(Roughly) Daily

“There is no frigate like a book”*…

This striking portrait of a Thai woman lost in her book is one of an extraordinary series collected by Steve McCurry at “To Light a Fire” (after Victor Hugo’s “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”)

Umbria, Italy

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Many more at McCurry’s blog

*There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
Emily Dickinson


As we part the pages, we might send adventurous birthday greetings to Amantine (also “Amandine”) Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant– though best known by her pen name, George Sand; she was born on this date in 1804.  A prolific novelist and memoirist, she was well known and well regarded in her time; and indeed more recently: writers from Walt Whitman to A.S. Byatt have alluded to Sand’s writing in their own work.  But she was in her own time probably equally renown as a free-thinker.  Married at 18, she had two children– then, at 27, embarked on a five-year period of what she called “romantic rebellion”… during which she had affairs with  Frédéric Chopin, Jules Sandeau, Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset, Louis-Chrysostome Michel, Pierre-François Bocage, Félicien Mallefille, Louis Blanc, and (probably) the actress actress Marie Dorval.  The French took all of this in stride; it was her wearing of men’s clothing (which she justified as far sturdier and less expensive than the typical dress of a noblewoman at the time) and smoking in public that sullied her image.

“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”


Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

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