A summary of trieste and the meaning of nowhere by jan morris

Zeebra Books With fluid, expressive prose, Welsh writer Morris Lincoln delivers an intriguing vision of the small seaside Italian city of Trieste.

jan morris first book

If race is a fraud, as I often think in Trieste, then nationality is a cruel pretence. Read an excerpt below.

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It was erected in to commemorate the completion of the first proper highroad across the Karst, connecting Vienna with its seaport on the Adriatic. If you are tired of one activity you can try something else, change your job, take your custom to another restaurant. There, a tall obelisk marks the beginning of the city.

A summary of trieste and the meaning of nowhere by jan morris

As the tangled history of this place shows, it is disposable. But it is a very particular nowhere-in-particular, as Morris appreciates, perhaps because so many of her 43 books were about fabulous somewheres. She has all the answers: Why did I see so many Austrian licence plates in the Croatian resort of Opatija? In our own times urbanism has begun to overwhelm the rural way of things, but there is still enough disparity between town and country to make me prod my postilion when I see a city down the hill. We do know it was the place where Winckelmann was murdered by a boy he had picked up, but we now have only the vaguest idea who Winckelmann was. In this slim volume, supposedly Morris's last, the author brilliantly weaves historic and personal memories as the soldier James Morris, before her sex-change operation, she was stationed there during WWII , observations on love, lust, nationalism, exile and kindness, and a tender portrait of the oft-forgotten city. Today both old and new Trieste are invested by industrial works and nondescript suburbs of the last century, but from Opicina an imaginative eye can still see their first relationship -- an imperial relationship again, one settlement vastly dominating the other. Surely not. This is not only her last book, but in many ways her most complex as well, for Trieste has come to represent her own life with all its hopes, disillusionments, loves and memories. Not without reservations - Morris can be a dotty old bird, overasserting the Welshness and fond of the word jolly - but it was a quietly powerful work of short takes, minutes and centuries cross-cut between places. As she wanders aimlessly around the city streets so too her mind wanders. Morris has a lot of fun exploring this kind of oddity, but of course there's more to it than that.

Her research and knowledge is thorough. The one is still cramped beneath its castle, vestigially walled: the other confidently faces the sea, with quays and jetties all along its waterfront, a grand splash of a piazza opening directly upon the Adriatic, and a lighthouse on a mole enclosing the harbour.

A nice little surprise.

jan morris new book

If a warship of the Imperial Navy sailed in she was greeted with a gun-salute from the castle, and a muffled echo would reach up here to the Obelisk itself.

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Review: Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere by Jan Morris