Fifty photographs by Gusov
Unlike the myriad English-speaking itinerants flocking
to the Continent since the young Wordsworth travelled among
unknown men, Andrei Navrozov writes of people he knows intimately
and of social situations he has come to understand from within.
Based in Italy since 1997, now with residences in both Venice
and Palermo, he has on occasion described himself as a political
refugee from Russia, a cultural refugee from America and a
gastronomic refugee from Britain. Yet the theme of Italian
Carousel is altogether less flippant: Navrozov asks where
in the homogenising and modernising Europe would the hardened
individualist find a last refuge? His answer is Italy, or
more specifically Palermo, where for the moment his flight
from social progress ends.
This answer takes the reader into an uncompromising, occasionally
eccentric but deeply personal and always entertaining travelogue;
from the author's first day in Rome to his last night at the
Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, through Monte Argentario, Florence
and the Maremma on to Venice and the Veneto and finally to
the wilds of Sicily, almost in every case with a sidelong
glance at the Moscow of the 1970s, the New York of the 1980s
and the London of the 1990s that he has left behind.
To each of these locations he is accompanied by his longtime
friend and gambling companion whom he identifies only by surname;
Gusov, a Russian photographer whose last published portfolio
was said by the British Journal of Photography to capture
the essence of life. Here, rather in the manner of Phiz
assisting Dickens, he has produced a collection of fifty arresting
images to illustrate the author's ideas, arguments and impressions
of the places evoked in this original book.
Eccentric, highly opinionated but always entertaining
. . . refreshingly non-objective and personal . . . Recommended.
Library Journal (US)
ANDREI NAVROZOV is an acclaimed writer, translator and poet
who left his native Moscow at sixteen to live in the United
States, where he attended Yale University, before moving to