Postings from Godot
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
A man who had meditated twice a day for forty years described his practice this way “My early morning practice sometimes get delayed until 6 pm.”
A friend of mine sent me an article from the NY Times by Andrew Russeth, (Sept 17, 2020), “Art About Waiting and What It Takes to Endure.” Naturally, this article will turn to Godot.
Now that we’ve established that the kid is the boss in a foreign country, it’s time to see the things the children get up to over there in France
William Wordsworth writes, “The child is father of the man.” While he means this in a philosophical way, any ex-pat who isn’t really in the know in the new country will discover
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? Non! I mean, veux-tu dîner chez moi?
Have you ever bought an avocado? Of course not!
Moving is not really anything to write home about. Perhaps this is why Beckett says of his people in his play, Waiting for Godot,
We are all doing too much waiting–for the pandemic to be over; for a vaccine to arrive; waiting for the end of those awful tallies rising. Wait, what?
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree.
For us, “Dodge,” meant working over at the Archives in Suresnes, where the English lectures of Inayat Khan were being assembled and published chronologically.
The hour is nigh; the first of September is the very day when school kids return to class this year in France.
Speaking a language (and I use that word speaking approximatively) in another country is a lot like going to the country fair and throwing a ball at a wooden duck. A hit and miss affair.
The general hilarity of living across the street from a Sufi master was tempered by the very fact of the master, whose measured sense of purpose had inspired thousands around the world, including, of course, his family.
I don’t know how to tell you this, but sometimes and American or even a person (in case these are two different things) can be totally clueless in France.
The foundation’s treasurer, full of vim and energy (or prunes as my mother’s friend used to say) assured us that all remodeling would be finished within three months. Well …