Books/Erotica and Unrequited Love
A few weeks ago, Anaïs, the lovely barkeep at my neighborhood café plopped a recent issue of Marie Claire and a 1980 edition of “Les petits oiseaux” on the table in front of me telling me to put my café time to good use. I pushed Marie Claire aside and started in on “Les petits oiseaux”. I’d read Anaïs Nin’s* “Little Birds” in college and had found it quite eye opening. Many years later I still find it a bit racy and certainly ahead of it’s time. I’m learning a lot of new anatomical terms but, for the most part, the French is simple and easy to follow. I’m looking forward to putting my new vocabulary to good use.
I generally have multiple books going at once: an audio book, a mealtime book, a backpack book, and a bedtime book. This means I’m a regular at my local library, bibliothèque André Malraux**. I like to wander the stacks but until today had never gone to the library with a specific book in mind. I generally scan the BDs (graphic novels) until I find something suitable. So far I’ve read about Verlaine, female suicide bombers, early 20th century abortionists, and a Belgian realtor among other less catchy sounding subjects. I’m sure I miss a lot of the subtleties but the pictures mean I can generally make my way through the stories without a dictionary on hand.
Yesterday, a friend sent me an article about Henri Fournier and his “Le Grand Meaulnes”. Halfway through the article I’d decided that unrequited love would be the perfect way to start the new year. So today I ventured out of the BD section, found the computer terminal/card catalogue, and looked up “Le Grand Meaulnes”. Both an audio version and a print version where available so I checked out both. I had a little trouble finding the print version as I was looking in the “F” section rather than under “A” but I found it and felt quite pleased with myself. It’s the little things…
Any suggestions for future books now that I’ve mastered the card catalogue? Books in French that simply must be read in the original? Books in English about France or set in France are welcome too.
*Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell
**Bibliothèque André Malraux is very wheelchair friendly and even has an accessible restroom!