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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 16 Oct 2010 11:21:42 -0700
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Lawrence Howe <[log in to unmask]>
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What a coincidence: I'm in Florence now, have been since Sept. 1.  On Friday I went to Villa di Quarto but, like you, couldn't get in.  I also walked around it, but didn't see the loggia that you mentioned.  I believe that the building you have in mind might be the priory that is adjacent to the western gate.  My understanding, based on some photos from '03, is that the villa is actually in the middle of the property, though perhaps I'm wrong.  
I have made a little outreach to one of the companies that rents office space there--got their name off the doorbell nameplates--asking if I can come by for a tour.  We'll see if they respond to my email.  
I visited Villa Viviani last Monday and was charmed by the staff.  This is a site for rent--functions like weddings and conferences (now there's an idea; although they don't do lodging).  They took me through the rooms that the Clemenses occupied, and I toured the grounds.  I'll be posting those pictures on a photo-sharing service later.  I'll post the URL when they're up.  Hopefully, I'll have some photos from inside the walls at Villa di Quarto as well. 

--- On Sat, 10/16/10, Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2010, 12:35 PM

I've made this point many times and it always falls on deaf ears. I think I 
even mentioned it in an article somehwere. It's so good a quote, the 
temptation to credit it to Hemingway trumps common sense. What's worse, if 
you read all of THE GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA you'd be a lot less impressed by 
the fellow who actually says it. If anyone wants to debate this point, 
forget it; we can just put on boxing gloves, get liquored up, and duke it 
out Hemingway style.

BTW, I've been in Italy for the last three weeks and while in Florence I 
found the Villa di Quarto (there is a LOT to see in Florence and this was a 
low priority). It requires a long bus ride out of the city center (and two 
bus rides to get back) and then a 15 minute walk (we walked 85 miles during 
our trip so the walk was trivial). When you get there you will find it 
surrounded by high stone walls that preclude any good views, and the streets 
are narrow so you must watch out for Smart Cars with dumb drivers. We walked 
the entire perimeter and stole a few glimpses. The basic structure is intact 
but the loggia has been changed, the stables look enlarged, and the grounds 
look rather different. It's privately owned so we didn't ring the buzzer. I 
have Jean's Italian photo album with many photos of the villa and grounds, 
including a rare interior image. When I find the time (and while memory is 
fresh) I plan to review her album to see if anything looks familiar (her 
images of Florence, like the Ponte Vecchio, are quite familiar). When we 
first got there we wasted ten minutes trying to get a good view of the villa 
across the street, mistakenly thinking it was THE villa. The villas in that 
area all look very similar; if you've seen one big pale yellow rectangular 
Italian villa you've seen them all. My guess is that Villa di Quarto is a 
good one hour walk from the city center. That side of the city is largely 
industrialized or else filled with large apartment buildings now, so it 
would not be a very pleasant walk, which is why we hopped on a bus. There's 
a good modern image of Villa di Quarto on Wikipedia that you can google.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730
Member: ABAA, ILAB
You may browse our books at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harold Bush" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning

> you know what always irritates me just a little?  It's when someone says 
> th=
> e
> following:
>> He's been called the greatest American writer of all time. His 
>> bestsellin=
> g
>> novel, "The [sic] Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" =97 the book, Ernest
>> Hemingway wrote, from which "all American literature comes"
> Now, perhaps I'm splitting hairs here.  But Hemingway never said this.  A
> character in one of his stories said it.  Which means, it's like saying 
> Poe
> once said that "I looked for the opportunity to dismember him" (Tell-tale
> Heart).
> Is it just me here?  I beg you, members of the guild -- please help me to
> overcome my own rather severe weaknesses on this extremely trivial
> matter...  best, -hb
> --=20
> Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
> Professor of English
> Saint Louis University
> St. Louis, MO  63108
> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)
> <>


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