HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Stones of Florence and Venice Observed…
Loading...

The Stones of Florence and Venice Observed (1956)

by Mary McCarthy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
1232146,990 (3.54)None
  1. 00
    The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: A Florentine dynasty placed in their context.
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 2 of 2
A double whammy of mid-20th century US travel writing about two of the big three Italian cities. The ruins of Rome are obviously missing. McCarthy crafts wonderful portraits of the history, art and architecture of Florence and Venice. Similar to Vermeer, she keeps her distance from describing actual human beings which results in a certain bloodlessness. It is tourists, both by their presence and their absence, who increase the author's blood pressure. Crowding in the main attractions, they neglect to visit the hidden gems, leaving poor Mary all alone in deserted churches. She is unusually cranky for an American, most of which is due to her lack of travel skills. If you don't want to interact with the owners, don't use bed & breakfast accommodation. If you don't like crowds in museums, visit early or late in the day. Do as the locals do to escape other tourists and commercial exploitation.

Florence and Venice, the artistic power houses of Italy and polar opposites: Florence, the land-locked city of bankers whose language defines Italian. Venice the seaborne city of traders whose language defies Italian. Florence whose architecture is turned inward; Venice, the splashy city. Florence the city which exiles; Venice, the city of exiles. As far as the two portraits of the cities go, her heart clearly beats for Florence, about which she knows much more and is more intimate with. She is but a tourist to Venice, detesting its venality and superficiality. I wonder how she would react to the fact that the number of inhabitants of Venice has declined from 200,000 in her days to less than 50,000 today. On the plus side, most of the extreme poverty (including child labor exploitation) she describes has vanished from Northern Italy which has become again one of the most prosperous places on earth.

To truly appreciate her art and architecture descriptions, it is helpful to consult one of the inexpensive (printed in China), sumptuously illustrated city portrait books about Florence and Venice that flood the book stores, enabling one to contrast and compare Donatello's and Michelangelo's interpretation of David. Recommended as a quick read. ( )
2 vote jcbrunner | Dec 12, 2010 |
Showing 2 of 2
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
"To Roberto Papi" (The Stones of Florence)
First words
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Mary McCarthy's personal journey through two celebrated Italian cities, first published as separate titles in 1959 and 1961 respectively.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 3
3.5 3
4 6
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,616,082 books! | Top bar: Always visible