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  • In honor of today's important events...

    The film Midnight in Paris is widely believed to be a work of "fantasy" or "magical realism." This is a great error.

    I was only able to visit for three days; my friend R. and I arrived on the same plane. I still had time, along the Left Bank, to buy a yellowing, otherwise well-preserved Swann's Way. It was the only Proust they had, and was in the original French. I left it beside the river, on a bench. I wrote, "I cannot read French, but I am very curious about this book. Please, take it and enjoy. If you finish it, email me and tell me what you thought."

    R., meanwhile, went to Shakespeare and Co. As she was paying for her purchases, another customer, an old man, noticed her accent.

    "You're an American," he said.

    "Yes."

    "Are you in school?" She told him she was attending college in California, at Stanford.

    "I'm from around there myself!" he said. "I own a bookstore in San Francisco."

    "Which bookstore?" she asked.

    "It's called City Lights," answered Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

    So, Gil should take heart. His adventures were real, and twelve years later, R. is herself a writer, a matchless one.

    ***

    Meanwhile, if you happen upon Swann's Way, I'm still curious to hear your thoughts. I use other email addresses, and have for many years -- but I still check that one, just in case.
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