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beverley bie brahic's Blog

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What is it about cell phones? Why should it be that listening to someone talk, even quietly, on a cell phone is so much more irritating than listening to a couple talking? Yesterday after work I took my book to the Luxembourg, settled in an armchair overlooking the circle of lawn with Verlaine's...
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It was a lovely sunny afternoon and I decided to run errands towards the Pantheon (which seems to be under a scaffold). I needed/wanted a Mallarmé, a Rimbaud. I've been using the library copies, but Mallarmé keeps being recalled for another user; I didn't dare bring it to France. I buy way more...
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I needed a kite. My pale (faded) green Chinese silk dragonfly, the one I use to cover the window that stares into my neighbours' living room is too torn to filter the view. There's a kite store in the 12th arrondissement between the Bastille and the Gare de Lyon. Yesterday afternoon I set out on...
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I walked over to the flower market on the Ile de la Cité yesterday afternoon, dragging my shopping trolley behind me. I wanted a some plants to fill up at least one or two of the empty pots on my back porch, since we are staying until January this year. I used to have a catalpa--it was a volunteer...
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St Sulpice from studyJPG.JPG
It is a strange experience, being jolted across continents, when you live in two places. You leave from the rented furnished condo in California where the sky is a uniform shade of blue and hills are drought brown . You spend ten hours in a darkened airplane with friendly strangers, clones of...
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I was in Park City (Utah) last weekend, visiting my daughter, who lured me into watching an episode of Downton Abbey after dinner one night, when Lucie had been read a chapter or two or three of her new chapter book. Hooked. Totally. Next day, more episodes. A season of DA went by in a flash; the...
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Yves Bonnefoy was 90 in June. There has been a spate of articles and translations including this new dossier in the Fortnightly Review.
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From my work space (a bed on which I can spread things out) I look towards a window and, to its left, a desk with the usual desk stuff, including a printer. Propped on the printer, at the moment, is a Cezanne biography open to a full page reproduction of his 1878-ish painting of seven apples....
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On the top of my old-fashioned desk that some previous occupant of this condo must have recuperated from a sale of mid c20 office, or maybe classroom furnishings (kneehole, genius pull-out trays, coffee-stained brown laminate), I gather fluttery yellow post-its like autum leaves. The person who...
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Soon I will be flying to Paris. My thoughts turn to the tiny back porch off the kitchen of our apartment, the porch that gives access to the "escalier de service," an appendage on the backside of the building so rickety that it would barely serve as a fire escape, and which has long since ceased to...
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Hot here. I am sitting beside a little turquoise fan which is sitting on a little pull-out tray on this desk from another era. I was going to read the Fortnightly Review, but the print is dense and I think I need a coke (Coke, that is), something cold and fizzy for the heat and the denseness. I...
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An ordinary day. Up round 7:30, breakfast, paper, etc. Usually I spend the morning writing and translating. Nulla dies sine linea. Unusually I decided to go on a google quest for my father's World War II service. Most of the details about the regiments he was attached to (Fourth Canadian...
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Coleridge is extraordinary and "Frost at Midnight" is a great poem ("The Ancient Mariner" is okay too), beautifully written and beautifully constructed, meandering as it does from the present of the writing of the poem (midnight, household asleep, it's frosty, there's a fire in the room) to a...
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My daughter was in the south of France 2 weeks ago, in a house in a village. The house has been in my husband's family for several generations. Once it was a plaster factory, and when I, as a fiancee, first went there, you could still see traces in the attic/granary where the horses went round...
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Dennis Cooper's blog yesterday was all about the French poet Francis Ponge, and includes several prose poems from Unfinished Ode to Mud, as well as extracts from My Creative Method, which I translated, and published in 2002 in Maisonneuve, a Montreal magazine. 
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