Edited by Gianni Guadalupi. Texts by Théophile Gautier, Luigi Barzini, Raffaele Calzini
1992 / 202 PAGES.
Language: Two editions: Italian, French
The czarist splendours of Saint Petersburg, the northern Palmyra where the summers had no night and the winters no day.
Scion of the perhaps mad whim of a warlike despot, the past (and probably future) Saint Petersburg preserves an unmistakably military air in the rigid network of its streets and canals. It’s a city standing to attention. Along the endless, perfectly aligned thoroughfares, the masses of the buildings look like regiments assembled for a parade, under the gazes of the bronze emperors standing in their stirrups on every corner, while the horses drawing the quadrigae of warlike gods who have swooped down from their tempests to witness the opulence of their earthly disciples rear up on the gables. The ghostlike city is only revived by tremor of vital chaos when the snow melts, when its crust crunches, trickles, cracks open and breaks. And the ice rises up like dead skin against the riverbanks and bridge piers, greenish slabs hanging obliquely in sudden crevices with the air of having disappeared under someone’s feet. And those black trapdoors exude a damp, dense breath, the sigh of a colossal, flooded cellar.