October Potpourri: Ghosts, Gags, Galleries and More Unexpected Distractions

Lego de Triomphe

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of articles, blogs, images, exhibits, or videos that I’d like to share with readers, but they don’t necessarily work into my typical format. So, I’ve decided to create a monthly post that briefly highlights some of the Internet gems that have…

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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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Le Périphérique, Congested Beltway Of Paris To Become Greenspace

The Périphérique of Paris

These days, when I go online, it seems nearly impossible to avoid bad news. Between Covid, the U.S. election, the response to the BLM movement, and many other raw subjects, it’s tough to remain positive. My post this week is an attempt to avoid the merde and focus on man’s…

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Kiki de Montparnasse, Immortal yet Forgotten Queen—Part II

Portrait by Kees Van Dongen

Last week I introduced readers to the larger-than-life Kiki de Montparnasse. Kiki was a flamboyant artist’s model and muse of many notable painters, sculptors, and photographers living in Paris during les années folles, or 1920s. Born into poverty and abandoned by her parents, Kiki found herself alone on the streets…

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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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