It has been quite a while since I have opened this book to further read into the lines of a novel set in a city very dear to me-to find moments of reflection in words perhaps not meant to be read in such a way, yet so capable of being experienced in this manner. As I sit with the book opened up on my dining room table with a warm mug of hot cocoa, I patiently read, searching for a written moment among its yellowing pages upon which to pause. I find the following:
"Swiftly, with the familiar little rocking motion, I go on in the darkness, and the walls on either side seem given up to the dead. There is fear, and tragedy and danger everywhere-but this, too, is Venice…"
“Tragedy and danger” alludes to things occurring in the past and future, respectively. "Fear" is a reference to a present feeling. And so, as the narrator ventures in his gondola into the darkness of the city, he refers to all of time in its darkest moments. He states that “this, too, is Venice.” Indeed if we are to think of Venice and its wall as “given up to the dead,” we accept that places capable of holding in their streets, canals, and piazzas, our dreams also contain within them a sense of loss. To love a place is to know this, and accept this. To love Venice, to go to such a mysterious place is to be vulnerable to all that it may have to offer, good and bad.
The novel seems to be slowly taking on a sinister turn.