Monday, July 7, 2008

Hello, I'm Back from Paris

Well, I'm back from Paris, and I have been suffering from post-Paris blues. The Richard Wright Centenary Conference was wonderful, and having Wright's daughter, Julia, present was very other worldly to me. She is outspoken, assertive, and engaging. She truly is her father's daughter. Julia Wright raised a number of concerns that everyone should be aware of, particularly the surveillance of U.S. writers and intellectuals by the U.S. and foreign governments while abroad after the Second World War, a surveillance that remains under documented and analyzed.

It was good seeing Houston Baker and his wife, Charlotte Pierce-Baker, John Edgar Wideman, and Michel Fabre's wife, Genevieve. Genevieve Fabre invited scholars to utilize Fabre's archives at her home in Paris. I made some good acquaintances, some of whom are turning into friendships already. I traversed Paris, stood at the Seine, had lunch on the Seine, viewed exhibits at the Louvre, ate and drank wine at the cafes, chatted with colleagues whom I hadn't seen in years, and basked in the aura of Paris: one of my favorites cities in the world.

So I return to the suburbs of metro DC, and I am suddenly very bored and impatient with living in this area. As much as I love it, it is a terribly conservative environment. I've always known this, but the conservatism of this area reveals itself in stark relief whenever I travel to any of the other First Cities of the World.

I will buckle down and shift my attention elsewhere like getting my son off to college in a few weeks, scaling down my living space, and maintaining my blog. Thanks for your patience during my absence.

1 comment:

E. said...

Ah, Paris.

Maybe all those old buildings bring a sense of belonging and freedom through the simple spirit of persistence from an old, historical culture.

Tokyo can't step back into that world....much of what they made there was destroyed.

The monuments of D.C. may be blanched and stoic, but at least those relics survived long enough to be challenged.