"It is after experiencing life that I have returned here to think about myself."
Paul Morand was a diplomat, traveller, socialite and one of the most erudite and original writers of the twentieth century. Venices is his typically unconventional autobiography: an evocative account of a remarkable life lived surrounded by the remarkable. Its poised, impressionistic, poetically vivid scenes add up year-by- year to a rich meditation, full of astonishing portraits and memories, joy as well as melancholy.
Though Morand's reputation was marred for years by his involvement with the collaborationist Vichy government, this book, in its effortless elegance, demonstrates why his influence has been so great. The thread that holds it taut throughout is Venice, the city to which Morand always returned.
Paul Morand was born in Paris in 1888. After studying at the École des Sciences Politiques he joined the diplomatic corps, serving in London, Rome, Berne and Bucharest. Tender Shoots, his first collection of stories, was introduced by Marcel Proust. In a long and busy life, he found time to write poetry, novels, short stories and travel books. Morand was made a member of the Académie Française in 1963 and died in 1976.