|Institute de Monde Arabe|
The next day, a Sunday, we walked about Montmatre. I enjoyed seeing again Picasso's studio in le Bateau-Lavoir. We had lunch in the cafe near it, which looked downhill. We found our way onto Rue Lepic again and looked at the Moulin Rouge at the end of the curvy road. In the evening, we had dinner with my former student LS, who is traveling around the world on a writing fellowship. After stops in Berlin and Paris, she will go to South Africa and Cambodia. Both of us enjoyed the intellectual give-and-take with her. She is writing a book on fictional phobias.
|Geneviève Asse, Stele No. 4 (1996)|
I went on my own to Giverny the next day, since GH was not as interested in visiting Monet's house and gardens. At the house, I was surprised to see that almost every inch of the walls was covered by Japanese prints, by Hiroshige and other masters. The water garden bore other signs of Japanese influence, what with the bamboo grove in the middle, and the wooden bridge over the water lily ponds. In the flower garden, I found the paths between the long flower beds more interesting than the beds themselves. Each path was shaded by overhanging flowers and leaves from both sides, and covered desultorily with covered petals. The village of Giverny, gateway to Normandy, was hemmed in by the river Seine and some hills. I had lunch in the inn that provided a meeting place for the group of American painters that gathered around Monet in the late 19th century. Monet was buried in the graveyard of the village church. Dedicated to Saint Radegonde who was reputed to cure scabies, the church was a rather austere affair. I sat in a side-chapel pew for a few quiet minutes.
|Oscar Niemeyer, French Communist Party HQ|
|Chateau du Clos de Vougeot|