Last few days in venice. Passed through Campo Manin where we have spent much kafkaesque anxious time sorting out tributi fines for what we hadn’t paid for what we hadn’t done. Ignorance of what the communale wished one to pay was no excuse said a very smiling lady as we came back from the various offices we’d been sent to only to find that she was indeed the one to settled matters –but after we had visited all her sister offices. This time we were just passing through. I wanted to check that this was the proper place to imagine a second hand clothes shop for my novel A Man of Genius. I had checked with an Italian academic who said I must be mistaken since it was here that the wonderful skilled bookmakers made their valuable a volumes. I worried if I should change the location even thought now at proof stage but then checked again and this upmarket business had been in the Renaissance and I was writing about the early 19th century. I searched and discovered again, that this area had declined and was lived in by the poor. The modern proof was that most of it must have been cleared since the square has now the ugliest modern buildings in venice. My Italian friend was true to Venetian sensibility which tends to see the (to me) quite distant past as always near.