One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Daudet's "Monsieur Seguin's Last Kid Goat"

Have been reading Daudet's Letters from My Windmill (Lettres de mon moulin), intermittently, between bigger bites of Herbert's prose, ever since I discovered him in Flaubert's Parrot and downloaded his Mill from Project Gutenberg.

IMHO "Monsieur Seguin's Last Kid Goat" has an interesting beginning:

   To Pierre Gringoire, lyrical poet, Paris.
   You'll never get anywhere, Gringoire!
   I can't believe it! A good newspaper in Paris offers you a job as a critic and you have the brass neck to turn it down. Look at yourself, old friend. Look at the holes in your doublet, your worn-out stockings, and your pinched face which betrays your hunger. Look where your passion for poetry has got you! See how much you have been valued for your ten years writing for the gods. What price pride, after all?
   Take the job, you idiot, become a critic! You'll get money, you'll have your reserved table in Brebant's, you will be seen at premieres, and it will secure your reputation....
   No? You don't want to? You prefer to stay free as the air to the end of your days. Very well then, listen to the story of Monsieur Seguin's last kid goat. You'll see where hankering after your freedom gets you.

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