, I too, viewed Venice in the same light as dear Brodsky. Every thought I wish I could have so beautiful expressed, I found page after page, effortlessly and carelessly written by Brodsky.
We spent each morning drinking tea for hours, talking about everything: beauty, art, Russia, culture, her family history She informed me of her family's artistic wealth, their intelligentsia status and how they were of the highest class during the soviet revolution. She told me her Aunt knew writers, poets, and painters, and was even sent to prison, sharing her cell with the wife of a famous Russian writer.
The former Russian writer who immigrated to America--Brodsky," She told me. How often had that name crossed my mind during the past few months? And now the safe haven of his words and existence have reached a higher level. That you understand the importance of literature and the soul, and how interested you are in my family's history.
Dear, this gives me so much joy to tell you that Brodsky dedicated a poem to my grandmother! Suddenly, bit by bit, if only on that one simple morning, everything seemed clear to me.
Life made sense. I understood how lucky I am to be able to freely read and understand Brodsky It's the time of staring down clock faces and timetables, of scrutinizing varicose marble under your feet, of inhaling ammonia and that dull smell elicited on cold winter nights by locomotives' cast iron. For some people it's freshly cut grass or hay; for others, Christmas scents of conifer needles and tangerines. For me, it's freezing seaweed And yet I had my doubts about this attribution.
Buy Watermark: An Essay on Venice by Joseph Brodsky (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible. The poet Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad in and expelled from his homeland in , after which he settled in the US. Perhaps it.