L’Éducation sentimentale

by jemma margaret

As I was getting ready to move here, I thought to ask my Canadian thesis advisor if he had any recommendations. He made me a nice list of reasonable and extravagant restaurants (the latter for when well to do guests visit–hint hint), the best fromagerie, and a couple more interesting places to buy bread. Culturally he suggested the Louvre, the Conciergerie, the Carnavalet and Sainte Chapelle, as well as a particular aerial view of Paris painted in 1855 at the Musée d’Orsay. I haven’t been to any of those places, but I did take his suggestion in buying Flaubert’s 1864 Sentimental Education.

At first, foolishly, I thought to look at Shakespeare & Company, forgetting that it is an English language bookstore. Happily, I found myself not to far from the left banks of the Seine where cheap popular French paperbacks abound. After flipping through hundreds of titles at a half dozen sellers, I found my roman–and luckily still had 3 euros with which to buy it (I had been a bit extravagant with a 7 euro bottle of wine).

Now on page 6, I must admit that the vocabulary is largely over my head, more atmospheric than academic (I already have a feeling I am going to be unsympathetic with the whining teenage narrator). Hopefully reading this in public will make me look less like a tourist, or at least like a well educated one.

On the subject of reading in public…

One final note, I have added a page to this blog to contain a list of things to try and consider for the benefit of myself and future Paris visitors (see the link at the top of the page). Any suggestions for additions to this page are more than welcome.