Correspondence

First Impressions

It has been only a few weeks since I used my tears to moisten the mixed-fruit schiacciata cake of Florentine captivity, but from the chaise lounge on my terrace it seems that this was in another life. Here, at last, I know I am where I belong, a spark of cosmic indolence fortuitously restored to the serene plenitude of the great green lagoon, or, in a less overtly Gnostic idiom and the more popular style of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis:

First I movéd all my stuff-a

With a big motoscafo.

No, let me see if I can do better than that:

Then I placéd each bundle-a

In a nice old gondola.

And so on. When it comes to first impressions of Venice, obviously the important thing is to stem the creeping sentimentalism associated with the otherwise perfectly reputable soundtrack of a certain homosexual cult movie based on a lugubrious German novella, and now that that's been pretty much achieved, I can be serious.

Sleeping in Venice is like no other sleeping I've ever done. This is significant, because since my university days I've done more kinds of sleeping than most people at Yale have read dull books. "Not more than Harold Bloom!" I hear you cry. Yes, even Harold Bloom....

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