Friday, January 30, 2004

I'm currently investigating a small handsome book of WWI poems by Paul Vaillant-Couturier, illustrated with lithographs by Jean d'Espouy. Villant-Couturier was, from what I've learned tonight, a Pacifist and editor of l'Humanitie.

A small street in Paris' XIVth is named after him, and he is buried in Pere Lachaise. Pere Lachaise has become a regular spot for me to visit whenever I'm in Paris, less for famous corpse spotting than as a place for meditation and communing with history. The mixture of solemnity and grand dilapidation fascinates me endlessly. Near sunset, tiny panes of stained glass, many shattered from attempted theft and vandalism, leave bursts of color on the chilly stones. A handy online guide to Pere Lachaise and other Paris cimetieres can be found at

I've had much less luck finding information on the illustrator of the small volume, Jean d'Espouy, although I'm tempted to assume he was related to the famous explorer of the Pyranees, Raymond d'Espouy.

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