“You who have elected to devote yourselves to the study of literature and languages and art and music and philosophy and religion and history — you are the stewards of that quality. You are the resistance. You have had the effrontery to choose interpretation over calculation, and to recognize that calculation cannot provide an accurate picture, or a profound picture, or a whole picture, of self-interpreting beings such as ourselves; and I commend you for it.”
Sur le métro ce soir, j’ai vu un garçon (un homme?) qui était en train de lire Le Gai Savoir. C’étais tellement impossible de savoir si il était de 17 soit 27 ans. Et je me souviens les mots de mon prof de philo à Stanford: “Il ne faut pas lire Nietzsche quand on est jeune, c’est dangereuse. (Mais il lui donna pour nous, quand même.)
V. and I went to see Sorrentino’s new film, La Grande Bellezza, at the theatre off Rue Balzac. There was a live piano performance before the show — this young, antsy pianist who breathed noisily (passionately!) through his mouth — and I was reminded about how live performance and, I guess to a lesser degree, movies are the last holy spaces of artistic encounter. Go to the Louvre and there are a thousand iPhones waving up at the Mona Lisa. Anyway, the music was a nice amuse-bouche (amuse-oreilles!) before the show, but what a feast La Grande Bellezza was on its own. An absolute feast. We had been sitting in the front row and when the film let out (this is how I mark any movie — the speed with which you desire or do not desire to rush back into reality) we didn’t want to be back in cold, wet Paris, we wanted to be in Rome, we wanted the feast to go on. So we bought nice French yoghurts (chocolat-caramel for me, fraises for V.) and a bar of chocolate aux noisettes and sat on a bench on the Champs-Elysees, enjoying the luxuries at our disposal which today feel like life but may, come September, seem simply too grand to have been real.
“C’est une condition commune que nous soyons sujet d’une manière radicalement séparée les uns des autres.”
- Simone de Beauvoir
A man and his girlfriend were walking down the steps of the metro station, their arms tightly wrapped around each other. At the sound of the approaching train, one let go of the other — it’s hard to say who — and both began to rush fast down the steps to make it onto the train before the doors closed. The man moved much faster than the woman who, in contrast with his plain sneakers, wore five inch heels. He made it on. She did not. The look on his face was only slightly less than priceless.