Mild rant

Now that we don't get a newspaper on our doorstep in the morning--because we no longer have a doorstep--I find myself reading Le Monde as much as The New York Times on the ipad. Usually I read the one in Paris (on paper) and the other in the US, but the news from Europe--Greece, the Ukraine, anti-Muslimism, anti-Semitism--makes me want to know what the French paper is saying. Also there are two very entertaining stories in the Society (in the sense of sociological) section of Le Monde at the moment: the Bettencourt (L'Oréal) trial and the Strauss-Kahn trial.

And this reminds me of a partly satiric article Proust wrote (it is in the collection of odds and ends called Pastiches et Mélanges) about breakfasting with the previous day's news--the entertainment value of today's Figaro, which he found folded next to his croissant and his café au lait on his tray. Mind you, being Proust, breakfast was probably well into the afternoon.

Except for the pile of "read" paper in the front hall, I would much rather--having tried both--read a real paper in the morning, or evening (in the case of Le Monde, which appears mid-afternoon), than read the paper on line. I want a proper front page. More and more silly stories are turning up online in the "Top News." Not that I mind silly stories, I just prefer to find them in the silly sections.

Besides it makes getting out of bed worthwhile when you can look forward to opening the front door and finding crispy fresh, still warm, reading material. And what would an afternoon in Paris be like if you couldn't have a quick chat with the newsie at the corner kiosk? The one Place de l'Odéon is a little grumpy, I grant you, but the one Place Vavin is charming, also the one...well you get the picture. Paris news kiosks are a whole world in themselves--not overlooking the underside of long hours, the cold and not, I imagine, much pay. The one pictured above, pinched from the internet, is St Germain du Près (dixit its caption), that is near the abbey and the two existential cafés where you can pay top price for coffee flavoured with exhaust fumes.