There’s this ironic, ahead of its time Serge Gainsbourg song, En relisant ta lettre, in which he coldly points out each grammatical error in a desperate letter from his lover. The song came to mind when reading about Sophie Calle’s installation at the 2007 Venice Biennale, Take Care of Yourself, where she invited 107 women to interpret a breakup email from her lover according to their professional expertise. See the article on Calle in the recent, French-themed T Style.
The subject of my newsletter for Département Féminin this month is Brooklynite Sophie Auster, daughter of Paul. Smokey-eyed and beloved by the French, just like her Dad!
I’m feeling poetic of late, and so I looked up the top 11 poems in the American literary canon, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece on genius and youth (he mentions the poems at the bottom of page one).
T. S. Eliot’s “Prufrock,” Robert Lowell’s “Skunk Hour,” Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” William Carlos Williams’s “Red Wheelbarrow,” Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish,” Ezra Pound’s “The River Merchant’s Wife,” Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” (note: with the often quoted "Every woman adores a fascist" line), Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro,” Frost’s “Mending Wall,” Wallace Stevens’s “The Snow Man,” and Williams’s “The Dance.”