November 15- Powerful female characters in literature and … life

Dear November,

do you think strong female characters come up often in literature and films? Would you say it is important for our growth? The reason I ask is because I have been thinking that starting a small group to help us achieve our goals, should somehow integrate some reading, or film watching, or …

Anyway, being exposed to some female role models. Does powerful mean being some form of warriors? How about being charming? We want to charm our men don’t we? Isn’t it what we have been trying, to show that the two are linked together?

I have been looking in French literature, and the novel that has come to my mind is the “Chartreuse de Parme”, of Stehndal, “The Charterhouse of Parma”, in english, for the character of Gina that has inspired me a lot as a young woman, when I first became acquainted with the novel. I was so much moved by it, that I wouldn’t go for lunch if I didn’t finish an important scene 🙂

The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the adventures of the young Italian nobleman Fabrice del Dongo from his birth in 1798 to his death. Gina is Fabrice’s aunt, and not what we might conventionally call a character with high morals, but she has a lot of character, and is definitely very active.

How about Elisabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice? To take an example from English literature.

Anyway, I think I will go one reflecting on this issue, and the ways we are powerful and charming 🙂

May 25- Profiles: books and writers

Dear May,

yes, I was at the café “Les Editeurs”, but not at 14.00 in the afternoon. I went there in the evening for a drink. It is one of my favorite St-Germain places, too bad it is going to be closed for renovation from June 1st to August 1st.

As an avid reader, I decided to read three books at the same time, from the closest shelf. The best way to wait for a friend that would join me. Yes, it is unrealistic. And disrespectful to the authors. It is as if you are coming and going in three lectures, slapping the door every time. Or, to be even more vulgar, as if I were changing tv channel.

So, my apologies to the authors.

ShalmanRushdi’s book, “Midnight’s Children”, published in 1980, on India’s transition from colonialism to an independent State, captured my attention. I decided to return to him.

Paul-Loup Sulitzer. His 2011 book “the empire of the water lily”, starts in China and is an adventure involving the local mafia, the Triad.

Jean-Barthélémy Bokassa and Olivier Keavel. Their book is on men and women with the objective to marry a millionaire and the way to achieve it.

Isn’t it amazing how different authors and books can co-exist on the same book-shelf? In the same way different people walk on the street at a certain moment.

I didn’t have time to read the books. But it was as if they were presenting three types of authors and their destinies. Shalman Rushdie, a literary award-winning author, who has been sentenced to death by Khomeini in 1989.

Paul-Loup Sulitzer, a business-man and a millionaire. He has been accused of using as a ghostwriter for some of his books Loup Durand, according to Wikipedia (  A best-selling author, writing finance-fiction.

And finally the other two authors who present themselves as experts of the millionaire whereabouts: the grandson of an African dictator, and Olivier Keravel, a journalist.

At least, this is the information I found googling them.

But my point is, if there are so many sorts of books published, and so different author profiles, we have a choice:

On the kind of author we are going to become.