29 December 2007

Mario Stefani, 1938-2001

Some readers wrote to ask me about Mario Stefani, the author of the quote in the last post. I can only tell you what I know from simple online research and the information John Berendt offers in his book City of Falling Angels.

Stefani was something of a local celebrity here in Venice: openly gay, a prize-winning journalist, television commentator, and successful poet. His mysterious suicide in 2001 rocked his Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio neighborhood. Some said it was driven by an unrequited love for a married grocer; others, after learning about the investigation of his apartment, felt foul play was a possibility.

The graffiti you see above appeared near Rialto Bridge shortly before his death. The translation: “Loneliness is not being alone, it is loving the others in vain.”

I cannot imagine a more accurate description.