December 1st, 2019

hasui winter river

(no subject)

Wouldn't be the start of the month if I hadn't put on a kilo. But this time I've put on two kilos and am annoyed by it. Half is waterweight, of course- my feet feel tight in their skin- but the rest is I don't know what, though I suspect rice.

Current reading is far too heavy for the backpack, so I rousted out Janet Flanner's Paris was Yesterday, the columns she wrote for the New Yorker in the 1920s and early 30s. But it too is brittle and crumbling and I must find something more recent. I can't remember when I first read it: I want to say 80s but it may have been the late 90s. It's unlike other expat memoirs of Paris in the 20s because Harold Ross, bless him, specifically told Flanner to write about 'what's happening in Paris, not what you think is happening'. Which burst the insular NAmerican bubble right there and forced her to write about French people.

Her foreword does talk more about the expats, which you can't do without name dropping (the community was *small*, like it or not.) She was a friend of Hemingway's, which counts as a black mark in my books, but also Sylvia Beach and Gertrude and Alice, so good enough. But I'm more interested in her reportings of the French art and literature scene than of the American one, which has been done to death by devotees of St Ernest. Even if the main European artists and writers of the time are mere ghostly echoes now, names I may have heard in childhood, like Maeterlinck.

What tickles me, on a more personal level, is that her society notes from 1926 and '27 mention several aristocratic ladies- Herminie duchesse de Rohan, Anna de Noailles, Mathilde de Rothschild- that I put intact into one of my Papuwa/ Eroica fics, having completely forgotten their sources.

Incidentally, the current meds make for vivid if mundane dreams. But a recent one involved an exam for which I had to write several different Eroica fanfics, one of which I cast as a letter written in green ink and properly enclosed in an envelope.