July 14

Today is Bastille Day.

My ancestors were spread out all over Europe: Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Dutch…and French. With respect to literature at least, I consider myself a Francophile. I have enjoyed most everything I have read from pens dipped in the Seine. Primary are Hugo, Baudelaire, and Montaigne…though there is much I have not read. And unfortunately I am consigned to reading translations since my only language is English.

Today is the 213th anniversary of the “storming of the Bastille” and the end of the French Monarchy. The French Republic had some rocky early years. I am currently reading Hugo’s History of a Crime dealing with Louis Napoleon’s coup d’etat in 1851. The US had its own difficulties 10 years later. The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance. (Jefferson).