la tentation de la fiction
by jemma margaret
Though most historians I know would argue that facts are more or less cultural constructs that doesn’t contradict the research imperative that history should be more or less based on real sources created by real people in the real past.
The social sciences are, after all, still science.
Sometimes all this striving for who said what when and where can be exhausting. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to make things up?
To my mother’s great sadness, I hardly ever read novels anymore. That said, I found a copy in English of Persuasion (one of the few Jane Austen novels that is not about sea monsters or zombies) and in short order devoured it (a very pleasant re-reread). This was justified (?) because Jane Austen happens to be contemporary with my guys. Hooray for cultural relevance!
All you Jane Austen fans can look forward to a footnote in my dissertation on her lack of mathematical references.
Henry James (though too late) gives a nod to the queen of sciences every now and then.
Real spring is finally here in Paris (which my mother visiting from California described as winter…). The changing of seasons is marked by the newly absent beard of my former neighborhood SDF–he also moved around the corner from his former spot (perhaps more sun?). There are teenage ducks at the Louvre and goats in the Tuileries. Warmer weather also means lots more garbage from picnics gone awry. And best of all, daylight that goes on and on and on.
Speaking of temptation, among the best cheeses I have ever eaten was a perfectly ripe sheep’s milk at my cousin’s wedding last year in Provence duly named Tentation. If I can secure one more bite before I return to the pasteurized US of A–that will be a success indeed.
If not, we can always pretend.