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Parisian Memories

Greetings my fellow departed!

I trust we all thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season (due to the fact we're all still recuperating, if nothing else). And speaking of having a good time...

My typist is traveling to Paris soon to attend a reading of a play she has written (about me, actually, but that's neither here not there). I have given her my own recommendations but I was wondering what advice you would offer about enjoying The City of Light If You Don't Count Lyon.

I know many of you have lived in the capital like myself and/or had frequent business there. Beyond recommendations, what memories do you have of her? What stories can you tell?

Limiting myself to my artistic memories (because the political ones often involved boredom or death threats)(or both), I remember strolling from my apartment at 26 rue des Plants to brothels all-night establishments that provided both artistic models and private rooms, I remember the artists and parties of Montparnasse (and only wish I could remember more of them), I remember fielding death-threats for my close friend and patron Pierre at the chamber of deputies in '34 and being prefect-napped to Paris by the Prime Minister when it looked like I was going to single-handedly swing an election in my department...

My apologies. Politics really does creep into everything sooner or later, doesn't it?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
Politics really does creep into everything sooner or later, doesn't it?

Oh yes, I know that one well. Artists' dinner parties, not so much.
Feb. 14th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)
Artists' dinner parties were one of the few places politics was unlikely to find me. (Though it is true that many of the politicians thought they were artists and many of the artists thought they were politicians.)
Feb. 13th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, I wish your typist has a pleasant journey. Not only my own typist would be interested in this play. Personally I don't see why you let her, write a play that is. You've shown ample proof enough that whenever anyone tries to dedicate a statue/train station/picture with a scarf to you something seems to be incredibly wrong with it. I'm surprised you are not trying to board her in her room as a type.

As for myself I assure you, as if you need it, that Paris is a beautiful city. I lived there myself for several years after I quit school decided to widen my opportunities. I worked for the Edison Paris Company improving the machinery over there.

Very friendly people the French although truthfully I fear for your typist. An acquaintance of mine, maybe this is not so with the changing times, warned me not to wander into Montparnasse at night. My typist agrees but she says not for the same reasons that he was thinking and than laughs again.
Feb. 14th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC)
Is that the impression I give? My most profound apologies. I enjoy (well, am slightly unseattled by, but in a very non-specific way) most of the tributes I've bumped into while trying determinedly to look the other way. It's just the things like the Didot station and the statue of me where I look like I'm on the ground, dying that, ahem, seemed worth at least mentioning. (Her play is admirably tolerable, all things considered.)

You lived in Paris? I didn't know that! We might have been there around the same time. Montparnasse was my favorite neighborhood. Did you heed your friend's warning and not go there?
Feb. 25th, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
*chuckles* I see. Her play, what part of your life is it about? During the Second Great War or before?

Yes, I moved to Paris from Budapest in 1882 and speant a couple of years there (My typist is mistaken when she put several years instead) before moving on to the United States. Sadly there was no way we could've met Msr. although I would've very much liked to. The last time I went to Paris was in 1892 to board a train to Gospić. My sister had wrote that my mother was dying. I haven't traveled to Europe since, although I had many funds and patrons from there.

I didn't heed my friend's warning per say but I did not spend too much time in Montparnasse. I would work for all hours in my room on my theories and suffered massive migraines because of it. The littlest bit of sunlight blinded me and I became incredibly sensitive to hearing. I could here my fellow coworkers outside thinking about taking me to the hospital. My typist said I suffered a nervous breakdown although I felt more in pain than I did anxious.

What little I did spend in Montparnasse was with a fellow school friend and countryman from another part of what was is now Croatia. It was a lively neighborhood of what I remember and it reminded me much more of a "city that never sleeps" than New York ever did. After work we, and a few other French co-workers would attend the bars for some pool and cards. I was especially good at pool due to my excellence in geometrey and poker due to my advanced memory. My typist says that the youth of today call this "counting cards" but I digress. I always never I kept any of the money...sadly my opponents did when I lost which made wiring home for more money incredibly strainful on my relationship with my father.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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