1. What does Count Marcello tell the narrator during the prologue?
The prologue includes a philosophical journey through Venice with Count Marcello. He tells the narrator that Venetians are always acting and playing a role. He also says they live according to the rhythm of the water, which changes every six hours. He also explains the idea that there is reality and truth, and then there are endless possible reflections of reality, like sunlight reflecting off the canal, a vase, a silver bowl.... He says it's difficult to figure out with the real truth is, and ends his talk about the truth by saying that Venetians never tell the truth and always mean the opposite of what they say.
2. How does Archimede Seguso react to the fire?
Signor Seguso repeatedly refuses to leave his home during the fire, even though he's been told repeatedly by the fire department to do so. The fire department knows what an important and significant man Signor Seguso is, so they do not force him. He stands by the window watching the fire as his family packs for evacuation should he change his mind. At 2:00 a.m., he finally leaves the window and goes to bed. After only three hours of sleep, he gets up to go to work, and he creates something new -- a beautiful glass record of the fire, black opaque vases with ribbons of dancing fiery color.
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