Sunday June 9

It’s been a busy couple of weeks: the European elections, the Brexit mess, keeping up with the kids, the Fete de la Poesie, Place St Sulpice, with its hundreds of booths and poetry books and crowds easing through the lanes between the close-packed stands. There is a venue for readings on the south side of the Place; other readings take place in nearby cafes, like the Cafe de la Mairie, where I was one of a group of readers (the Netherlands, UK, Italy and myself, the unofficial Canadian representative. The Festival ends today.

Meanwhile, in part I imagine because of the Notre Dame fire, there has been an unusual amount of activity around St Sulpice Church—or does it just seem so because windows are open now to the warmer weather (which comes and goes, this morning the sky is shades of grey, rain threatens)? Still, there must have been all kinds of events (in addition to church services) scheduled for both Notre Dame and St Sulpice, and the former have had to be relocated.

We were on a bus coming back from an errand to the Bastille neighbourhood a few days ago and coming along the quai on the Left Bank, it was clear that the bridge across to the cathedral was still closed to pedestrians. The roof has been covered with tarps, and apparently police are still sifting through the debris.

Yesterday was Helene Cixous’s last seminar for the season, and it was celebrated with a small colloquium at the Cite Universitaire, celebrating the Seminars themselves and the ongoing work of publishing them, ending with a drole film by Laurent Dubreuil (Cornell) and Laurent Ferre about ‘My First Seminars,’ in lieu of the more traditional lecture. Lots of notable Cixous-eans and Derrideans in attendance in addition to the faithful, long friends of the Seminar. Flashbacks to May 68 and its attempts to change the university system with the establishment of some more experimental campuses, such as Paris 8 at Vincennes.

And now the first church service of the day is beginning: organ music. And I’m going to dress and get to ‘work.’