Monday, March 24, 2014

Birthdays in Paris

Just a quick note to tell you 
that I am in Paris this week for two birthdays. 
Mine (which is today) 
and my sister's which was this day last week. 
My sweetie surprised me with a ticket 
to surprise my sister for her 50th.
And surprise her I did! 
We pulled it off and she had absolutely no idea.
We took her to Le Train Bleu
in the Gare de Lyon train station. 
What a magnificent place! 
I'm posting a few photos just to give you an idea.

I had to stifle my reticence at snapping photos 
in the face of such opulence...

but they must be used to it.

And all the waiters were very kind. 

Of course I've taken a boat-load of photos while I've been here...

...and promise to be back soon with photos of our dinner.

In the meantime, 
Oh La La
A bientot!

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Strategic Intuition

Hosted by MizB at should be reading.

Here's how to play:

*Grab your current read,
*Open to a  page,
*Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page,
*Please no spoilers!
*Share the title and author.

From William Duggan's 'Strategic Intuition' (p.150-51):

"Through 1906 Picasso tried various styles, all in the previous traditions of realism and impressionism. Then Picasso discovered Henri Matisse. In the summer of 1905 Matisse had the first great breakthrough of modern art. His new paintings created a stir at a fall exhibition in Paris. Over the next winter Matisse painted his first masterpiece of the new style, Happiness of Life...The key features of Matisse's new style were distorted shapes, unrealistic colors, and a flat look without shading or lines of perspective. 

Meanwhile, Picasso had some minor success, enough to win the Steins as admirers: Gertrude, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah. Now Picasso went to see Happiness of Life and the Steins brought Matisse to visit Picasso's studio. The two painters met again in the Stein apartment. That was the night Picasso found his style.

Matisse brought along his daughter, Marguerite, who worked as his assistant. He also brought along an African sculpture... 

Picasso had a flash of insight. The timing reveals the elements he combined: Matisse's Happiness of Life and the African sculpture. The result was his breakthrough masterpiece, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. In Picasso's painting you see the same key elements from Matisse's new style...

This kind of creative combination is an open secret in the art world. Artists have a word for the act of stealing: influence...

Strategic intuition works the same way in art as it does in other fields. Innovation comes through creative combination, by bringing past elements together in a new and useful way."

Monday, March 3, 2014

ALP Presents: Evenings with an Author~ Amity Gaige

This Wednesday March 5th, 2014 at 19:30,
the American Library in Paris presents Amity Gaige, the author of three novels, 
O My Darling (2005), The Folded World (2007), and  Schroder,
named one of the best books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review,  
The Huffington Post, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and many others. 
It's also been shortlisted for The Folio Prize. In 2006, Gaige was named one of the 
"5 under 35" outstanding emerging writers by the National Book Foundation. 

Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, says:
"In Schroder, Amity Gaige explores the rich, murky realm where parental devotion 
edges into mania, and logic crabwalks into crime. This offbeat, exquisitely written novel
showcases a fresh, forceful young voice in American letters." 

The Economist: 
"It is to the credit of Amity Gaige, an American writer, that her third novel, Schroder, 
transforms this thriller plot into a deeply moving tale...What distinguishes Schroder 
is its insight and language...Ms. Gaige excels at landscapes; her writing has the still, 
clear beauty of a mountain lake." 

 And Kathryn Schulz of New York Magazine:
"It's a mark of how good Schroder is that, upon finishing it, I immediately went out and
read the rest of her work." 

The tell-tale sign of a great writer! And I plan to go out and read all of them myself. 
Stop in if you're in Paris.

American Library in Paris  is located at:

10, rue du General Camou

(Just off the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower)
75007 Paris, France
• Tel. +33 (0)1 53 59 12 60
Tues-Sat: 10h-19h, Sun: 13h-19h.