Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

NYT Follows Lucy Honeychurch through Florence

Even though this is an idea I (and every other overeducated bougie tourist in Firenze) already had, and wrote about, I forgive the NYT the style-pimping because it's such a perfect topic. A Room With a View is perhaps the most site-specific piece of literature, and the best literary tour-guide, out there. And the piece is very well-done (although it gets boring towards the end). Here is the best bit:

ENJOYING “A Room With a View” is easy. A love story that begins and ends in Florence, with complications in England sandwiched in between, it's short, cheerful and delightfully sly. Besides, there are two excellent and generally faithful film adaptations, the classic 1986 Merchant-Ivory production starring Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Day-Lewis and a PBS version released just this year with enticing shots of Florence and a weird, unwarranted twist at the end. Once Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson have kissed in a field of violets in the hills above the city (near Fiesole, about which more later), you know (spoiler alert) you're going to hear wedding bells at the end, no matter how many plot twists the crafty author engineers.

Enjoying Florence ... takes more time and more effort. But if you have with you your copy of “A Room With a View,” you'll find it easier to get along. Forster's supple, forgiving irony, his ability to satirize lovingly, combined with his firm but regretful insistence on not confusing art and life, is exactly what you need if you plan to share this intensely urban town with tens of thousands of sightseers for the five or six days it will take you to do just like them and see the sights.

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