With the new exhibit about Casanova’s Europe coming to the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, it seems like a good time to encourage people to read my book about Casanova’s home town–Venice. If your book club, or you and a friend, decide to read it and would like some suggestions for discussion, I offer these questions as a starting place.
There’s also a link below to my website for the book, Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps, where you can order a copy directly from me. (Yes, Amazon carries my book, but they’ll just send me the order, I’ll send the book to them, and they’ll send it to you, a slower process that supports Amazon more than it supports the author.)
- After reading about many of Casanova’s exploits, what is your opinion of him?
- Casanova is best known as a great lover. What did you think of his seduction techniques and his view of love? Do you believe he is sincere or only an opportunist? Why? What did you think was his most “opportunist” action and why?
- Of the love affairs he had in Venice, which intrigued you the most? Why?
- Many people don’t know anything about Casanova besides his reputation as a great lover. What new things did you learn about him? How did that shape your opinion?
- Casanova could be devious. Think of times he played pranks or fooled others. How do you feel about his actions and words? Which devious act did you feel was least justified and why? Which was most justified and why?
- What did you think of Casanova’s moral and ethical choices? Do you share his values?
- Which of Casanova’s quotes stood out to you and why?
- Did you use the book as a walking guide while in Venice? In what ways was this book enlightening? Have you been to Venice before? If so, how was this experience different?
- Or did you read Seductive Venice as an armchair traveler? What was your experience with the city from afar while reading?
- The book is titled Seductive Venice partly in response to Casanova’s exploits, but also in relation to the city itself. How do you see Venice as “seductive”?
- What did you learn about Venice in the 18th century? Which customs entranced you? Which ones appalled you?
- What is the tone of the book? Serious, informal, academic, sassy …? Did this feel appropriate for the material?
- If you could be in Venice tomorrow, which of these sites would you go to first? Why does it draw you?
If you go to the exhibit “Casanova: The Seduction of Europe,” be sure to check the catalogue’s bibliography. You’ll see my book listed there! Or if you’re in Italy, you’ll find the book from Supernova Edizioni, titled Casanova’s Venice: A Walking Guide. The Italian translation will be coming out soon.
Click here: Seductive Venice website