A photographic exhibition depicting the great author's love story with Venice and the Veneto region. It was at Fossalta di Piave, in 1918, that Hemingway was seriously wounded during World War I. He returned there more than once, to show the place to his first and fourth wife. The Veneto and World War I were an important experience for the young Hemingway who served in the American Red Cross, sharing with other young Americans the need to fight for democracy. The senseless slaughters of the war soon took away all illusion, in Hemingway as in such future writers as Dos Passos and Cummings, not to mention the African-American Daly. A number of early poems, stories, that masterpiece of Modernism which is In Our Time (1925), and perhaps the most famous novel on World War I in Italy, A Farewell to Arms (1929), were the splendid literary result of an imagination ignited by this experience.
While the Veneto was visited more than once by Hemingway after 1918, the writer discovered the beauty of Venice only in 1948 and during the early fifties: he made friends with Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of the mythical “Harry’s Bar”, and spent time both in that place that to him was “home” and in the fabulous Gritti Hotel. But Hemingway also loved the enchanting simplicity of the Locanda Cipriani on the island of Torcello, where he could write and also go duck hunting in the lagoons, as he did in the Caorle lagoons: the late novel, Across the River and into the Trees (1950), is set not only in Venice, a city overrepresented in literature, but also in the “valli” (fishfarms) of the lagoons, which practically no writer had described before.
The photographs in this exhibition document Hemingway’s relationship with the Veneto: Cortina, Fossalta, Caorle, Venice and Torcello.
Gianni Moriani, Venice International University
Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, University of Venice, Ca' Foscari
On-Site Coordinator: Elsa de Giovanni
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
New York University
November 9 - December 15, 2011