Monday, September 04, 2006

Chateaubriand and vale Steve Irwin

No, it is not a fancy French country house. That would be a château.

François-René de Chateaubriand who was born on 4 September 1768 (happy birthday) and died on 4 July 1848 was a French writer, politician and diplomat who was considered the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

François-René de Chateaubriand, painting by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

Apparently, a young Victor Hugo was said to have said, "I want to be Chateaubriand or nothing!"

He also wrote an amazing autobiography called Mémoires d'outre-tombe in four volumes.

Chateaubriand not just wrote about his childhood in great detail, but also the French Revolution and his journey to the United States.

This is what he wrote about Baltimore:
Baltimore, comme toutes les autres métropoles des États-Unis, n'avait pas l'étendue qu'elle a maintenant, c'était une jolie petite ville catholique, propre, animée, où les moeurs et la société avaient une grande affinité avec les moeurs et la société de l'Europe.

Baltimore, like all the other capitals of the United States, did not then possess its present extent: it was a pretty little Catholic town, ordered and lively, whose social mores bore a close resemblance to those of Europe.

You can read more here
- in French, first volume from Project Gutenberg
- English translation, two volumes by A.S. Kline

What a shame that Chateaubriand's writings are not more well known in the English speaking world.

In other news, the Crocodile Hunter died today.

Steve Irwin was larger than life and a friend to all creatures great and small. He reminded Australians that Quarantine Matters.

Steve Irwin with a kitten, err Tiger cub (Mogo Zoo, New South Wales south coast, 2004)

Even Australian Prime Minister John Howard issued a statement today.

Most Australians across the nation are just stunned. My human told me that people at his office found it hard to believe. My human said maybe it is because Mr Irwin is up close and personal with so many dangerous creatures that he's invincible.

The animal kingdom lost a very good friend today.

*For more kitty thoughts, check out Camilla.


Monday again. Not much to report.


Blogger KJ's muse said...

Yeah, it was sad to hear about Steve. I guess the only consolation is that he lived and died doing what he loved.

Tuesday, 05 September, 2006  
Blogger Keiser said...


Wednesday, 06 September, 2006  

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