Here’s Diana Owen’s review of a memoir by an American woman who moved to Rome in the 1960s, and made a life for herself in Italy. Here’s how the review begins:
Wallis Wilde-Menozzi’s beautiful meditation on Italy takes the reader on a journey of discovery that transpired over three decades of a life richly lived. The work is at once a memoir, travelogue, history lesson and cultural excavation. The author’s memories of life in Rome, where her journey begins, and ultimately Parma are the foundation for vignettes about the Italian people, art, language, media, religion, rituals, food and landscape. Her reflections are enlivened by liberal references to works of poetry and prose, depictions of paintings and sculpture and her own photography. The book inspires spiritual contemplation, as illustrated by a powerful line that reflects its essential message: “Consciousness of the mystery of life, the existence of good and evil as well as the infinity of love, is a powerful hope.”
Well, I will have to read the book now. That line is as close as I’ve seen to describing with crystalline succinctness why I get out of bed in the morning. I would have only added God to the author’s list. If I’m not careful, having read Dante, whose poem embodies the very thing Wilde-Menozzi cites as hope (plus, obviously, God), and reading Wilde-Menozzi, will seduce me into being unfaithful to la belle France.
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