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Old French Book Pages

Saturday, 31 May 2014


Works by Madame A Daudet & poems by Anatole France landed in my hands a while ago. They were a matching pair from the same publisher…. both with delightful drawings next to the title pages.


I love the way the publishing date is written; 
the twenty fifth of march eighteen hundred and ninety two. 
The typeface also, is beautiful… so elegant...


and the texture of the paper…. a delight to hold & turn the pages, 
despite the water damage & broken spines


It's many years since I attempted to speak french, but I could understand some tantalising 
glimpses of text, such as " the light smile through the dark shadow", 
that could be a delight to express calligraphically.


...n'oublie pas, ceux que vous en fait chercher longtemps ou que l'on n'a pas bien compris. On dirait que le mystere ou ils etaient enveloppes les imprisonne tout au fond de la memoire, comme un cocon impenetrable et fragile brise seulement a son heure par l'aile vivante et ouverte de l'idee enfin éveillée.

…don't forget that those you have long searched for or don't understand. 
Then something about the mystery that is imprisoned deep within the memory, like an impenetrable cocoon that a gentle breeze will awaken when the time is right, and the idea will take flight…
[or something along those lines… anyone is welcome to give a better translation, lol]

I do find myself reading the french & gradually taking in more of the sense of the words rather than a direct translation. It will be great to eventually create some pieces of work from these.


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