SEEING VENICE: An Eye in Love

Frederick Franck, Author . Codhill $21.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-930337-04-6

With line drawings and whimsical text, artist and author Franck (The Zen of Seeing) records the spirit of Venice beyond the canals, bridges and gondolas that preoccupy the camcorder crowd. For him, the city is an "immense and living indoor and outdoor studio"; wandering the streets or sitting in bars and public squares, he takes note of things others might miss—the complexities of the Venetians' facial expressions, the "timeless choreography of lovers," the subtle colors of rain-washed houses. His Venice is a giant stage set on which small dramas abound—nuns with black briefcases stand arguing in the rain; pedestrians perform "umbrella ballets" as they squeeze past each other on rainy streets; the footprints of an animal as large as a lion mark the snow in the campo on Christmas morning; the parents of a spastic child in a harlequin costume lift her out of her wheelchair during Carnevale; a pigeon dies silently next to the wall of the Basilica. The deft and witty illustrations show streetscapes, cafe patrons, a string quartet, portly old men reading their newspapers at lunch and other sights both familiar and fresh. Franck's "inner travelogue" sometimes takes him abruptly back to his childhood in Holland, which can be confusing, but for the most part his tour is a charmer. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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