The bronzista of Muradup

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  • Published 20150505
  • ISBN: 9781922182807
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

NICOLA WALKED WITH his back straight and his shoulders scarcely moving. His upper body perfectly balanced and relaxed, his legs propelled him forward in a gait that seemed to have been born in him instead of learnt – a steady, flowing movement of maximum efficiency.

Venetians walk as others breathe. Who knows how far one walks in Venice? There are no rectangular city blocks that one can count; none of the yardsticks are familiar. When we had covered three campos, four bridges, skirted twice as many canals and passageways…how far is that? The map has names for only half of the streets and the numbers of the houses rise one by one into the thousands, counted by the sestiere (the district) not the street. Nicola, at seventeen years old, guided us home because Venice is his city and thus we are his guests, because his parents had asked him to, and because of what had happened between his grandfather and mine back in the 1940s, in a place as foreign to a Venetian as any could be: the little farming community of Muradup, in the south-west of Western Australia.

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