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You Gotta Love This Place

Vesuvius I

OK, how about if I just forget Vittoria? This relationship isn’t ever going to go anywhere, and I’ve been wasting my time with it. I’ve got an idea. To get her out of my mind, I’ll write a book about the truly fascinating landmarks and historical stuff in this part of the world. A travel book. Yes, that’s it.

Vesuvius! A good place to start.

Lots and lots of famous people have written about this volcano, beginning with the well-known account by Pliny the Younger of the huge eruption in 79 AD that buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. When things cooled down somewhat, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe came along. Then Lord Byron. Then Keats. Mark Twain. And moi.

It’s a LONG way up, folks. When you start, an old couple by the entrance gate distrubute cane poles. You think, wow, isn’t that considerate? (But then a couple hours later, when you come back down all covered with sweat darkened with volcanic ash, those two old crones expect you to pay them a couple Euros, otherwise they won’t let you out.)

After your long, exhausting hike up those narrow switchbacks to the summit, why, what a surprise! There’s actually a gift shop that has post cards and jewelry made of crystallized black lava, and sunglasses and straw hats. And a tiny three-seat café that serves a surprisingly decent espresso.

You can’t help but love this place.

Now, please board the bus for the next stop on our itineary. Grazie.

Vesuvius II

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WALK up Vesuvius? Hmmm. I went up by ski-lift thingy. It was lovely -- the wind whistled in my ears eerily, as I harbored thoughts of sudden eruptions obliterating me. [g]

I also thought of Giacomo Leopardi's poem "La Ginestra." This was in the spring of 1972, but I remember how much that appealed to me.

Here on the barren spine
Of the stupendous mountain,
That destructor, Vesuvius,
Which takes joy from no other tree or flower,
You scatter tufts of loneliness around,
Sweet-smelling broom,
Patient in the wastelands...
(translator ??, http://cym.net/art-metabolism/bologna/)

The ski-lift is no longer, but its remnants remain. A big, cracked concrete block, rusting anchor lines, etc. A strange place.

Is there any way at all I can get the manuscript to date so that I can catch up and follow the story properly? I will understand if not of course.

Has This One Gotten Through?

Verian, the inner workings of this LJ are beyond me, so let me try again. I sent you a post with four installments as Word Doc files, but it bounced because your Hotmail box was full, or something. I'll be happy to re-send, if you can give me an alternate address...


Re: Has This One Gotten Through?

Ah, that would explain it!

try editor@comrade.org.uk that one has enough room.

Thank you.

Re: Has This One Gotten Through?

On second thought, when I get through with the book in a month or two, I'll begin putting the whole thing--pics & text--onto a CD. When it's done, I'll send you a copy.

Meanwhile, on my LJ are the last 40 installments of this melodrama. They ought to get you up to speed.

Again, thanks for your interest.

Re: Has This One Gotten Through?

OK, sounds fine to me. I'll try to play catch up.

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