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October 28th, 2008

On Speaking French

Not me, so much. I stutter, my grammar is infirm, my accent wanders, I go blank on vocabulary in the middle of a thought. If it's possible to have different personalities for different languages, my French personality could be described as tentative and frustrated. I understand okay, as long as my interlocutor doesn't use much slang and breathes from time to time.

Ellen, on the other hand, is tout a fait charmante. She was on from lunch at 1 with her editor and the Calman-Levy publicist through two interviews with the print media, a taped reading of the beginning of Swordspoint in French, a bookstore signing, and an hour-long radio interview with a guy who talks as fast as the weather changes in New England. She was funny, she was intelligent, she had a cute little American accent (they said--I, of course, can't hear it), and her grammar was sophisticated. She even sang. I was impressed--and I've seen her do this before.

I'll see her do it again, too. She's got two interviews tonight, one of them for radio. In the meantime, it's moules frites at Atlas for lunch, and maybe a gentle walk around the neighborhood with Cassie, who has been even more beleaguered with interviews than Ellen. Yesterday morning, there was a steady stream of journalists through the living room from 9am until we left for lunch, and apparently carried on until early evening.

It's been rainy and grey here, but I see some blue sky out the window. Time to boil some lovely organic eggs and have breakfast.

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