sovay: (Psholtii: in a bad mood)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2019-04-15 02:05 pm

I'm not a saint, I'm not a soldier

I was woken this morning by the tearing air of a fighter jet going over the neighborhood. [personal profile] spatch later said it must have been a flyover for the Red Sox, but I was half-asleep out of nightmares and afraid it was going to bomb someone.

I woke up properly to discover that Gene Wolfe was dead and Notre-Dame de Paris is on fire.

Isn't it enough just to pay taxes?
pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2019-04-15 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh no, no, not Gene Wolfe. He used to come to Fourth Street, but he would never accept an invitation to be the guest of honor. He just wanted to be a member and have lots of conversations. I am horrifically shy and tend to skitter away from possible encounters with idols, but he was so kind and ordinary and funny, even I talked to him. We once commiserated on both having gotten blistering reviews from the same extremely hard-to-please reviewer. I still marvel at that. If the English language could mourn, it would be doing it right now.

I didn't expect to wake up so much poorer, and I'm sure you didn't either. I'd say the fighter jet was seeing him off, but I don't think it would be a fighter jet that would do that.

pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2019-04-15 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
It's wonderful. Thank you for telling me. I met him at Readercon, but never had that kind of conversation.

You are so welcome. Sharing memories is a comfort. I don't think I would have had that conversation at Readercon either. Fourth Street, for both good and ill, was and is so very small that it's easier to work up to these things.

I thought at once of a swan, but now I'm not sure that would be right. One of the blue birds off a Minoan fresco, maybe.

Oh yes, that would be lovely and apt.

asakiyume: (aquaman is sad)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2019-04-15 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh wow, what dreadful news. Gene Wolfe wasn't someone whom I had familiarity with, but I know he's beloved of many of my friends.

Notre Dame, though, I've been to, and it makes me heartsick to see the photo ....
asakiyume: (aquaman is sad)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2019-04-15 06:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I went up to tell the healing angel after I read your post, because we went there together. She found a NYT story, and one French person said something similar--that it felt like France had been beheaded.
asakiyume: (far horizon)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2019-04-15 07:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I'll just sit a while and grieve ;_;
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)

[personal profile] cyphomandra 2019-04-15 07:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh no. I’d heard about Notre Dame - currently watching coverage on BBC news - but not Gene Wolfe. He was a fantastic writer, and, when I did a kaffeklatch with him at Worldcon, a lovely genuine man.
choco_frosh: (Default)

[personal profile] choco_frosh 2019-04-15 07:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I woke up properly to discover that Gene Wolfe was dead and Notre-Dame de Paris is on fire.

Fucking fuck.

Isn't it enough for everything to be METAPHORICALLY on fire?
a_reasonable_man: (Default)

[personal profile] a_reasonable_man 2019-04-15 07:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I saw some video of the fire, including the collapse of the spire. I'm very glad we were able to take Lily to Notre Dame last fall. We visited twice in two days and climbed the bell tower. Much of what we saw is now gone.

And David Brion Davis has died. He was among the most important historians of slavery and antislavery. He had a truly global mind.
pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2019-04-15 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Of course I didn't mean to neglect Notre Dame, it's two such shocking things to wake up to. I was there many years ago as a college student, very sleep-deprived (night train and ferry from Dover; there was no Chunnel then and we were very queasy as well) and unable to retrieve my new French separately from my old Spanish, so that if I tried to address anybody it came out in a mishmash. Fortunately I was with my boyfriend, who was also from the U.S. But he'd been studying in Italy for months and kept emitting Italian instead of such French as he had. At least we could quietly address one another about what we were looking at. It was a very dark gray day, which made the stained glass look unnatural but amazing.

Anyway, the kaleidoscopic sense of layering and density that we had was not just from our circumstances. I always thought that I would go back.

pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2019-04-16 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
The first time I was in Italy, my brain kept trying to respond to Italian in Latin. I think by the last night I was finally having conversations with people in their actual language rather than half its ancestor.

That's just what happened to my boyfriend when he was first studying there. It took him some weeks to get Italian to emerge when he wanted it, and then of course it was happy to appear when he wanted French.

I didn't think you thought it was unimportant. *hugs* *hugsback* I didn't think you did but felt an explicit acknowledgement was only right.

There was so much time in it. I was only there once myself. And same.

That's just how it was, yes, full of so much time. I guess one might still go back, but it would be less back than one had thought.

wpadmirer: (Default)

[personal profile] wpadmirer 2019-04-15 08:39 pm (UTC)(link)
It's a sad day.
wpadmirer: (Default)

[personal profile] wpadmirer 2019-04-15 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
True. I've been to Notre Dame, and have a photo of me standing next to a gargoyle imitating it. Pat and I were there many years ago, and it's one of my favorite moments from our travels. I cannot imagine Paris without it.
swan_tower: (Default)

[personal profile] swan_tower 2019-04-15 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
The destruction of Notre Dame, while bad, turns out to be not nearly as devastating as I'd feared. They'd already removed a lot of stuff (like the spire statues) for the renovations, and were very prompt and organized about evacuating other movable elements. The towers were saved. And this photo of the interior shows that the nave is largely intact: there's water on the floor, but only one diamond-shaped section of vaulting appears to have collapsed, so much of the interior is in pretty decent shape. So it's still tragic and the repairs will take years to finish, but compared to what it could have been . . . this is almost a relief.
swan_tower: (Default)

[personal profile] swan_tower 2019-04-15 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been contemplating ways to raise money for restoration, too. I mean, I imagine the French government will open its wallet to repair a national icon -- but as a friend of mine said, it would still be a good communal feeling to contribute.
kenjari: (St. Cecilia)

[personal profile] kenjari 2019-04-18 08:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Also, the organ survived! The smaller choir organ got thoroughly doused in water, but the great organ escaped largely unscathed!
thawrecka: (desired constellation)

[personal profile] thawrecka 2019-04-15 11:49 pm (UTC)(link)
What a thing to wake up to! I turn on the morning news as soon as I get up, and all the channels showed the Notre Dame burning. It was hard not to let myself tear up on the way to work.
kenjari: (Govans)

[personal profile] kenjari 2019-04-15 11:55 pm (UTC)(link)
I am going to hold tightly onto hope that Notre Dame can be largely saved and restored, as it looks like the structure was not entirely destroyed. It was a weird but useful day to be able to read French fairly fluently, as the reporting from Le Parisien was well ahead of any English-language news. I was reading FB friends lamenting what looked like a total loss, and then seeing reports in Le Parisien that the towers had been saved.
nineweaving: (Default)

[personal profile] nineweaving 2019-04-16 01:04 am (UTC)(link)
Gene Wolfe? Oh no! After one glance at that picture of Notre Dame afire--like a knife to the heart-- I switched off my devices, and crawled under the bed.

Stones aren't people, I know that: but Notre Dame was the transcendent work of thousands of artists, who put their lives, hopes, hearts, and bodies into it. They made of it a soul-in-stone.

And Wolfe was a lovely man, and a very great writer.