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beverley bie brahic's Blog

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Nov.20.2013
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I have several books going. One of them, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger's Play It Again, I had to give up part way through, because my daughter, who brought it with her from London for the weekend, took it home again. Though she promises she'll bring it back at Christmas. Another is Elizabeth...
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Nov.17.2013
I walk along the street, I see shops that are part of chains, then all of a sudden a hardware store, with hardware store objects piled on the sidewalk, a chain looped through them lest someone should be tempted: shopping baskets and trolleys, the kind you can drag after you if you do your shopping...
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Nov.12.2013
I always thought that if I could own two paintings, I would want a Braque and a Chardin, but perhaps if I had enormous walls and a billion [some currency] my ambitions would adjust to fit the new parameters. There's a Braque retrospective in Paris right now, without--why?--the usual blockbuster...
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Nov.06.2013
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I've just returned to Paris after a couple of weeks in the south of France. When I left it was burnished autumn, leaves and fruit still hanging on the trees in the Luxembourg Garden, warm enough to sit and read a book for an hour or two at the end of the afternoon, and eavesdrop on other people's...
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Oct.28.2013
I am sitting in the public library in a village of a few souls in the Vaucluse. The library has a room for “livres classiques,” and a larger one with shelves and tables for everything else, including a kids’ section with bins of picture books I am immediately tempted to sit down and read, except...
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Oct.15.2013
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Did anyone else notice that Babar, after his adoption by the old lady, is taken to a "Big Store" in English translation, to cover his nakedness? There is even a drawing of it, with "Big Store" written over the door. I think it must be where he got the nifty green suit. Yesterday, after I tried to...
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Oct.11.2013
Easy to rejoice in Alice Munro's winning the Prize. Such a fine writer. And such a self-deprecating person. And a Canadian. As a Canadian I take vicarious pride, I went around yesterday prepared to be congratulated. In her Paris Review Interview (available online), among many other things, Munro...
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Oct.07.2013
As I said here yesterday, among my books I found a frail brown pamphlet call A Primer on Igbo Etiquette (the Igbo's are a people of Southeastern Nigeria) (Longmans, first published in 1949, various Nigerian authors). A slim 30 pages, written in a language for children, I didn't resist reading it,...
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Oct.06.2013
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"France Takes Aim at Amazon to Protect Local Bookshops" was the headline two days ago in the New York Times.  Already it's impossible to buy French books on Amazon at more than the legally permitted 5% discount on French books wherever they are sold. But parliament voted a law on Thursday to...
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Oct.03.2013
Every evening about 9:30 two men make beds in the doorway opposite. Last year there was one, this year he--I'm imagining it's the same man, but I don't know this--has company. They spread pieces of cardboard, a foam mattress on top, a pillow (for the one I can see, the closer bed is hidden), they...
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Oct.01.2013
The Affordable Care Act begins, really begins, today. No matter what happens. And that's something to be grateful for. I speak as someone who has lived in Canada and France, countries with universal health insurance. I remember my doctor-father's dismay when "socialized" health care came to Canada...
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Sep.30.2013
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I'm sitting in a chair, maybe having a glass of wine. Dead ahead of me, a bookshelf. Last night I trained my beady eye on 3 or 4 dictionaries, French, English anda Roget's. Tattered, loved, read. I used to consult these things. Not all that long ago. Now I get this info online. Two Webster's desk...
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Sep.29.2013
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Best of all is to wake up in the morning with nothing to do all day, except read and write, and maybe cook some pasta and an apple for supper. No deadlines, nowhere you have to be something-sharp. Under these conditions, I can settle down and focus on whatever I'm doing. Otherwise my internal clock...
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Sep.28.2013
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From the Roy Lichtenstein show at the Centre Pompidou yesterday (sorry about the orientation; I haven't figured out how to adjust it):   The painting interests me particularly because I keep trying to write a poem about a Chardin painting, "Le bocal d'abricots," in which there are a pair of...
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Sep.27.2013
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Delaying tactics: 2) rearranging the bookshelf. I was putting The Voyage Out back on the Woolf shelf, which requires a ladder. Thought while I was up there I might as well tidy up, Letters with letters, Diaries with diaries, and the rest organized...by size (libraries, your catalogueing...
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