Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Schoenhof's is open on Saturdays!

When I asked the girl at the desk, she said that they'd always had Saturday hours. I don't know about that, as I always remember having to take a break from work to get books for school, etc. Hal even mentioned never having visited because they were never open when he could get there. Anyway, even with the signs all over the place stating how they were going to gouge us for 10% more due to the weak dollar, it still felt like Santa's North Pole for me.

Okay, so what was the damage:

Le Mariage Berbère by Simone Jacquemard - A young frenchwoman lives for a time in Morocco, returns to France. Takes up correspondence with a Moroccan man, writes until he mysteriously stops writing back. She's confronted with the choice of staying where she's from or going back to search for him. There seems to be an implication of her returning and going native.

A Rebours - J. K. Huysmans - I'm not too familiar with a lot of symbolist prose. Hal's read it in translation, however, and he was telling me that Buñuel was working this into a script before he died. I'll give it a try.

Deux Mille Ans de Vie Juive au Maroc - Haïm Zafrani - a history of Jewish Culture in Morocco over the last 2000 years. It looks like an interesting ethnographic study by a professor emeritus of Hebrew Language at Paris VIII. Hal was fascinated by the image of the woman on the cover - a young Moroccan Jewish woman - and made the connection that I have exactly that same portrait on my bedroom wall.

A Bâtons Rompus - Francis Poulenc - Back when I was working with Miriam, it was All French Expressionism All The Time. I was particularly in love with Francis Poulenc, who, aside from having some really big hands (love a challenge), wrote some of the most elegantly expressive liturgical music that I think we've heard in the past century. As it turns out, my favorite of Les Six wrote a fair bit for radio, lectures, etc. I'm sure that I won't be disappointed in his eloquence with the written word. Most all of my preferred composers were great writers as well (see Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, John Cage).

Der Struwwelpeter auf Französisch - Everyone's favorite little bad boy (Isn't it he who provided inspiration for the likes of Hillaire Belloc and Edward Gorey?) is back...and in a bilingual edition! Toll! Maybe I'll share some/impose some later.

Yup, you bet I blew my discretionary money for the next couple weeks. If we'd have found the Latvian section, I'm sure that even more would have been spent. Why wasn't I born rich, gosh darnit?


Anonymous said...

Loved reading about the books, especially since I worked at Schoenhof's for 5 years or so a little while back. I still visit occasionally. It is an amazing store, not cheap but worth it. Believe me, they are not getting rich so your comment about the "gouging" is unfair. About the Saturday hours: they were open on Saturdays all the years I worked there (1993-98) and have been since.

Be said...

I graduated in 92,and remember having to make special trips during the week, as Saturday or Sunday hours weren't available at the time. Perhaps I'm misremembering something.

As for the gouging, well, that's a matter of opinion. Having worked at a small bookstore/publisher across the Charles for nearly 10 years myself, I do have a notion as to what markup is on these items. When possible, I'd have my own buyer or friends of mine abroad buy me the books I needed for school, as it all could be done so much more cheaply.