From the River is, like The Story of Yew, the fictional memoirs of an age-old non-human. Unlike The Story of Yew, in it I had to encompass many facets of our natural sciences, namely, hydrology and hydrography; geology; ichthyology; zoology; botany; chemistry; etc., etc. Fortunately, I was able to avail myself of the assistance of professor Virgilio Anselmo from the Istituto di Idraulica Agraria of the University of Turin; and, to a lesser extent, of Gwyn Rees, European Database Manager from the Institute of Hydrology at Wallingford, Oxfordshire. And then of course there were the humanities. The river is, after all, the Po river, or the mythological Eridanus, and Northern Italy, during the last four millennia, has been at the cross-roads of many and manifold overlapping civilisations. Riccardo Pozzo, an old friend, then professor of philosophy at the University of Trier, in Germany, now at the Catholic University in Washington DC, came to my aid, and so did a colleague of his for some of the mythology involved. However, I knew from the outset that all of this (cultural overload) must be manipulated lightly and seamlessly if I wanted to make the novel a novel, not an encyclopaedia. Hence, a circumspect selection and concentration on essential episodes which stand as archetypal metaphors. Finally, the prose. You will find it concise, uncomplicated, so as not to turn the riverís memoirs into an unreadable brick

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