06 October 2007

A good idea, a bad idea, and some photos

A good idea:
In a shop, I saw a neat decorative idea: a thick piece of wire was hung from the ceiling with a decorative weight at the bottom. There were postcards and other decorative things hung on the wire with those little ultra-strong magnets. Since I plan to reread my blog once I'm back at home and thus near a Hobby Lobby, I figured I'd note the idea so that I won't forget.

A bad idea:
Becky (an English major) and I decided, in spite of our knowledge of the danger, to go into... a used book store. I know, bad idea. When we went in, I suggested we decide to stay for fifteen minutes, maximum. Forty-five minutes later, we left with a lot of books. However, for the price of two regularly priced books in a regular price book store, I got:
- Charlie et la chocolaterie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl, a book I love)
- Les Royaumes du Nord: A la croisée des mondes (Northern Lights, the first of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which I've heard is good but haven't read in English)
- L'aube des dragons (Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey, an author I've heard of but haven't read)
- Les désastreuses aventures des Orphelins Baudelaire: Tout commence mal... (A Series of Unfortunate Events, the first of the series, by Lemony Snicket. Funny books, also made into a funny movie)
- Dictionnaire des Dictons, Proverbs et Maximes (Dictionary of Sayings, Proverbs and Maxims; it would be more useful if it explained what all of the sayings meant, or when to use them)
- Dictionnaire des Citations de langue française (Dictionary of French Quotations)

Some photos:
After the book store, we went to the Galerie David d'Angers. David d'Angers was a sculptor in the early 19th century, and his sculptures are all over France and in other countries. If you've seen the statue of Jefferson in Washington D.C., you've seen his work. He gave a lot of his original plaster casts, studies, and some bronze and marble statues to Angers to put in a museum, which is the Galerie. It's in an eleventh century church/abbey whose roof collapsed in the 1800s, so now there's a greenhouse-style glass roof and the building is bright and cheerful, even though the walls are crumbly looking and all the saint statues that survived the roof collapse are headless.
Here's a photographic tour of the museum, with some explanations.
This is a cast for a statue of Gutenberg. The scroll says "Et la lumière fut," which is the French version of "And there was light" from Genesis. I don't think Gutenberg would have said it in French, but it's a nice statue.

This is a cast for Europe's important writers and philosophers. If you click to see the full image, I'm sure you'll recognize some names. There was also one for America that showed the signing of the Declaration of Independence, one for Africa that only had about three names on it, and one for Asia that had a handful of names. However, those named for Asia and African were European colonizers, which I found strange.

This is a big model for the front of the Panthéon in Paris, which he apparently restored.

This is a sign that I found really amusing. It says, "In this museum, as you wish: Muse. Converse. Smoke [crossed out]. Study. Touch [crossed out]. Make things dirty [crossed out]. Look. Eat [crossed out]. Contemplate. Draw. Discover. Photograph. Dawdle/Wander."

Here is a collection of busts, prominent among them Goethe. I really like his hairstyle. In my opinion, the best thing about David d'Angers' statues is their hair.

Next best thing after their hair is this guy's hat.

Here's a view of the big statues from above.

This guy was one of France's pioneering zoologists. On the side is a listing of his most important works.

In other news, my wire transfer finally came through, and my choir director advised the basses, "Just listen to the piano, it has the exact same melody as you. Copy and paste."

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

That bas-relief of European thinkers is fascinating! Intriguing that the focal point is Descartes and that Voltaire is looking either modest or embarrassed. Milton is above the fray. Durer is appraising the quality of the sculpture of Descartes, Luther is meditating and not paying attention to the others. There is so much personality in the faces!