Words & Music #4

If, as the flaneurs claimed, walking around Paris is an art, then the city itself is the surface on which they create.  And since Paris is ancient, that surface is not blank.  Artists paint over their old work or that of others, just as medieval scholars scraped back the surface of vellum or parchment to use it again.  Such a sheet, called a palimpsest, bears faintly, however often it’s reused, the words of earlier hands.  And we who walk in Paris write a new history with each step.  The city we leave behind will never be quite the same again.

–John Baxter, The Most Beautiful Walk in the World


3 thoughts on “Words & Music #4

  1. Hello, Hilary,

    One of my great pleasures these days is tracking the successes of former students. Yes, I periodically check up on you (and others,) but I’ve not found your blog until today. I’ve just spent a very pleasant quarter hour reading your entries, and your prose is as graceful and facile as I expected. I generally remain as unobtrusive and anonymous as possible, but I just had to respond to your blog. I wish you the greatest success in NYC. If you are ever back in the Valley, give me a call. I’d love to hear from you.

    As your once-upon-a-time middle school English teacher, I am also claiming full credit for your skills as a wordsmith.

    Ron Roper

    • Ron! So great to hear from you, and thanks for visiting my wee literary corner of the world. Thank you so much for reading–I am touched & honored that you took the time to do so. You know, one of my funniest memories of middle school is that of talking to you about music. I expressed that I was really into Tom Waits’s “Nighthawks at the Diner” album. I was 12, & 20+ years later, it’s still one of my favorites. Anyway, you laughed & told me, “You’re too young to be listening to Tom Waits!” and then recommended his recording of “Sea of Love.” Good shit. We were kindred spirits back then, too. I will certainly touch base if I find myself in AK again. I’m actually going to be in Fairbanks next month as a guest artist at the UAF Jazz Festival. Let me know if you head out this way, too! H.

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