« | Home | »

Gallant in Paris

Tags: | |

From Mavis Gallant’s Paris Notebooks:

10 May 1968. The bridges are guarded by CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité)… They must know they are hated now. They may wonder why. One fastening the other’s helmet chin strap, as if going to a party. I mistake their grenade throwers for guns, and I think: if they have these guns they must intend to use them. Place Saint-Michel. I am part of a stupid, respectable-looking small crowd staring – just dumbly staring – at the spectacle of massed power on the bridge. Up the Boul’ Mich’. Crowds, feeling of tension… Side streets leading to Sorbonne and Latin Quarter blocked by more police, and I have that feeling of helpless anger I had earlier today. The Sorbonne is empty, and it is kept empty by a lot of ignorant gumshoes. The last stand of the illiterate. Difference between now and early afternoon is that the students are back from their mass meeting in Denfert-Rochereau and – shifting, excited, sullen, angry, determined – they want to get by those large, armed men and back to their Latin Quarter. Electric, uneasy, but oddly gay. Yes, it is like a holiday in a village, with the whole town out on the square.

Comments are closed.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • Coldish on Why We Strike: My capacity for sympathy with the concerns of the university staff is tempered by the fact that even after more than 25 years continuous direct part-t...
    • mildly_baffled on Why We Strike: Seems like the financial realities that have raped private sector pension provision in the last decade, are finally catching up with academia - using ...
    • Waseem Yaqoob on Why We Strike: The final salary scheme for university staff was closed in 2011. The USS pension scheme is not funded out of general taxation; it is not a public sect...
    • bidem on Why We Strike: Final salary pension schemes have almost disappeared in the private sector. Basically because they are too expensive. It is inevitable that similar p...
    • Joefarrell on Fischia il vento: The rise of racism and the resurgence of Fascism in Italy is nauseating and worrying, but Italians are justified in complaining that they have had to ...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement