Monday, June 13, 2005

Ficciones with Tom Beckett titles #1

Stendhal's Squirrels

Stendhal intended
Le Rouge et le Noir
to be a book for
younger readers. Some-
thing of a parable, a memoir
about his two pet
squirrels. A red he had
named Hudson after
its Latin classification
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ; &
Caroline, the black,
Sciurus carolinensis . As he
lead them on leashes
through the Bois de
Boulogne on their morning
walks together he would
write down what he imagined
the conversations might
be about as the squirrels
explored their cultural
differences, the European
& the American, an
anticipation of Henry James.
In the early evening he
would transcribe his journal,
shaping it into the
makings of a pleasant
manuscript. Everything
went well until the day
they were attacked by a
rabid dog that scented
breakfast. The squirrels
got away from
Stendhal. So too, when
he eventually came back
to it, did the book.

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