A Dispatch from our French Connection, Michael Norris


Photos taken by Michael Norris at the RimbaudMania exhibit in the Marais quarter of Paris, France: A sketch of Rimbaud by Picasso, a poster for the event, merchandise

 The following is from an email sent to me by Michael Norris:

I just finished working for the Census, and I am going to France for three weeks thanks to free airline miles that I have accumulated. When I return I will kick out the jams on translating Tamper.

 It’s been a strange year so far – I worked on tax preparation and the Census, and both jobs were 7 days a week. I made some money, but now I need a break. I have an interview with a language school in Paris that does teaching over the internet. If I can hook up with them, I could stay in Chicago and teach all over. That would be a good deal, depending on the pay. 

BTW – I’m reading Ulysses. I struggled with it when I was in college, but now it’s not bad. I think I lacked life experience when I first encountered it. 

Yesterday I went to an exhibition in the Marais called Rimbaudmania”. It had everything: the poet’s letters, copies of books, films made about Rimbaud, and spoken word recordings. It covered the sublime – various existing photos of the young Rimbaud and a sketch by Picasso – to the ridiculous – would you believe thong underwear that say, “I Love Rimbaud” on the crotch! Rimbaud continues as icon for both high and low culture.

Typewriters and Sports Cars: Michael Norris on Francoise Sagan

Random Walk blogger Michael Norris writes, “Despite all the partying, despite her chaotic life, Francois Sagan was surprisingly productive. She published over twenty novels and twelve pieces for theatre as well as novellas, memoirs, biographies and even scenarios for cinema. In the film we see her sitting on her bed in front of her typewriter, cigarette dangling from her lip, a bottle of Jack Daniels on one hand and a mirror full of cocaine on the other, pounding the substances and pounding the keys, a perpetually intoxicated hipster artist, much like a French literary Keith Richards. She had several brushes with the law due to drugs, and the royalties from her works are to this day impounded by the French government over a tax dispute in conjunction with a shady oil deal.”

Read the entire article on Literary Kicks