Friday, October 24, 2008

Poetry Books, And A Playlist


As I'm heading for a new destination, I've had to leave my Paris apartment and could only bring a few books with me, of the hundreds that I have collected over the years, transforming my living room into a library... It took me a surprisingly short time to select the ones that will be in my suitcase - all three of them poetry. Shakespeare's Sonnets of course. Sylvia Plath's musical Ariel. Sappho's fragments, in Mary Barnard's landmark translation, radiating with Grecian sun and violently shaded with the abysmal darkness of the heart.
I wish I could have brought my Emily Dickinson volume, but it was a bit weighty.
What books would make it into your luggage?

And if you're wondering where I'm off to, listen to this Destination playlist...

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

34 comments:

Kitty said...

When I moved house recently, the people who helped with the move were very amused at the number of books I have! Not so amused at having to carry them all though ;-) x

yasu said...

good luck mary-laure in your new home!

karina said...

I could not choose and I need to accumulate papers, books, mags.
I hope you were coming here, but lucky Californians, you are going there.

MISS GLITZY said...

Si tu quittes ton appartement c'est que tu pars pour un moment... Aura t-on le temps de se prendre un café avant ton départ? Ça me ferait plaisir. Moi aussi il va falloir que je quitte mon appartement l'année prochaine, mais ce que j'emporterai, je ne sais pas encore.

miss cavendish said...

That's a move indeed! You can imagine how many books two professors have in their home . . . I suppose I'd take the ones I contributed to first ;) and then weigh the rest . . .

Kwana said...

Oh this is such a tough question. Way too hard to answer without many nights of thought. Best of luck to you on your move!

I've given you and award on my blog today.


http://kwanawrites.blogspot.com/2008/10/little-ol-me.html

Jaimee said...

Enjoy your reads!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

ooo! you areleaving so soon...i guess it is the end of the month!
please give a ring when you are settled "stateside"..would love to talk again...good luck with the move!

i love your book choices--i can see why you chose mostly poetry books---so lovely to reflect with these, unfettered, in a new place...

Anonymous said...

ooooooh but where are you going???? mmm, the first book i think i would pack is: Fragments d'un discours amoureux--barthes....
xxnancy

mansuetude said...

That Benjy got a gig with the LA Lakers, didn't he!
I knew that would happen.

love your book choices...what would i take? Rilke (Steven Mitchell Translation) and Paul Celan (Hamburger) and fat book of Twentieth Century French Poetry (Paul Auster trans)... because i always go back to them... but in California, books are a plenty! Enjoy.

Jill said...

California! How exciting Mary-Laure! Good luck with the move. What part of CA are you moving to and what will you be doing there?? As far as books, go I'm not sure what I would bring. My favorite cookbooks for sure.

Anonymous said...

But... what about the Mad Mitfords? Or will they be homeless AGAIN??? I'm willing to give them droit d'asile, even if I can't guarantee to keep them in the manner to which they are accustomed...

Solange said...

oh, good luck on your move. But are you going there for an indefinate period of time, or just a short stay?

have a safe trip!

Solange

marie said...

i love joni mitchell..

i wish you lots of luck! we'll both be in the sun soon :)

the books in my suitcase are the ones ive collected here in paris. a few childrens books, a little cook book and some japanese craft books. i wish i could take more!

sealaura said...

We are so happy to have you in cali! Yay for us! and bienvenue à la californie :)

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Welcome to CA !!!! Lots of books here already.

Fifi Flowers said...

You are heading back to California to live? Oh my! Welcome to California... maybe when your mother comes to visit you... we will be able to get together some time!

Esti said...

will you be staying in california for long? Enjoy your trip!!

Bitterbetty said...

Well, I guess I'll have to come and visit! How long?

Hila said...

I always take Blake and Shelley with me when travelling, I don't know why :)

Jennifer Elaine said...

What sort of reading material will Benjy take along? I understand that he will be joining you on the airplane...

A World in a PAN said...

Bon voyage! I'd take music: Pelleas et Melisande by Debussy, the 4 last Songs by Richard Strauss, and a piano concerto by Mozart .. and String Serenade, and, and ...
You take only three books but I am sure "Barnes and Noble" will see you often coming for more!
My three books? One by Stefan Zweig, one by Marguerite Yourcenar, and one of Shakespeare's plays. But I may change tomorrow!

Mary-Laure said...

KITTY - yes, a pity books are sooooo heavy...

KARINA - I gave away YEARS worth of Vogue & New Yorker magazines. But not a single book!

KWANA - Thank you so much! Maybe Jack had something to do with your choice?

NANCY - shame on me, I've read some Barthes but not that one. I hear it's great.

MANSUETUDE - yes, the Lakers are eagerly awaiting him.
I see your choice is all poetry, like me. Rilke is beautiful.

ANONYMOUS - fret not about the Mad Mitfords. They are nice and cosy.

SOLANGE, ESTI and BITTERBETTY - I hope to stay in LA some time, if not permanently.

MARIE - oh yes, children's books can be so great.

FIFI - I hope we'll meet, with or without my mum...?

HILA - oh Blake! It's sheer music.

JENNIFER - Benjy will take some medical journals and some sports mags - anything that has to do with a ball will do.

WORLD IN A PAN - yes, I'm upset I did not take my Memoires d'Hadrien with me, actually.

pve design said...

Oh, I would have a tough time to choose, but I would have to bring all my signed Edward Gorey books and also all my Art books.
Wishing you a safe journey and landing in your new nest.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

...moving can be hard sometimes...I'm NO nomadic...
ALL the Best wishes to you dear...
;)

Rina said...

I could bring with me all my books on a trip, but I´m afraid that it´s impossible and I have the bad idea of buy more books when I travell!
Good luck with your trip!

raining sheep said...

Oh my that is a big move...I will miss the Paris photos. Best of luck in your new home, California is an amazing place. I could not choose just a few books...I would pay an absolute fortune to cart everything.

Muriel Mercurial said...

Hmmm, it's always nearly impossible for me to choose a few books for a flight, but I usually go with my collection of Evelyn Waugh stories and a Calvin and Hobbes book to peruse.

Oh, and welcome to California! I hope you enjoy it- I live in Northern California.

Anonymous said...

Buen Viaje viajera.

l'air du temps said...

off to sunny cal! do enjoy. i love your poetry picks, as well as your photo. even the sight of books send me...

i too have many favorite books, but what comes to mind at this moment is a book called 'a well heeled woman.'

bon voyage!

Laura Neulat said...

I was happy to hear you both made it safely to LA.

Joanna said...

Welcome to California! I imagine it will be quite a change of pace for you.

I would take a book of poems by Keats (for when I'm in my more contemplative moods) and old faithfuls like Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca or Jane Austen's P&P for a little comfort reading while I'm in an unfamilar land.

tangobaby said...

Good luck with your move! Don't worry about not being able to take all those books with you...there are plenty more here to fill up the void with.

And now you will be on my side of the world! How exciting!

Mary-Laure said...

RINA - I'm exactly the same, I'm always buying books as soon as I travel. There goes the excess baggage!!!

MERCURIAL - I adore Calvin and Hobbes too, what a great pick.

JOANNA - P&P is such a great novel, one of my favorites too.