Books: The Floating City

VENICE OBSERVED (199 pp.)—Mary Mc-Carthy—Reynal ($15).

More than a century has passed since Byron swam from the Lido to Venice and through the Grand Canal (four miles), and nearly two since Napoleon pronounced the pigeon-swept square of St. Mark's "the best drawing-room in Europe." But the destiny of Venice remains constant, to be "the observed of all observers." The latest to succumb to the spell of the floating city is Critic and Novelist Mary McCarthy (TIME, Nov. 14, 1955), who has fashioned the spectacle of Venice into a handsome and intelligent mosaic of art, history and personal impressions. Complete with 46 elegant...

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