shakespeare

Art & Literature in Paris (or, Three good reasons to read this article)

No need for me to tell you that Paris is an amazing city if, like me, you love art, architecture and literature.

I only spent a weekend there recently and I thought I should talk about some discoveries that I made, as well as publish some pictures (I lost my memory card so I used my phone, low quality..).

Literature:
If you love English books, Shakespeare and Co is the perfect place to find them. The bookshop has a great collection of classics, including stories and poems from the Beat Generation (which I love), contemporary literature and non-fiction books. The staff is welcoming and very helpful.

You might even find yourself there at a time when someone is playing the piano. Surrounded by all those books, and knowing a little bit about the history of the bookshop, I felt like I had gone back in time to the beginning of the 20th century.

Art:
There are so many museums in Paris that if you are there for a weekend only, you will have troubles choosing the right one to visit. I hesitated between the Louvre (I’m French and have never visited it) and the Musée Pompidou. Because it was its 40th anniversary, I decided to visit Pompidou.

If you have never seen the architecture of the building, it is worth having a look! It is very modern (considering its age), and whether you like the style or not, the museum is very impressive among the Parisian buildings.

I loved the exhibition on Russian artists, especially the work of Vladimir Yankilevsky (click here for his website). Among other works, we were able to discover his “Anatomy of feelings” collection. It is definitely an exhibition that I would advise anyone to see.

There were so many artists that I liked, some I have written down the name but haven’t had time to look closely at their work, that it would be hard for me to tell you about them all. I can only advise to go and check them for yourselves.

Photography:
Like I have said before, I did not use my camera but my phone. The pictures aren’t perfect but they can give you an idea of what I saw (especially the view from the top of the Pompidou museum).

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Creative Writing Story #3

Enchanted forest

The exercise was to use a usual environment (here a library) and to transform it into a “beast”, through the eyes of the main character.

It was a dangerous place to live in, dangerous but exciting. The hall was giant and you could hardy see the other side of the room when you stand at the door. The ceiling was high and the many humidity stains on it looked like stars in a cloudless sky. The room was filled with hundreds of books, it could have been thousands, all stacked up like giant sequoias, trying to reach the sky. Right in the centre of the room, a leak from the broken ceiling let the rain form a swamp and some frogs had made it their home.

I had lived there for a couple of months, maybe more. I had become an adventurer, a savage, and I was back in time when there was no electricity. I had built a shed for myself, and whenever I was hungry, I would hunt in the neighbouring forest called supermarket. I was fine in my magical forest for a while. I would climb the trees to observe nature, I would stare at the stars, lying among the sequoias, thinking of the past and dreaming about the future. I was fine, believe me, until it happened.

I remember it was during the night because I could barely see the stars in the sky – they only appeared during the day, and the trees had turned dark. I had built a fire to lighten the room and I needed more wood to make it last for the night. There was a tree called Shakespeare I was bored of, I thought it would resuscitate the fire for a long time. It was on the other side of the forest, across the swamp in an area known as the drama woods. I needed a torch so I lit a stick that was called Hemingway and I hoped it would last long enough. I was not scared because I was the only inhabitant of the land, apart for the frogs. It did not take me long to cross the forest but when I arrived in the drama woods, the sun was already rising because the stars appeared in the sky. I wondered why I should still find wood for the fire now that it was day again, and I decided I should build a stock.

It was not before I started to search for the Shakespearean tree that I realised there was something wrong. A nauseating smell was filling the area, as if there had been a dead carcass lying there for a month. I found it strange since I knew there was no animal in the forest, except for the few frogs croaking at night. The forest had become quiet. I crossed the drama woods towards the edge of the forest – I had never gone there before, and this is where I found her. I thought at first it was a trunk, but I quickly realised it was a fairy, a princess from a children’s story. She had stopped breathing.

I felt everything turning around me, I almost vomited. I was crying. I sat on the floor and trying to comfort myself by looking at the stars but reality was overwhelming. Instead of a sky full of stars, all I could see was a bunch of stains. I tried to sit against a tree but they had all disappeared. I was left in a creepy room full of books, with the corpse of my late wife.