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This report is taken from PN Review 169, Volume 32 Number 5, May - June 2006.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

18 April 2005
The right hand gryphon on the tomb of Giacomo Surian in Santo Stefano is bigger than the left. Their expression, open beaks, tongues laid flat inside them, heads cocked aside, eyes rolled up, is not rage, but certainly they hiss a warning which keeps me expectant, feeling watched, checked on, close to fierce attentions. At lunchtime, however, we walk beside a canal where the water is milky green and unruffled. Someone has dropped a white, fully inflated balloon, and it skims along the surface, the nipple acting as a rudder, dragging in the surface film, a pivot, so that when the wind wavers the balloon swerves left or right. It moves along as fast as you can walk, keeping abreast of a party of people on the far bank. Then it steers in between a barge and the wall and sticks. There are hoses, yellow or blue, looped up alongside some sections of canal, carrying whatever, sewage even, as required by work being done. The blue hose is more intensely blue than anything in a Veronese, or any other picture. You could not afford anything so blue in a picture. It soaks a hole in the scene, as if something had scratched across the visual field and this blue was the colour of the seepage swelled up through the scratch. Suddenly the white buildings move, are moving, and it is a liner on the Giudecca across the end of the street. Small spectators line the ...

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