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414 Just like the 1-winged crow becoming a fish out of water in Aragon's Paris
Kathmandu, Nepal—11 Feb 2015
Dear Inurnet ..
.. the crow caught by its wing we checked on (reluctantly) + not there .. must've managed to free itself while we walked about in the Himalayas .. either that or it sacrificed a wing to become like the 1-winged bird of Peter Markus's fancy .... sings a song sounds like she's singing ..
.. as we exited Kathmandu (stuck in traffic of course) saw us monkeys climbing around on telephone wires + ambushing unsuspecting ppl walking by .. 1 alpha male lunged at a guy carrying a baby .. jumped up on him tried to grab it .. them evil creatures that we come from ..
.. at the airport now reading Paris Peasant by Louis Aragon .. strange book .. not in a way u typically think «surreal» but sneaks up on u .... starts off w/ hackademic tone of philosophical treatise (or anti-philosophical) that gets to the heart of the main themes of 5cense (the hypocrisy of reflexivity):
.. it goes on in this vein for a while + u sort of space out + next thing u know u flâneuring thru the arcades + backalleys of Paris (circa 1920) .. detailed + poetic impressions of the usual Dada haunts .. spiraling deeper into the nitty gritty of daily life .. from the debaucherous nightlife to urban design + women's fashion + the latest hand creams, like this 1:
.. to the ins + outs of operating transient hotels + restaurants (complete w/ actual advertisements + menus etc .. sum translated which must've been challenging from a book design p.o.v. .... come to think of it it might've been Burning City (which we laid out + designed for Action Books) that inspired us to read Paris Peasant as it had excerpts from it caught our attn ..
Abu Dhabi, UAE—12 Feb
.. arrived Abu Dhabi late last night/this AM .. an 8-hour layover we had so booked the airport hotel .. little did we know thru immigration + customs we had to go .. so technically we've been to United Arab Emirates now but not really .. if it wasn't the middle of the night + we tired + in need of sleep might've called up James Lewelling (author of Tortoise) who lives here .... instead maybe 5 hours we slept then went back thru security + immigration .. + ends up our flight = delayed 1 hour anyway ..
.. + now on the plane .. felt fine w/ solid poop all thru India + Nepal but now sumthing we ate on plane not agreeing w/ us .. either that or sumthing from the buffet in the lounge in Abu Dhabi .. feel like shit ..
.. feel even shittier now .. + our better-½ also feeling shitty if not worse .. both of us trying to sleep it off holed up in a typically tiny dank hotel room .. of all places Paris .. nowhere else do we feel such the fish out of water as France .. even living 3 months in Nice never adjusted culturally .... nowhere else do we feel so detached + self-conscious .. so unhip + unfashionable .. tout trop étranger .. maybe sumthing to do w/ the language .. our français est merde .. other places we go not knowing the language we get by (arrogantly speaking English) but here we feel like shit about it .. + they rightfully make u feel stupide .. like u got no bizness coming here unless u know la langue .. or at best they let u know your pronunciation = wrong .. but speaking French properly requires a certain arrogance that cant find in us (unless we speak sarcastically) .. this French fish-out-of-water-ness sumthing we tried to capture in Marsupial ..
.. last time we stayed here (2006) we stayed way on other side of town .. now we near that big Triumphant Arch thing .. near that big wide Champs ave .. from what we seen in sick stupor last night feels like uppity east side NYC equivalent ..
.. slept the morning off .. ate lunch felt a bit better so our better ½ showed face at the meeting she here for + we took the subway out to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont .. mostly cuz Aragon talks about it a lot in Paris Peasant .. at the end of the book he takes a walk at night thru it w/ André Breton .. describing in great detail the features of the park + what took place there .... unfortunately grande partie du parc now under construction or blocked off .. comme the point of highest elevation where he transcribes the inscriptions on plaques comme:
.. notorious «Suicides Bridge» Aragon also talks about .. that sposedly ppl used to get vertigo when looking down from it + even if they had no intention of suicide in 1st place they'd impulsively jump after looking down .. at 1st we thawt it this suspension bridge (that he also talks about in great detail) thinking it too low to kill yurself from:
.. until we walked around the pond + saw the higher 1 .. spanning a gully ..
.. still not that high but guess plenty high if u jump head 1st (tho now caged in to make jumping impossible) .. all sorts of caves + cliffs most blocked off + workers rappelling down into them to make them safe .. walked up + across bridges til we dead-ended into construction then looped back thru sum other neighborhood back to metro ..
Valentine's Day .. flâneured Paris in the rain .. took refuge pour un café in Saint-Germain-des-Prés .. took refuge in Shakespeare + Co (where we pet the gros chat blanc + bought Michael Kimball's Big Ray) .. might've taken refuge in the Notre Dame if the queue not so long .. took refuge à manger in Marais .. eventually got so cold + wet we retreated to hotel liked drown rats still in a bit of gastrointestinal distress .. far from romantic ..
.. + then to discover the whole thing w/ eating on Valentine's day w/o a rez not just an American thing but seemingly worse in Paris (St. Valentine from France after all) .. anything decent booked complète so just walked around til finelly trouvéd a seafood place not ½ mal .. all sorts of shell creatures sum raw sum cooked .. oysters + clams + snails + ..
.. sure we feel this fish-out-of-water syndrome in say Rome + embrace it even there feeling more Rome-antic .. not sure why .. but just feel more «at home» there even if we forever tourists or ex-pats (+ feel more accepted as such) .... the language certo we sense more comodo .. + the food just so much more agreeable cd eat it ogni giorno for the rest of our life .... many of our favorite writers + thinkers come from France so u'd think we cd relate or see it in the stones + river .. + maybe to sum xtent we can imagine what sourced such thinkings .... but always we feel 1 step removed .. détaché ..
.. + plus the whole smoking thing in France .. seems much worse than Italy or anywhere else .. everywhere u go breathing in others smoke .. + all the best tables in cafes for smokers while non-smokers banished to the ugly interiors .. such a disgusting habit ironically of American origins but dont tell French that ..
.. + now retreat us back to home to Rome .. to a roaming home per se ..
|413 <()> 415 > The traumatic language of dead dads + a Roaman wolf revisited|
[ (ɔ)om.Posted 2015 derek white | calamari press ]