Appendix de Grenouille #31
Dcup posted some of the Politits household books and invited the entire blogging famille. It began with my tres innocent display of a few books of Steve's, from his poetry shelf. Steve took more photos of moi and other household volumes that same day, and he wishes them posted post haste. So, voila.
Ici c'est moi with the guides of the field. Quel dommage, there will be no reference to moi even in the volume on reptiles and amphibians; I am a European in North America. In this house the dining room has no table or chairs and is called the library because it holds the majorite of the book cases and two computers. Here it is that Moomin Light writes her famous blog. This particular shelf is important because Steve and the oldest son prefer to know the names of everything they see. Oui, everything. The smallest moth, the most irresistible small gnat morsel.
Children's books are all over the house, in nearly every room, in fact, but mostly where small hands can reach them. This is a house where sometimes one hears the question, "Reading dinner?"
Classics are ubiquitous (the word is almost French), but the greatest concentration are on this shelf. This is the shelf tres intellectuelle. The grand book about America, by my countryman, de Tocqueville, is mentioned frequently, as is the famous play by another citoyen, Edmund Rostand, here in two copies, en Anglaise, et en Francais: Cyrano de Bergerac. At age 17 Steve thought perhaps he was Cyrano. Homer, Virgil, Tolstoy, Hugo, Montaigne, Barzun, (three more Frenchmen), Pushkin, Gogol, Defoe, Cervantes (the longest paragraphs Steve has ever read), the shelf descending with grace to Austen, Dumas, Oscar Wilde, C S Lewis, and finally Grisham (Skipping Christmas on tape, therapy for Steve), Graham (Poldark) and others not so classic.
But, perhaps not so shocking, more of the library is held by fantasy and science fiction. This is one and a half among three or four shelves the same. Le Guin, Williams, Heinlein, Zahn, Feist, Tolkein, Niven et Pournelle, Blalock, Card, Beagle, Donaldson, McKillip, Bear, Goodkind, Adams (certainement!), Bradbury, Crowley (author of one of Steve's favorites, Little Big), Zettel...
And at the last, here we have Steve's favorite encyclopedie, the 1958 Brittanica (but it is a French word, encyclopedie - how can the favorite be from Angleterre?). He jokes that this is the encyclopedie for those who already know. For example, here I sit on the page about star fishes, but would you find them under stars or fishes? Non. Rather you would find them under echinoderma. You do not know this? Then you cannot find out. And sea shells? But of course it is mollusca. It is a club exclusive. C'est un beau geste. It makes Steve feel smarter than he is.