An Essay on Venice


Published Feb. 28, 2013 by Penguin PressClassics.

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2 stars (1 review)

1 edition

Review of 'Watermark' on Goodreads

2 stars

I enjoy essays on cities. I picked this up while visiting Venice as a nice way to remember my experience.

Brodsky is romantic. He is preoccupied by visual beauty. The author sees water as reflecting beauty while embodying the essence of time. Venice is the perfect muse. Time is accused of stealing beauty from each and every one of us. But Venice seems to exist outside of time. The city has only become more precious and beautiful.

In the end, I don't resonate with Brodsky's life philosophy. I have fallen into many of the same traps. I can see his Venice. Nothing here feels aspirational nor particularly traumatic.

The essay captures a particular aesthetic. It's a fine essay and a nice record of 1980s wintertime Venice. But Venice has a profundity that reaches beyond beauty. Brodsky does not even attempt to stretch this far. The essay is a skin-deep read …