Monday, June 21, 2010

Serendipity, disappointed

While browsing the shelves on my way back from the library's return desk, as I am wont to do, I happened to see a book about Naples and it HAD to come home with me, of course. The author has lived in Naples, on and off, since the 50s and I figured this would be a great way to relive some memories and enjoy a return trip on the cheap.
I've written a bit about living in Naples before, both the good and the bad.
So I very much expected the author to wax descriptive and poetic about the glories and joys of a half century in Napoli.
Turns out?
Not so much.

You know what it sorta reminded me of?
There is this scene in Sense and Sensibility in which the Dashwood sisters are discussing Edward and how the elder Miss Dashwood feels about him. Marianne is underwhelmed by Elinor's proclamation of undying passion,
"I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him, that I greatly esteem him."
I was less moved than I expected by Shirley Hazzard's dispatches from Naples.
I was wanting something...
more open, loud, affectionate, all-embracing, all-pervading, boisterous, bellicose, beautiful,
I guess,
something more akin to a Neapolitan style.
I've read Sense and Sensibility, so I will not doubt the author's affection and esteem for Naples, but I did not get (to my mind) and authentic taste of Naples in this particular volume.

6 comments:

coopernicus said...

So you got literative instead of emotive...bummer.

Logophile said...

Coop~ It's worse than that. I got distant, repetitive, shallow literativeness. Love it or hate it; (in my opinion) the one thing one should have associated with Napoli is passion.

lime said...

ugh, what a shame the author couldn't capture that passion even a little bit.

Quilly said...

Ah -- you wished to be taken back to your home, and found it was not the same when relieved through someone else's eyes and passions.

S said...

i know whatcha mean i hate it when I get some indian lit and it sucks!

Jocelyn said...

It's rather amazing she's lived there all these years, with such a lack of gusto. Ick.

Thanks for saving me wasted time, should I have stumbled across that one.