Postings from Godot
Christmas markets, ah, one of the great pleasures of living in Europe.
Today we have a guest blogger, The New Yorker, of all “people.”
Today on my front steps I found a peanut.
And let me say, a postscript is a lovely addition to a letter, or, in this case, a blog.
The value of cheating. First, cheating is fun. It is more fun to do than to read about, I’m guessing.
“What!” you say, upon opening this post. “Where’s Godot?”
Someone asked me what I miss about France in October, and the answer was la Toussaint
Today I’d like to showcase a book called A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
One of Canada’s finest short story writers, Mavis Gallant, was an expat writer who lived in Paris for much of her writing life.
Driving. I have refrained from the litany of driving anxiety experiences, only because, well, even I didn’t want to dwell on them.
Art is in the air, literally and figuratively.
It has been sobering and at the same time exhilarating to contemplate the sacrifice of a person who offered her life to fight against the Nazis, pledging herself to freedom.
In his fascinating book, Arthur J. Magida presents the story of Noor Inayat Khan against the backdrop of WW II.
The first thing you notice when standing in front of the gate surrounding Fazil Manzil, Noor’s family home, is the plaque commemorating her deportation.
As I was organizing my papers to begin a part-time teaching position at a small liberal arts college, here in Rochester, I found the prettiest collages French students had made of instruments.
Last week’s post was titled, “Why Godot?” So, applying logic, this one could be, “Why France?”
It’s time for a new season of writing4godot. I’d like to begin by talking about why I’ve chosen “Waiting for Godot” for my patron saint.
“It’s a very bits and bobs piece of writing.” This is how, apparently, you use the phrase “bits and bobs” in a sentence, according to the all-knowing Internet.
As we approach the Fourth of July in the States, my thoughts naturally turn to Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.
uneteenth is about to become a national holiday! I thought I would do something interesting, which is leave the post for last Juneteenth as it is, and give an intro for the following couple of reasons. When I re-read this post, I noticed that I said something about...
I strolled into a used bookstore in Versailles, France. It’s true. On the one hand, you’ve got the beautiful gardens of the Versailles Palace, not to mention the Palace itself. And then there’s a used bookstore.
It’s the season for summer book lists to begin to appear. And I thought, how about some books translated from French that are fun to read?
Lo and behold, we recently celebrated Africa Day on 25 May. An Irish friend reacted to my surprise that there was an Africa Day in Dublin.
The common good is something we look at differently in the States and in France. The word, “common,” is an unglamorous word on its own, but linked with “good,” it has a whole different meaning.
African women wear such beautiful garments. I would admire the colorful, patterned material they wrapped around their hair to match their African dress when, in their role as nannies, they’d drop their young charges off at my daughter’s French school.
What is it like to teach English literature in a French school? How fond of stairs are you?
I once read that someone would so rather read what it’s like to live in a country, say, France, than to hear about the tourist highlights. Now, some of the tourist highlights are very important to a city such as Paris, but if you do live in France, you will certainly encounter La FNAC.
One of the best names for a bus stop in France is called Puits Sans Vin. This means a well without wine. I thought, wow! Some wells have wine?
Ah, housework. I had a friend in France, an English fried, refer to it as “mind numbing housework.”
Toni Morrison tells a story about a wise old woman who was blind. Her reputation flowers and extends even as far as the city where, as Morrison puts it, “the intelligence of rural prophets is the source of much amusement.
It was a cold and snowy night in December when I stood at the podium in front of hard souls at the American Library in Paris about to give a presentation on a novel called in French, La Vie Devant Soi by Romain Gary.
It is unusual to see the song “Swanee River” in the same sentence with William Blake’s poem, “The Little Black Boy.” But these two pieces
If you live in Europe, it probably goes without saying that all of Europe is close by, but you will not believe how close.
No car and importantly no driver’s license–this state describes many more people than you might imagine living in Paris and its environs. What’s a person to do?
Quantum Superposition. This fancy term defines a system that can exist in more than one quantum state at the same time. There is a principle associated with this term, and an equation, so it must be real.
Novels serve an interesting function in China, which is to subvert the official narrative. Instead, there’s lots of gossip and many versions of a story.
The American School of Paris is a joyful place. Faculty meetings include brie and wine. The Extension Program, where I worked, is a part of ASP and is an outreach program for French kids eager to learn English. (Or at least their parents are eager for them to learn.)
Beedis. That is the way to a fantasy life in ze France. Did I basically lose you at hello? First of all, what are beedis?
Imagine a sunny July day. You are a 4th grader on your way to three weeks of English study and creativity in the Extension Program’s Summer School at the American School of Paris
Champagne was in the air! (Remark: How many times is she going to talk about champagne? I almost with
The fiction author, George Saunders, recently spoke about qualities inherent in the short story: efficiency, escalation, and even transcendence. Some literary works do not adhere to this pattern, he said, such as “Waiting for Godot, but
French students study French literature in a curious way.
A poem by the Sufi mystic Rumi begins, “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.”
The holiday season in France is a testimony to how much the French value celebration.
One of the funniest stories about travel and crimes and not really speaking the language occurred in a bathroom in a small hotel in Italy.
There’s a New Yorker cartoon where Godot, in a baseball cap and a hoodie, apologizes for begin late. He says, “I slept through my alarm, …
A friend of mine who was a member of a Zen sangha once told me that he and his wife were the only ones not to pass the test of the koan