Is this a work that is actually semi-autobiographical? Is there a Vittoria in your life?
As for whether James is a disguised John Palcewski, I always say that I will neither confirm nor deny autobiography. Obviously, no literary fiction ever strays far from its author's direct experience. I'll say this much, if only to avoid appearing uncooperative. I have no brother, Jack or otherwise. The Professor is an amalgam of the interesting faculty I encountered in college. Sylvia is a real person here on Ischia, but she hardly ever speaks of the island's history. Of course there's a Vittoria in my life. I don't have the imagination to make up a story like hers!