I have been on a podcast binge of late. Among other things, I’ve been working my way through Nate DiMeo’s The Memory Palace**. A few mornings ago, I listened to A Washington monument, a piece in which DiMeo describes an alternative Washington Monument***. He created such a vivid alternative that his other imagined monument keeps popping into my mind.
Today, while cutting through the Cimetière du Montparnasse, I saw the monument pictured above and thought again of DiMeo’s audio piece/portrait. You’ll have to have a listen to understand the (rather tenuous) connection.
This week: monuments and plaques and audio and cartoons.
*I looked under the ivy for a family name but could only read the last inscription at the foot of the grave stone. I think it says: Roger Goldner 1923-1966.
**I recently read Sébastien Martinez’s Une mémoire infaillible: Briller en société sans sortir son smartphone. Which is about building Memory Palaces, and memory tricks in general. My goal for this summer is to learn all of the UN recognized countries and their capitals.
***A few years ago, I got into an argument with a cab driver over the statue of George Washington in front of the Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet. He said the statue depicted La Fayette (Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, 6 September 1757, château de Chavaniac, paroisse de Saint-Georges-d’Aurac – 20 May 1834, Paris). Nothing I said could make him change his mind. I just read that La Fayette named his only son Georges Washington de La Fayette! Reading a little further, if I understand correctly, the name on the young La Fayette’s birth certificate is Georges-Louis-Gilbert Dumotier de La Fayette.
The statue of George is the work of Daniel Chester French (20 April 1850 – 7 October 1931) and was inaugurated on 3 July 1900. The statue is bronze and was a gift of a committee of American women in memory of France’s aide during the American War of Independence (1775–1783).
An inscription on the pedestal reads, « Offert par les femmes des États-Unis d’Amérique en mémoire de l’aide fraternelle donnée par la France à leurs pères pendant la lutte pour l’indépendance. »