Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No pictures until I finish my philosophy...sorry

Basically, I have a ton of work to do on my philosophy expose, even though it has to be 3 pages maximum and is basically just what I did last time: a problematique and a detailed plan. But still, I want to make sure what I say is going to be good. After all, it is one of my only three grades.

Anyway, today in my literature course, we talked about our visit to Pere Lachaise last week. Basically, we decided it's a lousy cemetery since it mixes up everything. For example, there's a memorial for La Commune de Paris (a huge massacre), and the guy responsible for the massacre is buried right there too! Or the Holocaust memorials, some are very sombre and moving, but others are just stupid and over-the-top. And yes, I realize it might be impossible to go "over-the-top" about the Holocaust since it was really a horrifying piece of history, but I think that, given two memorials - one displays footprints disappearing and another shows a skeleton wrapped in flames - the one that is more touching is the one with the footprints. Then, they put La Fontaine and Moliere next to each other for no reason at all, basically hide Proust, emasculate the sphinx on Oscar Wilde's grave, and worse. We read texts by Balzac and Flaubert, both incredibly against the cemetery. I particularly enjoyed the Balzac text, because the professor said that the end of another Balzac novel finishes in the same spot described there. I was the only person who knew that the other novel was Le Pere Goriot! Then, I quoted the last sentence and I think he was very impressed that I was the only student who had paid attention to that book. I loved that book - it was the first book I read from the list of a million French books Justine suggested last year. Then, when we were talking about Oscar Wilde, he asked if one of the Americans (there are several of us) could summarize The Picture of Dorian Gray for the French students who hadn't read it and I was the one who did! Then, I brought up the best Holocaust memorial (the footprint one) that he hadn't even noticed in Pere Lachaise. Yup, I was a great student today!

After that, I met up with a Hopkins student who's visiting here (she's studying abroad in Ireland) at Pere Lachaise. This time, we found Proust, but I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to go back later to take a picture. Then, I went to a cultural exchange, but it was too theological. I'm not sure if I'll go back.

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