Monday, July 5, 2010

Gerard de Nerval et son homard

The Amateur Historian is a huge fan of Gerard de Nerval, a Romantic poet who is much more famous in France than anywhere else, but seems to be renowned the world over for his unusual taste in pets. And, Gentle Readers, by "unusual" the Amateur Historian means "a lobster", and by "lobster" she refers to "Thibault", a pet lobster de Nerval often walked on the end of a blue ribbon.

When in Pere Lachaise yesterday, the Amateur Historian took the opportunity to place a plastic lobster on a ribbon leash (unfortunately a green one) on de Nerval's grave. While there, the Amateur Historian saw a tour guide get very excited over de Nerval's new plastic friend:

For the non-French speakers, the tour guide is giving a brief summary of de Nerval's life and explaining that de Nerval is famous for walking with a lobster on the end of a leash. He then explains that he has lost his glasses and needs a member of the group to read the quote the Amateur Historian left with the lobster:
"Why would a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog, or a cat, or a gazelle or a lion, or any other animal one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters, they are tranquil, serious creatures who know the secrets of the deep and don't bark....."

At the end, he mentioned that the lobster was an unusual event and took a photo of it.

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