Venice, February 27, 1987
In Venice, for the carnival. At the station, I read the table of destinations: Vienna, Trieste, Munich, Paris, Rome. The fact that these cities are only a train ride away gives you the feeling of belonging to a part of Europe that does not exist in England.
When I’m in the United States and people say they’re going to Europe, it always takes me a moment to realize they also mean England. I am thinking of the famous Dover warning: “Fog in the English Channel, continent cut off”.
Then into the sinking city, full of people in medieval costumes and golden masks. They dance all night in St. Mark’s Square, until they fall and sleep between the feet of others until dawn.
With the distributor, I go through this crazy party at the cinema where My beautiful laundromat raw. The room is almost empty. To my horror, the film is dubbed: Italian voices come out of the mouths of Saeed Jaffrey and Roshan Seth. At times when there is usually laughter, he remains silent.
I stand up for my speech. The audience asks me questions through the interpreter. Although her accent is good, what she says makes no sense. So I tell how the film was born and I say something gay-themed. She blushes at my words.
Hanif Kureishi (1954), English writer. Abbreviated extract from Dream and intrigue. Faber and Faber, 2002.
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