Day Two of what was to be a literary lovefest (a reading almost every night) and already I am rethinking. After last week’s amazing encounter with Nam Le – a writer brilliant, funny, and shockingly down to earth – this week’s offers have rubbed me slightly the wrong way.
The fault doesn’t lie entirely with the authors, though they haven’t been my favorites. The audience itself has also induced some dismay. Front row of Shakespeare and Co. and there’s a beautiful young woman sketching in red pencil. She glances up-down, up-down as she transfers the writer’s likeness to her drawing pad. I assume she’s quite earnest, but she seems to know she’s on display.
Right next to her is the real article, however, who won’t reveal himself until the final round. My eye already on him (his profuse profound nodding a clue), it wasn’t until he asked the last question that I truly knew.
In a meandering philosophical ramble, invoking too many ideas and names, he did (finally) ask a good question, but his way of doing it – totally lame.
Nevermind, it’s a new night, this time in the 7eme. Only, there he is again! And saving his worst for last! A digression from Fitzgerald to Byron, he recites whole passages of poetry, then challenges the author to do the same.
Smart, but show-offy. So not my style. I’ve managed a full week of blogging about Paris without once saying “pretentious.”
Looks like now I am forced to. Let the real games begin!