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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bitter disappointment at (yet AGAIN!) being passed over for the Nobel Prize somewhat mitigated by delight in Doris Lessing’s response to being told she had won. YouTube clip ( provided days of hilarity and flurry of emails with friends and colleagues. Have vague memory of having read wordy Golden Notebook decades ago, but “Oh Christ” makes me want to go back and read the entire oeuvre. Not that I will.

Left Paris one month ago on high about success of film and fun of meeting new people and astonishing novelty of being paid attention to and somewhat respected (?) for books. On airplane home, began to feel tug of disappointment at having nothing new and exciting to anticipate. The tide going out sort of deal. (Exacerbated no doubt by presence of three infants in my row, one bickering couple behind, angular blonde flight attendant unresponsive to flirtations compliments of eyeglasses, and lack of sleeping pills.) More proof that waiting excitedly for anything usually surpasses the event itself?

Most fun was perhaps seeing posters for film all over Paris. Admittedly, print so small, name was barely visible but knowing it was there mattered somehow. Also surprisingly enjoyable live radio interview early one evening just prior to film opening. Hushed room, well-prepared interviewer, jazz playing in background, intelligent questions and (somewhat) coherent answers. Left radio station beyond city center with feeling of accomplishment and well-being and used, for the first time, one of the free bicycles put in place in July by new (gay) mayor of Paris. Bicycled home along river with yellow lights poured over monuments and men wearing scarves strolling and ghost of background jazz in background.

Became addicted to free bicycles, especially late at night with thinner traffic and shuttered shops and smell of bakeries sweetening polluted air, stirring memories of riding scooter in Nice, thirty years earlier, at 4am after leaving TB’s room behind shop on edge of old city.

Film “a bit of a success,” which undoubtedly also means a bit of a disappointment, box-office-wise. But for the moment clinging to glass-half-full interpretation. Still playing at major theatres in Paris. Enough success to have helped sell rights for Easy Way Out to French producer.

Reading of play last Sunday in front of potential investors. Producer pleased, but audience seemed quiet and detached. Unless I was misjudging. Or am perhaps too eager for next thing to anticipate. Or at least distract myself from pending dental surgery.

Posted by Stephen @ 05:22 PM EST

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