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The Sunday Salon: Catching Up

It seems like that’s all I do these days!  Obviously, I didn’t blog while I was in Paris last weekend, and shortly after we returned I (and my husband) promptly got sick with a cold.  All I did this week and go to work, get home and try not to fall asleep immediately!  I’m just starting to feel better now, though, so I’m hoping to catch up on all the blogging I’ve missed over the last week and a half while I was gone.  Halloween isn’t going to be celebrated around here; I know it’s not a very popular attitude but it’s actually my least favorite holiday!  My only observation has been the spooky books I read for the RIP challenge, which I still haven’t wrapped up.

I meant to write a quick recap of our Paris trip – at least the literary bits of it – before now, but better late than never, right?  I’d read about so much of what we saw, and it added an extra layer onto everything which was fantastic.  It was especially awe-inspiring to be in Versailles, having read numerous books, fiction and non, about Marie Antoinette in particular.  Here’s the bedroom which was last hers:

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the bottom because there were simply so many people there.  At times we felt like cattle being herded through the palace – I can’t imagine how busy it must be in the summer if it was this bad at the end of October!  They also had contemporary Japanese art scattered around that, to be honest, I wasn’t sure worked in that context.  The whole place really made me interested in reading more about the others who lived there, though.  I’ve learned about Louis XIV in school, but was never particularly inspired to read further about him – seeing evidence of his work, and that of his descendents, has definitely brought about a change in attitude.

Seeing history from a French perspective was so fascinating and I’m reminded of how limited I am by the fact that I only speak English fluently enough to read in it.  Many times victories for the English, of course, were defeats for the French; almost everything I’ve read has been from an English perspective, or an American writing on an English perspective, and I can’t wait to try and seek out some French authors who’ve managed to get their work translated into English.  I want to learn French (I have for a while now) but while I’m learning SEO I don’t think I can handle both.  That might be a goal to start in 2011.

The other literary highlight to the trip was seeing one of Michelangelo’s statues in person for the very first time.  I’ve really wanted to since I read The Agony and the Ecstasy last year, and at the Louvre I got my chance.  Here’s a picture again if you missed Wednesday’s post:

The two Slave statues really did stand out from the others; the muscle definition and level of reality was truly a step above. I wasn’t sure my inexperienced eye would be able to catch that, but even in the dimmed light it was remarkable.

This week is going to be all about catching up.  I have a few reviews to get done and a lot of blogs to comment on.  So I’ll end here, and hope you all have a wonderful Halloween and a great start to November.

Keep on reading!:

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10 comments to The Sunday Salon: Catching Up

  • We just got back from a trip to Italy and really, one truly begins to wish for “private viewings” sometimes! But one of the best (to our utter shock) places we went was to Cararra, from where Michaelangelo got his marble. As we were approaching, we thought we were seeing white snow-capped alps, but actually what we saw were mountains made of white marble. It was totally amazing – I felt like I was inside Shannon Hale’s “Princess Academy” book! Glad you had such a good time – I agree – it sounds like Japanese art would seem incongruent in Versailles.

  • How lovely, Paris :) But yes I can imagine it being a lot of people at the museums
    blodeuedd´s last post …Review- For the Kings Favor – Elizabeth Chadwick

  • Sounds like a lovely time. Husband-unit and I went back in February…everyone was making fun of us going in February when the weather is so dismal, but I have to say, it’s the only time of year when Versailles isn’t a mad-house. I’ve been when the crowds were overwhelming, know what you mean, but it’s worth it to go in the off-season so you can leisurely stroll the palace without getting mobbed, lol. Of course the downside is that the gardens aren’t in bloom. So my new solution is this: go in Feb. to see the palace and make another trip in summer just to see the gardens. :)
    Michele@A Reader’s Respite´s last post …A Proper Halloween

  • Your trip sounds awesome! I am glad to hear you’re feeling better!
    Stephanie´s last post …The Sunday Salon 10-31-2010

  • Your trip sounds fantastic! My boyfriend and I are planning to go to Paris in thr spring, and I was actually also thinking of doing some themed reading before then. I bet it will make the trip a lot more enjoyable if I know a little but more about French history. If you find any good books I’ve love to hear about them!
    Nymeth´s last post …Fledgling by Octavia E Butler

  • It sounds like you had a wonderful time and I would love the chance to experience that for myself one day. Thanks also for posting that picture of the sculpture as well.
    zibilee´s last post …The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay — 528 pgs

  • Sounds like a great anniversary trip – and left you wanting more :)

    I will definitely return to Paris and London at least one more time in my lifetime. The Musee d’Orsay is tops on my list, as well as Montmartre and Shakespeare and Company.

    Hope you and your husband are feeling better this week!
    Molly´s last post …TSS- 102410

  • Oh yeah, I remember just being in busloads of tourists at Versailles but totally worth it!
    Amused´s last post …How to Knit

  • We went to the beach for Halloween, so we missed it too. I’m glad your trip to Paris was so much fun! I hope you’re feeling better.

  • Well really WOW! It would be so so great to see these places! I know I have also not read any books from the French perspective, I hope I too get a chance to read French authors.
    Veens´s last post …Body in the Library by Agatha Christie