The Other Side of the Tiber: Reflections on Time in Italy.pdf
Praise for "The Other Side of the Tiber" ""The Other Side of the Tiber" celebrates the spontaneity, bureaucratic complexity, and cultural abundance that is Italy today. "Permesso," the Italian word for work permit, gave Mennozi what she was really after in 1968: permission to write . . . An insider's reflections on 30 years in Italy ["The Other Side of the Tiber"] resists the cliches of split vision--ancient/modern; north/south; timeless/chaotic. Instead Menozzi focuses on how such opposites can nurture a life in search of transformation. Menozzi is an elegant writer who never falls into contemporary memoir's culture of complaint. Her subject is Italy's layered identity. But the memoir's deeper story reveals how buried parts of herself surfaced. Over time, she discovered a deep capacity for commitment, not just to creative work, but also to a new marriage, motherhood, and a settled life in Parma, where she now lives. The eye 'used to the bluer light of the Midwest' from a Wisconsin childhood soon adapted to 'the scorching raven black streets of Rome.' Menozzi turns that eye on a Mediterranean world, 'clustered excess to be admired, picked, displayed, eaten, enjoyed.' The memoir is itself an open market. Written in short, self-contained sections with headings such as 'Memory, ' 'Layers, ' and 'Hungry and Untrained Eyes, ' it offers glimpses of the Pantheon's light, paving stones, kiosks, volcanoes, Italian donuts, pink marble, walking shoes, the frescoed walls of empress Livia's dining room, 'depicting palms, cypresses, quince, pomegranates, doves, and laurel.' Together, these short sections mirror the working of memory itself, offering a slideshow of Italy across time, from the Etruscans to today's Slow Food movement . . . Italy's 'tangled and mysterious strata' of human quest and survival play out in Menozzi's stories of her first years in Rome. The most haunting is a clear-eyed account of a scene of domestic violence she witnessed in a courtyard. In telling
Wallis Wilde-Menozzi lives in Parma, Italy, where for decades she has observed Italian life and participated in its dialogues. Her memoir, "Mother Tongue: An American Life in Italy," was published in 1997 by North Point Press to critical acclaim.
A moving and illuminating memoir about a singular woman's relationship with a fascinating and complex country A fresh, nuanced perspective on a profoundly perplexing country: this is what Wallis Wilde-Menozzi's unique, captivating narrative promises--and delivers. "The Other Side of the Tiber" brings Italy to life in an entirely new way, treating the peninsula as a series of distinct places, subjects, histories, and geographies bound together by a shared sense of life. A multifaceted image of Italy emerges--in beautiful black-and-white photographs, many taken by Wilde-Menozzi herself--as does a portrait of the author. Wilde-Menozzi, who has written about Italy for nearly forty years, offers unexpected conclusions about one of the most complex and best-loved countries in the world. Beginning her story with a hitchhiking trip to Rome when she was a student in England, she illuminates a passionate, creative, and vocal people who are often confined to stereotypes. Earthquakes and volcanoes; a hundred-year-old man; Siena as a walled city; Keats in Rome; the refugee camp of Manduria; the Slow Food movement; realism in Caravaggio; the concept of good and evil; Mary the Madonna as a subject--from these varied angles, Wilde-Menozzi traces a society skeptical about competition and tolerant of contradiction. Bringing them together in the present, she suggests the compensations of the Italians' long view of time. Like the country, this book will inspire discussion and revisiting.