Posted by: vikingsinspace | September 27, 2010

VI.01.35. Read Venetian Masque

Date Accomplished: April 2009

Venetian Masque: Hutchinson Edition

My Sabatini Journal

“Still, obstinately, like a stupid man, he struggled against reason.” (41)

“…they lived as parasites upon the State, imbued with all the faults and vices found where poverty and vanity are in alliance.” (55)

“… life is uncertain.  Too often we forget it, preparing for joys that perish on the way, or trembling at evils that never reach us.” (89)

“Jealousy has the faculty of taking every attendant circumstance for its confirmation.” (119)

“There is no self-sacrifice equal to that of which a good woman is capable; just as there are no limits to the sacrifices demanded by a bad one.” (227)

“…have you not observed that madmen often prevail in this world?” (299)

Venetian Masque

I had been looking for another Italian novel to read while on a trip to Venice, and it occurred to me that there could be none better than Venetian Masque.  I was a little surprised with it at first, because most of Sabatini’s Italian novels take place in the lat Medieval / early Renaissance time period, whereas this one surrounded the events of the French Revolution and the end of Venice as an independent state.

Venetian Masque has been one of the more enjoyable Sabatini books I’ve read.  The intricate plot reminded me somehow of The Carolinian (although it has been so long since I’ve read The Carolinian that I’m unsure how I am making this association).  Being in Venice while reading it really helped me appreciate the descriptions Sabatini employs to set the scene.  He was extremely accurate in describing the small alleys and piazzas and the major landmarks.  But perhaps what makes Sabatini so enjoyable is that he doesn’t rely on the major landmarks everyone would recognize to set the scene, but rather centers it around smaller churches and squares which still exist in Venice.  Sabatini must have visited himself before (or perhaps during?) writing this book.

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