When in a Pinch, Look to Diderot’s Encyclopedia

Focus image

For the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing increasingly annoying pain in my right arm. This all began after spending many consecutive hours at my computer, sitting on a wooden chair that belonged to my grandfather, working on my Evangeline post. Anyway, this week, I started waking up with excruciating…

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Evangeline, Longfellow’s Epic Poem and its Remarkable French Translation

Evangeline book cover

In recent weeks, I’ve been making my way through The Story of French, a history of the French language. In a chapter devoted to French spoken in Canada, I was reminded of the history of the Acadian people. The authors made note of an epic poem, Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth…

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Short Fiction from Steinbeck and Triolet, Popular 20th-Century Luminaries

Painting attributed to Vincent Van Gogh

Since getting serious about blogging last spring, I’ve started visiting other blogs to gain insights and inspiration. In doing so, I’ve discovered a vast and varied online community of people that typically write well about their passions and perspectives. One popular subgroup contains book enthusiasts that read scads of books…

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Juliette Drouet; The Lonely Life of Hugo’s Devoted Mistress

Juliette Drouet, circa 1850

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a love letter that Victor Hugo wrote to his mistress, Juliette Drouet, shortly after fleeing France to live in exile. In that post, I remarked that over the course of their impressive 50-year relationship, Juliette penned roughly 20,000 letters to the storied author. It’s…

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Valentine, a Killer Debut Novel, and Banned Books

Sunset in Big Bend National Park

Last week, I finished reading Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. I previously thought that American Dirt would be my favorite book of 2020 but unexpectedly, Valentine bumped it out of the running by a significant margin. What each of us finds praiseworthy about a book is entirely personal and while I…

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Kiki de Montparnasse, Muse of A Thousand Faces — Part I

Photo of Kiki by Pablo Gargallo

There are many reasons why I love my public library and high on the list is its world language section. Over the years, regularly browsing the French stacks, I’ve often noticed the book Kiki de Montparnasse, by Catel Muller and José-Louis Bocquet. For whatever reason, the cover blurb never managed…

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American Dirt, The Out Crowd, and Cancel Culture

Saguaro National Park by Joe Parks

Since Covid, I’ve been very diligent about staying home, limiting my social interactions, wearing a mask, etc. Last week, however, I decided to escape the confinement and join my husband Andy on a short expedition across Wyoming and South Dakota. I thoroughly enjoyed the break from routine. To sum things…

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