Tag Archives: Rome

Interviews: American Poet & Writer Cynthia Zarin On Her New Book “Two Cities”

Cythia Zarin Two Cities VeniceA conversation with the acclaimed poet and New Yorker writer Cynthia Zarin that transports us to two of her favorite cities, Venice and Rome, in a celebration of Italy as the country begins to loosen the longest coronavirus-related lockdown in Europe. The episode features evocative readings from her forthcoming book,Two Cities, which captures the meditative yet constantly surprising nature of travel from a deeply personal point of view. 

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From acclaimed poet and New Yorker writer Cynthia Zarin comes a deeply personal meditation on two cities, Venice and Rome—each a work of art, both a monument to the past—and on how love and loss shape places and spaces.

Here we encounter a writer deeply engaged with narrative in situ—a traveler moving through beloved streets, sometimes accompanied, sometimes solo. With her, we see, anew, the Venice Biennale, the Lagoon, and San Michele, the island of the dead; the Piazza di Spagna, the Tiber, the view from the Gianicolo; the pigeons at San Marco and the parrots in the Doria Pamphili. As a poet first and foremost, Zarin’s attention to the smallest details, the loveliest gesture, brings Venice and Rome vividly to life for the reader.

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The sixteenth book in the expanding, renowned ekphrasis series, Two Cities creates space for these two historic cities to become characters themselves, their relationship to the writer as real as any love affair.

ekphrasis

Dedicated to publishing rare, out-of-print, and newly commissioned texts as accessible paperback volumes the ekphrasis series is part of David Zwirner Books’s ongoing effort to publish new and surprising pieces of writing on visual culture.

Cynthia Zarin

Cynthia Zarin is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Orbit (2017), as well as five books for children and a collection of essays, An Enlarged Heart: A Personal History (2013). Her honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship for Literature, the Ingram Merrill Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. A longtime contributor to The New Yorker, Zarin teaches at Yale University.

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Top New Travel Videos: “Archaeological Park – Appia Antica” In Rome

Director: Ippolito Simion

Taking every day inspiration from my city, I compose this video with a mixture of techniques, like a tribute to the history and the beauty of the Archeological Park of Appia Antica in Rome.

Camera: Federico Marchi, Lorenzo Giordano
Drone: Tommaso Chiriatti
Music: Gregorio de Luca Comandini
Sound Fx: Inti d’Ayala Valva
Graphics: Sara Taigher, Alessandro Strichner
Actress: Antonella Britti

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History: “The Destruction of Pompeii and Its Aftermath” (Penn Museum)

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, it buried Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the surrounding settlements under nearly 20 feet of volcanic ash and pumice. Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, documented his eyewitness account of the disaster, supporting the archaeological evidence uncovered there in the last two centuries.

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This Great Lecture reviews how these buried cities and their exploration have had a lasting impact on European and American culture. C. Brian Rose, Ph.D., Curator-in-Charge, Mediterranean Section, Penn Museum; Immediate Past President, Archaeological Institute of America; Trustee, American Academy in Rome

Film History: Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (1960) At 60 Years (Video)

La Dolce Vita (“the sweet life” or “the good life”) is a 1960 comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Federico Fellini. The film follows Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the “sweet life” of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival[ nd the Oscar for Best Costumes. The film was a worldwide box-office success.

From Wikipedia

New Biographies: “The Shadow Of Vesuvius -A Life Of Pliny” By Daisy Dunn

The Shadow of Vesuvius A Life of Pliny by Daisy Dunn Dec 2019When Pliny the Elder perished at Stabiae during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, he left behind an enormous compendium of knowledge, his thirty-seven-volume Natural History, and a teenaged nephew who revered him as a father. Grieving his loss, Pliny the Younger inherited the Elder’s notebooks—filled with pearls of wisdom—and his legacy. At its heart, The Shadow of Vesuvius is a literary biography of the younger man, who would grow up to become a lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, and chronicler of the Roman Empire from the dire days of terror under Emperor Domitian to the gentler times of Emperor Trajan. A biography that will appeal to lovers of Mary Beard books, it is also a moving narrative about the profound influence of a father figure on his adopted son. Interweaving the younger Pliny’s Letters with extracts from the Elder’s Natural History, Daisy Dunn paints a vivid, compellingly readable portrait of two of antiquity’s greatest minds.

Best New History Books: “Escape From Rome” By Walter Scheidel (Oct 2019)

From a Princeton University Press release:

Escape From RomeThe fall of the Roman Empire has long been considered one of the greatest disasters in history. But in this groundbreaking book, Walter Scheidel argues that Rome’s dramatic collapse was actually the best thing that ever happened, clearing the path for Europe’s economic rise and the creation of the modern age. Ranging across the entire premodern world, Escape from Rome offers new answers to some of the biggest questions in history: Why did the Roman Empire appear? Why did nothing like it ever return to Europe? And, above all, why did Europeans come to dominate the world?

In an absorbing narrative that begins with ancient Rome but stretches far beyond it, from Byzantium to China and from Genghis Khan to Napoleon, Scheidel shows how the demise of Rome and the enduring failure of empire-building on European soil ensured competitive fragmentation between and within states. This rich diversity encouraged political, economic, scientific, and technological breakthroughs that allowed Europe to surge ahead while other parts of the world lagged behind, burdened as they were by traditional empires and predatory regimes that lived by conquest. It wasn’t until Europe “escaped” from Rome that it launched an economic transformation that changed the continent and ultimately the world.

To read more: https://press.princeton.edu/titles/13581.html