"Books are not life, however much we might prefer it if they were."
"What happened to the truth is not recorded."
"Parrots are human to begin with; etymologically, that is. Perroquet is a diminutive of Pierrot; parrot comes from Pierre; Spanish perico derives from Pedro. For the Greeks, their ability to speak was an item in the philosophical devate over the differences between man and the animals."
- Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot.
1) Barnes (at least while writing on Flaubert and his parrot) is clearly out of his mind. Brilliantly, all over the place. The references, places, stories, quotations, and so much other richness included, are so vast that is delightfully hard for one, very hard indeed, and delightful too, to realize when you are reading fiction, fiction from either the author (not Barnes, but his narrator) or from his eloquently dissected subject, Flaubert, not the parrot in this specific case -nor that the bird doesn't get spoonfuls of scrutiny himself -; or historically accurate facts; or anecdotes from the French or the English side. Erratic genius that makes the most sense… Anybody who is interested in literature, books, and twisty-quirky references, don’t wait!
2) I talked to my mother on the phone today, as she gets ready to visit me for a long time... Out of the blue, and as I prepare my dinner, holding with one hand the 'parrot book' (see above), I remember that my mother taught me 2 basic cooking (more serving) advices:
advice 1. take the cheese out of the fridge at least 1/2 an hour before eating it. these days i always remember that the right temperature and texture are most important while eating a good piece of cheese.
advice 2. take the salad dressing out of the fridge at least 1/2 an hour before serving
most important details for a delightful trivial life, like mine, as on a wednesday night i worry over a brilliant lunatic author writing about another brilliant yet equally lunatic author, all while wondering if my cheese has the right temperature, triviality indeed...
NO to war!