Thursday, August 25, 2011


The man who sat next to me on the bench was reading a well-worn paperback of a lesser Hemingway, wore a woolen hat, the type one associates with aged chauffeurs in British period dramas, seemed to have no intention of leaving the bench anytime this afternoon. While I had no desire for there to be witnesses to the return of the items, all of the other benches were occupied by au pairs pushing strollers or the obviously homeless and potentially schizophrenic, and the message specified the benches by the fountain. I looked about at the walkers in the park, curious how many would be arriving, what age, ethnicity, gender, and shrugged at the unimportance of it all. Who they were wasn't my business; who I was wasn't their business.

tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes? In rural western Massachusetts?

Les livres ne se font pas comme les enfants, mais comme les pyramides, avec un dessein prémédité, et en apportant des grands blocs l’un par-dessus l’autre, à force de reins, de temps et de sueur, et ça ne sert à rien ! Et ça reste dans le désert ! Mais en le dominant prodigieusement. Les chacals pissent en bas et les bourgeois montent dessus, etc., continue la comparaison. (Gustave Flaubert, cited in Albert Thibaudet’s Gustave Flaubert, 136)

Translation from Flaubert's Parrot / Julian Barnes:

Books aren’t made the way babies are: they are made like pyramids. There’s some long-pondered plan, and then great blocks of stone are placed one on top of the other, and it’s back-breaking, sweaty, time-consuming work. And all to no purpose! It just stands like that in the desert! But it towers over it prodigiously. Jackals piss at the base of it, and bourgeois clamber to the top of it, etc. Continue this comparison.