Oscar Wilde died in Paris on 30 November 1900 and was buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery. We visited his tomb again on our recent visit to Paris.
A few days later we were walking past the Eyrolles bookstore on the Boulevard Saint-Germain and noticed an Oscar Wilde quote on a bag for sale outside.
The quote was a translation into French of –
“the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes” from The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Today is the birthday of Carlo Collodi, the author of “The Adventures of Pinocchio”. Collodi was born in Florence in 1826, and spent much of his childhood in the village of Collodi which is near Lucca. The village provided him with his pen name and perhaps inspiration for the character of Pinocchio. Collodi died in 1890, well before the 1940 Disney film made Pinocchio famous world-wide. On a trip to Rome, we stopped to admire Pinocchios on sale at a souvenir store near the Trevi Fountain, and these two Pinocchios enjoying a pizza for lunch.
We have moved to a new home in Subiaco and are enjoying discovering many interesting things in our new neighbourhood.
An unassuming tiny pocket of a park on the corner of Hay St and Jersey St is more interesting than it first seems. It is a grove of olive trees planted in memory of Subiaco’s connection with New Norcia, a monastery founded in 1847 by Dom Rosendo Salvado. A Benedictine monk from Spain, Salvado travelled 100km through the bush north of Perth to found a mission to convert Aboriginal people to Christianity.
In 1851, while in Rome, Salvado wrote and published “Memorie Storiche dell’ Australia” which chronicled the beginnings of the mission and his relations with the Aborigines, including a list of Noongar words from the New Norcia area.
Six million copies of the latest Asterix comic album were printed worldwide. Asterix and the Missing Scroll (Papyrus de Cesar in French) was released on 22 October to much acclaim. Nearly every
Paris Metro station had a huge billboard advertising the latest edition of the much loved comic.
Not far from the Abbey Bookstore (see previous post), on the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint Jacques there is a collection of bookstores specialising in comics. This one caught our attention with the Star Wars figures in the window.
Although there are no bookshops in the rue des Saints Peres (see previous post), they abound in other parts of the Left Bank. We stumbled across the Abbey Bookstore near St Severin. This Canadian bookshop has thousands of second hand books in English, piled high in stacks that go up to the ceiling, and the basement, reached by a narrow staircase, is a veritable maze of books.
The fictional detective Victor Legris, created by Claude Izner (see previous posts) has a bookstore in the Rue des Saints Peres. In the 19th century, this street which runs from the left bank of the Seine to the Boulevard Saint Germain and beyond, may have had lots of bookshops because it is close to the Ecole des Beaux Arts. We couldn’t find any there now, except for one small store selling magazines and tobacco and pipes.