Before we begin, consider this mosaic of fragments, each refracting the other, the other’s light, and giving nothing away. The first: ‘These small, fastidious, flirtatious rooms alone in all Venice, vouchsafed that frisson which is history. Obviously, few came near them … from year’s end to year’s end. This might spare the delightful rooms from their proper wraiths, but it also pointed to an insoluble dilemma’ (Aickman,‘Never Visit Venice’ 1988, 29). The question raised must be orientated towards the solution of the insoluble. At the same time, however, it is necessary that we recognize the extent to which the undecidable is written right at the very juncture between those interior, eroticized architectural spaces and the ghosts that leave their indelible, if unreadable trace upon them. We are left at the outside of the inside, outside all that is so precisely excluded and yet all the more interiorized for all that. And then: ‘Here [Venice] … the never-ending maze of alleys and canals, a reflected image of every intrigue, every possible human entanglement … a net of reflections and counter-reflections … a thicket of psychic identifications and antagonisms … a spiritual masquerade packed with erotic depths and superficialities … this glitter of threatening ambiguity’ (Broch 1996, 417).
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- ‘Gauzy impressions conjured out of nothing’: Venice là-bas or, ‘les lieux de la’
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number