August 09, 2009

The Sunday Salon: a day in Florence

Spending a day in Florence.

In virtuality.

Spending this Sunday in Savonarola’s Florence, end of the 15. century.

Although I spend many time with reading, it happens quite rarely, that I read continually almost a day long. And just only one story.

A study of the philosopher Agnes Heller mentioned the book The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant, and I thought it could be interesting.

As a young girl my favorite era (or better to say my favorite topic) in the history of art was the Renaissance in Florence. Just exactly in Florence. I never wanted to do anything with the same period in Rome or Milan, my interest focused only this one town in Italy, Florence. So I might say I know quite well the political and cultural circumstances within the protagonist of this novel lived.

The Birth of Venus is a story about a young lady, Alexandra Checci, a smart and gifted daughter of a rich textile merchant, who’s life is about painting and learning. But she is a woman, painting and learning weren’t “comme il faut” even in the Renaissance for a them (for us!), as this book says. That causes some of the conflicts in this story.

The book has four parts and there is a mini- happy- end at the end of every parts. That’s make sometimes the problems the novel wants to show us a bit unserious for me. Even the motive, Savonarola’s leadership end that moment when Alessandra gives birth to her daughter is just too fairy tale-like.

On the other hand it remembers me on the movie Dangerous Beauty, but I would like to say this is just among my first impressions; I have to think about it exactly why I see it so. I know this other story plays in Venice in the 16 century, but the motive, on what ways can be a woman can bea woman an artist is somehow similar to Dunant’s book.

Other themes:
I’m currently (re-)reading the Tranquility by Attila Bartis and I started to read A Room with a View by E. M. Forster. (More soon!)

Sorry for skipping some Sundays recently, I’ve spent this year's July with watching the Tour the France and writing a blog about it.

4 megjegyzés:

Frances said...

Sounds like a wonderful reading day. Off to France myself. And like you, I still have Tranquility in the wings, and feel that one can never go wrong with Forster. Happy reading!

Table Talk said...

I have Dunant's new book, Sacred Hearts' on the shelf at the moment. I've enjoyed her historical novels much more than her contemporary works.

Anni said...

thanks for the comments

@Frances: yes, it's a really good reading day meanwhile outside it's a raining day here

@Table Talk
I'm not sure I'll read any other book by Dunant in the near future, but this one was OK.

JoAnn said...

The Birth of Venus would fit right in with the Italian theme my reading seems to be taking lately. I loved A Room With A View!

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