Friday, October 02, 2009

The Ancient Shore - post II

The second half of the book focuses on one episode suffered by the photographer Francis Steegmuller. He recounts how the mistake of letting down his guard for just a moment allowed a moped riding bag snatcher to sneak in and grab his bag. He didn’t let go and was dragged along the cobbles.

What happened next is used to illustrate not just the generous character of Neapolitans but also the very essence of the place. Crime is accepted but disliked and as he travels to the hospital he benefits from the wisdom shared by those that have lived through it before.

He is patched up and recovers but mentally he has been not just a victim but had his love of Naples tested to a degree that perhaps most foreigners would fail and walk away from.

But he resolves to come back and even retraces his steps. The friendships made in the moment of great stress are still there and as an example of a city surviving and adapting to the most difficult circumstances the story of the attack serves its purpose very well.

The book is then closed with some comments about the love affair that the city has sparked off for Hazzard and numerous others. Makes you want to pack your bags and head to the City to see the sights.

A review will follow soon...

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