“Last Sunday I went to the Botanical Gardens. There, in the Trianon Park, is where that strange Englishman Calvert used to live. He grew roses and shipped them to England. He had a collection of rare dahlias. He also had a daughter who used to fool around with an old schoolmate of mine named Barbelet. Because of her, Barbelet killed himself. He was seventeen. He shot himself with a pistol. I walked across a sandy stretch of ground in the high wind, and I saw Calvert’s house, where the daughter used to live. Where is she now? They’ve put up a greenhouse near it, with palm trees, and a lecture hall where gardeners can learn about budding, grafting, pruning, and training—everything they need to know to maintain a fruit tree! Who thinks about Barbelet anymore—so in love with that English girl? Who remembers my passionate friend?”
—Lydia Davis, from “Ten Stories from Flaubert: My School Friend”Art Credit Pierre Cordier, “Shadow Catchers”

“Last Sunday I went to the Botanical Gardens. There, in the Trianon Park, is where that strange Englishman Calvert used to live. He grew roses and shipped them to England. He had a collection of rare dahlias. He also had a daughter who used to fool around with an old schoolmate of mine named Barbelet. Because of her, Barbelet killed himself. He was seventeen. He shot himself with a pistol. I walked across a sandy stretch of ground in the high wind, and I saw Calvert’s house, where the daughter used to live. Where is she now? They’ve put up a greenhouse near it, with palm trees, and a lecture hall where gardeners can learn about budding, grafting, pruning, and training—everything they need to know to maintain a fruit tree! Who thinks about Barbelet anymore—so in love with that English girl? Who remembers my passionate friend?”

Lydia Davis, from “Ten Stories from Flaubert: My School Friend”
Art Credit Pierre Cordier, “Shadow Catchers”

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    Art Credit Pierre Cordier, “Shadow Catchers”
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