By Petr Král
A love letter to 'la Serenissima' that delves behind its grand façades
Petr Král's encounter with the city of Doges is a love-letter to a place that arouses strong and often contradictory emotions – but rarely indifference. His ethereal prose carries us through the floating city as if exploring the body of a familiar, yet inscrutable, lover: "Even in the depths of her private, inner frisson, Venice is still open to the world's great perspectives, enticing them into her secret recesses and borne along by the touch of their breath." Král's passion for Venice enriches it as well as us, all the more so because – like all great loves – it appears to be forever on the point of dissolving. This is a portrait both intimate and universal, and elusive as the city herself.
Translated by Christopher Moncrieff
Cover illustration by Chris Stanley
Published 07 March 2013