Friday, May 30, 2008
collector, local brew, paradise
I walk some way for a pint of Larkins bitter , a local bitter brewed by a man, who drinks a lot of it himself; and it's worth the walk.
In Emil Zola's novel La Faute de l'abbé Mouret there is a lengthy description of the once formal gardens of Le Paradou, a deserted château in Provence. Within the high walls, the flowers and shrubs, many of them rare and exotic, have taken over and run wild over lawns, formal flower beds, through arcades and into woods and copses, creating a sort of Garden of Eden in reverse. The flora is described in detail within the context of the story, and there seem to be few varieties that are not mentioned. I thought of the friend to whom I had recently recommended Zola's le Ventre de Paris, where there are voluminous lists of foodstuffs, in the Les Halles market in Paris. To those, he objected strongly for the lexigraphical strain involved. Had I recommended this novel, which I won't, he would not have been grateful. For myself, I admit to a love of the French words for flowers, which I can't have enough of, but the chapter, neverthless, took me a long time to get through