To know a city is to become intimately intertwined with its nooks, crevices, secret passageways and dark places where its lifeblood flows and what city has more of those than Venice? In "The Other Venice", Predrag Matvejevic ventures past the infamous canals and cobblestone streets of the tourist's Venice to find the heart of the historic Italian city. A lyrical re-imagining of the City of Romance, "The Other Venice" utterly reconfigures the Venetian landscape, as Matvejevic follows both real and imaginary maps, contemporary and historical, to trace out the details of this sensuous city. He probes into what the ancient metropolis means to its people, the nation and global culture. But he also finds hints of life in the smallest and most mundane details bridges, rust-flecked boats, wall sculptures, rivers and piazzas scattered throughout the city. Each has a little-known story and with Matvejevic as our guide, he reveals the stories behind them all.
The book carries readers to a Venice that has escaped the eyes of writers, artists and photographers through the centuries, and Matvejevic by turns plays a historian, cartographer, anthropologist and philologist as he unravels elusive artifacts of time past. Arresting black-and-white photographs by Sarah Quill accompany the text, offering a silent testament to Matvejevic's pilgrimage. A fascinating and beautifully written guide, "The Other Venice" reminds us that there is always another mystery to uncover in the city of water and stone.