Naples Declared

A Walk Around the Bay
Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay. Marian Wood: Putnam. May 2012. c.240p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780399159176. $26.95. TRAV
This book contains no itineraries, advice on getting around, or hotel or restaurant recommendations—in fact, novelist Taylor (The Book of Getting Even) hasn't so much penned a literal guide as one literary—but there is a chronology of Naples (from c.1800 B.C.E. to the present) that proves useful when planning a walk through the city. Taylor's book, like his subject, Naples, is a lot of things at once; there are lengthy discussions of history, philosophy, religion, art, culture, literature, customs. The book meanders between past and present, wanders in stream-of-thought fashion through the Naples streets, delves deeply into the city's stories, lives, and lore, and drops in for conversations with locals; it is an accurate representation of what travel is and what it means.
VERDICT Scholarly and insightful and balanced with wit and levity, this is written with an effortless poeticism. It has drawn comparisons with Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia and Eleanor Clark's Rome and a Villa, but there is the potential for cross-genre (and media) appeal as it shares a cinematic pace with Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise and Before Sunset films as well as Chris Marker's Sans Soleil. Recommended.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing