Returning to Venice reveals the power of textural memory. You might not remember what palazzo lies round the next corner of the Grand Canal – but you do remember the groaning of the rope as it brings the tethered vaporetto to a stop.
You might not remember precisely the route from San Silvestro to the square in which your lodgings – a grand palazzo, time-stained and shabbily imperious – are to be found, but you do remember the texture of those unplastered walls, or the washing hanging from the lines three stories up, or that faint smell of stale sea water as you cross one of the canals on your way.
Textural memory is memory writ small. It’s usually not labeled nor does it come decorated with capitals. It’s humble. It asks no favours. It seems undistinguished and unremarkable.
And yet it is the memory that lingers, so there’s no…
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