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Sofia Chapman: Todd in Venice
Todd in Venice

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About this book

From the author
Inspired by Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) at university, I couldn’t help reimagining the tale with Thomas Mann’s innocent Tadzio reappearing as the gay boy ‘Todd’, rampaging through Venice and getting up to mischief.

In Death in Venice Gustav Aschenbach cannot summon the courage to speak to the beautiful young Tadzio - here there are no holds barred and the characters follow their desires, but are they any the wiser?

Agnes, in Venice collecting masks and glassware, yearns after Todd, but is transitioning, (after living as a woman for many years) aided by the mysterious Doge. Todd Ash becomes her muse, yet seems to represent all she is leaving behind - in changing gender Agnes farewells elements of her past, seeking a new identity- beautiful, glittering, elusive, not on firm ground. It requires a death. Ominous gondolas glide over a potentially lethal sea of emotion. If even Agnes’ laconic best friend Michael Bark becomes sentimental, they risk drowning.

Agnes’ attempt to understand the significance of Todd is expressed through transliteration of German phrases, where the characters’ journey is shown to be strangely at the mercy of the text, such that Mann’s ‘Gustav Aschenbach oder von Aschenbach’ becomes ‘Good staff, Ash and Bark; oh dear, fond, Ash and Bark!’
Sofia Chapman
Sofia Chapman
Sofia Chapman completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Modern Languages at the University of Tasmania before running away with the piano accordion to play on a theatre barge on the Rhône, Avignon, France.

Sofia returned to Australia to study playwriting and is now a professional accordionist with the band Vardos. Sofia has written and co-produced numerous plays at La Mama, Carlton, and also features in La Mama’s 50th anniversary book.

Sofia received the 2012 Melbourne Fringe ‘Best Emerging Writer’ Award for the epic ‘The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse’.