Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rue de la Casbah

I thought I had lost my copy of André Gide’s Amyntas, his intensely poetic North African journals.  I was especially sad to think I had lost the ability to recover the tumbling orange I remembered imperfectly but with ferocious attachment, as if it had been my own recollection and not his.  Momentary, but somehow vital.  In such moments are lives lived.

Now, happily, I’ve got it back.

From the top of the Rue de la Casbah an orange begins rolling and bounding; a little girl rushes after it; the orange escapes . . . If some French boulevard did not stop them, both would tumble all the way down to the sea.
(Algiers, Saturday, November 14, 1904)

image:  Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Steps in Algiers, 1882

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