Tag Archives: Paris

John Trumbull: The Declaration of Independence

John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence is a 12-by-18-foot oil-on-canvas painting in the United States Capitol Rotunda that depicts the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress. It was based on a much smaller version of the same scene, presently held by the Yale University Art Gallery.[1] Trumbull painted many of the figures in the picture from life and visited Independence Hall as well to depict the chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. The oil-on-canvas work was commissioned in 1817, purchased in 1819, and placed in the rotunda in 1826. Continue reading

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Bouquiniste: Touching The Book Like A Talisman

One of the first books I ever touched – long before I knew how to read – came from Paris. My father sent it to my sister for Christmas in 1945. It is inscribed, “To Diana Lee – Love, Daddy” which makes it priceless in my esteem.
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Les Bouquinistes and the Enlightenment’s Literary Underground

In my chat with the BBC producer, I suggested that he talk with Robert Darnton, the eminent historian of the history of books and publishing in 18th-century France. Darnton wrote a trilogy of books about the literary underworld thriving on the banks of the Seine, and many other places. The books are: The Business of Enlightenment (1979), The Literary Underground of the Old Regime (1982), and The Forbidden Bestsellers Of Pre-Revolutionary France (1995). Darnton’s project was writing a social history of the ideas of the Enlightenment. Continue reading

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Looking Back At Les Bouquinistes

I talked with a BBC producer who is putting together a half-hour radio show about les bouquinistes in Paris. He found me via this story, one of the earliest posts on a blind flaneur. I was sad the day it dropped off the bottom of the home page. I thought, maybe no one would ever find or read it again. Not so! Talking about the bouquinistes transported me back to idyllic afternoons strolling on the banks of the Seine. Continue reading

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Adieu, Louise Bourgeois. The Spiders Will Miss You

Sculptor Louise Bourgeois died today at age 98 in New York City, reports NPR/Associated Press. Continue reading

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Café Mouffe: Ces soirées là

How many French pop singers named Yannick could there be. I came across Ces soirées là, his hit from 2001, and now I can’t get it out of my head. If you can’t stay in your seat for this one, we have a place for you in the Café Mouffe chorus line. When I went looking for more information, I found Yannick Noah, pop singer and pro tennis champ in a previous life. Here’s his official site. Maybe someone with better sight than me can tell me if they are one and the same. Wish I’d been on the street in Paris when the video for Vous was shot… I would have tried to dance and lip-sync, too. Continue reading

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Café Mouffe: Parisian Hip-Hop with Anita Tijoux

Anita Tijoux has a French mother and Chilean father. She speaks French but chooses to rap mostly in Spanish. Global Hit has an interview with her this week coinciding with her first U.S. release, 1977. The title alludes to the year she was born. She says Dada and Surrealist poetry were big influences. Continue reading

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The King Is Dead. Long Live The Herons!

The statistics are staggering for the wine auction at La Tour d’Argent, the venerable Left Bank restaurant with a 27-room wine cellar [left; photo by David Queen/Wikipedia]. The auction fetched more than a million euros, according to AFP. A bottle … Continue reading

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To Kiki the Lascivious Tortoise, Adieu

“France was in mourning today for one of its oldest and best-loved lotharios, a giant tortoise named Kiki, who died at the age of 146.” Continue reading

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Song For My Father

Robert F. Willis (May 12, 1921 – November 3. 1987) For Bob Willis, All My Love I remember walking through snow to Long’s Bookstore two men not at work on Wednesday morning with time to kill before going to the … Continue reading

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