Just back

from a bus ride to the Marais, errands there and a walk back across to my side of the river. The main errand was to the Italian book shop, the Tour de Babel, where the owner speaks to me in Italian and speak back in French with the odd Italian word thrown in, proud that I can understand, if not chatter fluently. I told him what I’d been reading, in Italian, and he allowed as how I must be a halfway decent reader, and pressed a pile of new books on me, recommending one particularly, which I took. Did I like “La Ferrante’ he asked, and I said yes, but I’d read everything. Nevertheless he thought not have read her earlier books, but I assured him I’d one of them three times, and the others once. Oh, he said, I was really hooked.

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Went to the hidden garden on the Rue des Rosiers and read All Quiet on the Western Front for a couple of hours (Helene Cixous talks a lot about it in the book I’m translating right now), then home via the bakery and the cheese store. Lovely afternoon.