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Vive La France!

Technically, I should begin this entry with La Marsellaise, and it is indeed a fine song. But, honestly, I think I'm fonder of one of the street songs from the French Revolution. The one that goes:

Ah, ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
les aristocrats a la lanterne
ah, ça ira, ça ira, ça ira
les aristocrats on les pendra.

Oh, they will go, they will go, they will go
The aristocrats to the lamppost
Oh, they will go, they will go, they will go
The aristocrats , we will hang them.

Things have been going on, and I haven't been writing about them, but I am still alive. I saw one of my favorite writers, Alison Bechel (who does the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For) doing a reading of her new memoir, Fun Home at the local feminist bookstore. It turns out that, in addition to being a great artist and writer, Bechdel also has a talent for reading out loud. She's a natural storyteller, which not all authors are. It's just too bad that Fun Home is too expensive to buy in hardback right now. Sigh.

A friend from the Fairest College came to visit over the weekend, which was lots of fun. And this weekend, I'm taking off for the Michiana and Kalamazoo singings. Life is good right now.

And finally, I think I'll mention this article, about another book that I want to check out. It seems like it might tweak dawtheminstrel's chain a little bit -- set the grammarian against the ethnographer. I'll make the popcorn.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 14th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
As it happens, I'm both a grammarian and an ethnographer, so I might have to split up or something. I don't see how anyone who looks at the history of the language can argue with descriptive grammar. I tell my students that correct grammar is the customary usage of the dominant class.
Jul. 14th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
As it happens, I'm both a grammarian and an ethnographer

Yeah, you've mentioned that. That's why it'd be so much fun to watch you read this book. I'll make popcorn, and the rest of us will sit around and watch you have a fit.

correct grammar is the customary usage of the dominant class.

Oooo, on Bastille Day you say this? Them's fightin' words!
Jul. 15th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)
Hey, you're both ethnos. You must be related.
Jul. 17th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
Ethnos are cool people. Need I say more?
Jul. 14th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
Now I wish I'd gone to see Alison Bechdel read at Women & Children First last Sunday. I was socialed out and needed some downtime, so I went to the park instead. lcohen lent me all the Dykes to Watch Out For books. I love them!

I have a wedding to go to tomorrow, but lcohen is bringing me to Kalamazoo. See you soon!

Jul. 14th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
Dykes to Watch Out For is love. One of my favorite parts is the novella at the end of Hot, Throbbing. . . , when Ginger finally finishes her dissertation. Those two panels hung in my study carrel until I turned the key in on Monday.
Jul. 14th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, that second book sounds well worth checking out. It seems popular too - Amazon UK is telling me there's only one left in stock!

I'll join you in that popcorn.

And are you gone already? Enjoy the weekend :-)
Jul. 17th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
I'll join you in that popcorn.

But will there be room for both of us? (rim shot.)

And are you gone already?

Um. Sort of. I was gone already when you wrote this, but now I'm back. I had a fabulous time, of course, and I'll probably post about it later. That is, if everybody isn't already sick of hearing about these singings. I think they're fascinating, but who knows? Maybe you guys are all bored to tears.
Jul. 15th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
OH enjoy the singing weekend! And try not to melt down! I so hope you are enjoying your holidays!
Jul. 17th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
Considering that it reached around 98 F (body temperature) in Indiana on Saturday, the advice about melting down was well warranted. At least the pig farm across the street from the church in Goshen is long gone. It was a glorious weekend.
Jul. 16th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
I guess it rhymes in French, right?
Jul. 17th, 2006 03:33 am (UTC)
Actually, it doesn't rhyme in French. I have a feeling that the sans-culottes didn't care much whether or not their street songs rhymed as long as some aristocrats got strung up on lamp posts.
Jul. 17th, 2006 10:57 am (UTC)
Didn't they take off their heads instead?
Jul. 17th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
Only after they got organized. I'm sure quite a few aristos ended up on lamp posts during the riots.
Jul. 19th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
The Princesse Lamballe (I think that was her name, though I can't remember her exact rank) was strung up on a lamp post, and mutilated, though I can't remember whether it happened before or after she died. Her crime was to be a close friend of Marie-Antoinette. Ah, the joys of mob rule.

Not that the French peasantry didn't have genuine grievances with the rulers of France, or that Louis XVI wasn't a complete idiot. But I don't think mob violence, or the Terror that followed, where they executed people just because they were aristocrats or connected to aristocrats, was justified.

Didn't I hear "Ca Ira" in the TV Scarlet Pimpernel miniseries, the one with Richard Grant and, in a lesser role, Emilia Fox as a French actress (one of Marguerite's acquaintances)? I remember there was a party, and all the young bohemian types were merrily singing 'Ca Ira'.
Jul. 19th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yes, I remember hearing about the Princesse Lamballe. But it was only in a play and a novel, so I wasn't sure if she was real or not. I seem to recall one of the characters in the play mentioning that someone cut out her heart and put it on a stick, but that may have been exaggeration.

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


by Illsaysheis

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