Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wind and the Ventoux

So when it blows here, iin the field outside my cabanon, or on the road (where I don't drive, given my history of narcolepsy and my three last accidents) or at the table, some of us just say: wait until it dies down, or sinks, or stops, whatever seems to wish it to go away.
Last night we had supper with friends at La Ballade des Saveurs, in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, where I used to spend my Januarys, when I was working with Rene Char, and translating his poetry and essays. I would go up the Route de Saumane on my motorbike -- no, not a motorcycle, just a putt-putt -- anyway, I loved it. Ah, you work with the poet Rene Char, would say the hotel-keeper (small hotels in those days, and friendly to foreigners like me, impassioned as I was -- and am-- by the language and the literature), C'est un pur. Pure in the sense of unconteaminated by society and commerce and the other things he so despised.
Anyway, we were there, almost blown off the tiny sidewalks by the gusts -- Boyce, being very very thin, might be knocked over at any moment, so Iworry. The meal was so-so, my fish, a bar, rather tough for a steamed fish, was poised on some sweet something, perhaps turnips, but it felt like sweet potatoes. I won't go on, because we had loved it  the first time,, with Christopher and Mette Macrae, two of our oldest friends here, by the Sorgue, with the ducks and the narrow boats passing by under the bridges and near the meeting of the waters.
We used to go to the Pescador, a restaurant by the "sharing" or Partage des eaux, right off the main street,  as a family, and I used to go there, as a nostalgci move, with Alice Mauron, the widow of Charles Mauron, the translator of E.M. Forster, and T.E. Lawrence, and others, even of Virginia Woolf -- so i had writtten on him and his translations for our Virginia Woolf in Europe, an exhaustingly big book, published by Continuum a few years back. Alice would always bring her Opinel, a large bladed one, to cut the meat with. I loved her, and enjoyed her caustic sense of humour.
Well, the wind might rasie up one's sense of humour! or cause it to sink....
AND I AM INDEED WRITING A BOOK ON BLAISE PASCAL, who has haunted me ever since graduate school. It will be with Reaktion Press, for whom I have done a Salvador Dali, a Pablo Picasso, a Motherwell with Pen and Brush, and a Modern Art Cookbook: in short, I like publishing with them.

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