Imagined terrain: literary nomadism in Venice and the Veneto
journal contributionposted on 01.03.2015, 00:00 authored by Paul VenzoPaul Venzo
Many poets and writers have used Venice and, to a lesser extent, the Veneto as a creative topos. There is both the writing that might be said to belong to the Italian/Venetian literary tradition, as well as the non-Italian tradition of writing Venice, a phenomenon that spans English literature, in particular, from William Shakespeare’s time, to the Romantic period and into the present day. This paper explores my relationship to this creative topos and the writers and writing that are associated with it. In particular, it focuses on the notion of literary nomadism: a method for interacting with the literature of Venice and the Veneto that allows me to find intersections between my own work and that which already exists in a broad historical and literary terrain. Moving between and across the literatures of this region, I argue that it is possible to find multiple points of reference that guide and inform my own poetic responses to it, and which reflect my own subjective nomadism and in-between-ness. By taking such an approach I am able to map my hybrid, transnational and transcultural identity into this space, in order to locate myself—and my writing—in the ‘imagined terrain’ I have chosen as a creative topos.