Podcast: Eternity is Music that Plays

Wallis Wilde-Menozzi on The Virtual Memories Show (2/2)

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 10 – Eternity is Music that Plays

“Americans who come to Italy want to get its beauty, its art, its delicious food. They move very fast through Italy. They’ll see 8 or 10 cities in two weeks.”

Poet, novelist, memoirist and all-around wonderful writer Wallis Wilde-Menozzi joins us on this episode of The Virtual Memories Show to talk about her two new books, The Other Side of the Tiber: Reflections on Time in Italy and Toscanelli’s Ray: A Novel. It’s a great conversation about the American experience in Italy over 40 years. Ms. Wilde-Menozzi possesses both a poet’s sensibility for beautiful language and a keen eye that carefully observes the character of Italy, its populace, and its art. I highly recommend The Other Side of the Tiber; it’s a gorgeous, haunting book (I haven’t read Toscanelli yet, so I can’t vouch for it).

“I felt the enormous power of what Michelangelo was doing, but also this sense of process, the fact that we’re becoming, that nothing is quite finished.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out our archives for more great talk!

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About our Guest

Wallis Wilde-Menozzi grew up in Wisconsin amid stability and quiet natural beauty. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she lived in Oxford, England, NYC, London, Rome, Palo Alto, California and finally, Parma, Italy. Her Midwestern accent has never been replaced, even by learning other languages. She teaches in Europe and the U.S., lectures widely, and is a founding member of the Ledig-Rowohlt International Writers Residence in Lavigny, Switzerland, where she has read the work of more than 500 writers from 65 countries. She is the author of Mother Tongue: An American Life in Italy.

She writes, “The decades I have lived in Italy brought me to the door of different ways of seeing. I knocked, not without trepidation, and have never gotten through half of the rooms. I write about our times in poetry, essays, memoir, nonfiction, and fiction.”

Credits: This episode’s music is Her Hollow Ways by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi. The conversation was recorded at Wallis’ New York pied-a-terre on a pair of AT2020 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Blue Yeti USB mic into Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by Amy Roth.

Unrequired Reading: December 31, 2010

Happy New Year’s Eve, dear readers! Welcome to the final installment of Unrequired Reading! That’s right! Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! This feature is O-V-E-R!

For a while now, I felt like I’ve been battling against the tide of instant/mini-blogging by posting a weekly collection of links I enjoyed and wanted to share. The thing is, most of the items I put on Unrequired Reading are recycled from my twitter feed or my facebook page, so it hasn’t made much sense to collect them here, except to allow me to say, “I posted something!”

So, it’s the end of the Unrequired Reading era. I’m planning to use this blog for longer writing, travelogues and the like. If you’re interested in keeping up with those links I posted to Unrequired Reading, then follow my twitter feed: twitter.com/groth18.

Twitter also auto-tweets links to my new blog posts, but adding my RSS feed to your reader will clue you in to any long-form posts I write, as well as my What It Is posts (the necessity of which I’m also reassessing). I really hope to do some longer writing next year, but I make no promises. I’m much more intent on getting a regular podcast series off the ground.

(I know, I know: podcasts are even more passe than short-form link-blogging, but I’ve wanted want to work in that form for a while now, and I think I have a recurring segment that’ll make it something more engaging than The Gil Roth Show.)

If you want to keep up with my pictures, check out my flickr posts here or subscribe via RSS.

In other news, I turn 40 in less than 2 weeks, so if you want to buy me something nice, you can check out my wish list on Amazon.

And now, on with the show! Have a happy new year, dear readers!

Continue reading “Unrequired Reading: December 31, 2010”


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