If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for links!
(and chances are if it’s Tuesday where you are, it’s Wednesday where I am…)
The food people get their Salon du Chocolat, their Salon de l’agriculture, Salon de whatever. We book people get the Salon du Livre every March, and the Salon de la Bibliophilie, which will take place this week at the Carrousel du Louvre. Booksellers from all over Europe will be turning up to share the best of their wares: rare books, collectors’ items, antique travel guides, and books on every conceivable specialized subject. Latin and Greek? check. Books on Normandy? check. Illustrated kids books? check. Plus oenology, stamp-collecting, cartography, architecture, guides to the family arms of France… I’m not that into collecting (unless you count a fetish for Gallimard Folio livres de poche) mainly because I don’t have the cash. But if any of you are interested, more info can be had here.
The New York Times has this profile
of the guy who makes the bells ring at Notre Dame, which was almost as
stimulating a read as their piece awhile back on the guy who designs
the lights on the monuments.
My latest piece for Gridskipper: Paris to make your Bubbe Proud.
Although I loved Eat, Pray, Love I don’t understand why it needs to be discussed for an hour by Stephen Metcalf, Katie Roiphe and Julia Turner over at Slate. They could have made their points in 15 minutes. But in a full hour of live chat, you really get treated to the depth of the dearly cherished needs and prejudices lurking in the breasts of your favorite cultural critics. Metcalf thinks the book is "terrible," Roiphe thinks there’s something more interesting going on that just sappy talk and Turner’s wondering why she came in to work that day. My dear Stephen: calm down and take the book a little less seriously: it’s got a lot of heart and a ton of feel-good moments in it. That’s why it’s a bestseller. That’s why I liked it. It got me a little closer to a childlike state of happy bliss and a little farther away from the snarky Gawkery hack book critic tone it’s all too easy to fall into when you’re a writer trying to make a buck. Katie, honey, you are such a rock star, but you’re working too hard to find something great in this book, when in fact it’s very simple (see above). I suspect you’re responding to a very subtle misogyny implicit in Stephen’s rejection of this book. Julia: you took the middle road, well done. I also liked the attraversiamo bit. (via Bookslut)
Says Sam Jordison on the explosion of books written by Englishmen of a certain age and income bracket of their adventures in France: "they’re deplorable, but highly enjoyable." And as Katie Roiphe or Julia Turner point out in the above link (it was hard to tell their voices apart by a certain point in the podcast), an interesting problem with the travel narrative is this: should it be about discovering another place, people, and culture, or should it be about being brought up against that different culture and learning about yourself in a different place?