'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

July 2, 2010

Paris in July: Je me souviens de Paris


When I was in Paris, about 11 years ago, I bought a beauitful book called Je me souviens de Paris, with text by Denis Tillinac and illustrations by Andre Renoux. I never really read the book (I may have dipped into it a little, here and there) but I fell in love with Andre Renoux's paintings. Their beautiful colors and carefully-sketched details appeal to me, but there's also something about them that combines realism (recognizable scenes and places) with a style of painting (buildings, sun on stone, dimly lit restaurant interiors, charming storefronts) that to me really evokes this beautiful city. (If you are interested, you can see a gallery of his paintings here.) Looking at this book was a lovely way to start my my sojourn in Paris in July.

I would like to read this book someday, but if I did this now, a dictionary in one hand and a citron presse in the other, I'll still be working my way through it next July. So I think I'll look on it as art appreciation instead...but maybe I'll try to read the first chapter (or some of it) en francais. Pourquoi pas?

{Digression:  I find this fascinating. I studied French in high school and in college, and took a few adult ed courses in my thirties, but I've never been fluent and it's been decades since I've regularly tried to read or speak French. If I were trying to say this to you in French, I would struggle for every word, not to mention verb tense. So I'm always amazed that I can still pick up a book or a magazine written in French and understand at least the gist, if not all the details of what's written there. A teacher once told me that this is because reading and speaking use very different parts of the brain. But as I said, I find it very interesting, this unequal comprehension.}

4 comments:

Amy DeTrempe said...

Love the prints and the use of color.

Electra said...

I loved the gallery-thank you for the link!

Brenda said...

This is a very funny thing. I too took French in high school and college, and had to read No Exit by Sarte in French. While I struggled through it with dictionary in hand, and only received a C in the class, I was still able to "read" most of it at the time, but if she had read it aloud to us, I would have not understood it.

Strange and fascinating...the brain!

Tamara said...

I only started learning french in my 30's, and I've been studying part time for 6 years now. I love the challenge - but it's definitely a challenge. At first I found my brain would prefer to recall the german words I learnt doing 4 years of german at high school. But now I love to watch french movies and I can pick out about 70%, french internet radio is much faster and harder to hear.
Thanks heaps for the link also - great images of France.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Charlotte Bronte Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers E.H. Young E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson