Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One Man's Trash...

Walking down the rue du Cherche-Midi this morning, I crossed paths with a young bearded guy carrying a huge stack of leatherbound antique books under his arm. There are a few old-book shops on the street, so I figured he'd gone on a shopping spree.

After doing a few errands I was on my way back home on the opposite sidewalk. Blocking half the path, in front of a shuttered store, was a motley collection of cardboard boxes overflowing with old posters, books, antique postcards, and maps, almost all pre-1950, some a century old.

I didn't hesitate for a moment, and started trash-picking with glee. This is my kind of rubbish. Most of the remaining books were without their bindings, but there were also old magazines, leather book bindings, poster tubes. Before long a party had assembled. A half-dozen or so of us were rummaging through the hip-deep depths of those wonders. The camaraderie was perfect: civilized and jovial. Everyone helping each other find what was of most interest, and cracking up over the stuff we didn't want. One man uncovered La Geographie du Monde by Jules Verne, unbound, with fabulous illustrations. The lady next to him fancied a poster-sized photograph of Jesus. A treasure trove. Clearly the young bearded guy I had seen earlier had hand-picked the best of the lot, but we sure weren't complaining. One man teetered off on his bike, balancing the books on the handlebars.

Back home, sorting through my trouvailles, I began reading one: "L'Almanach du Petit Echo de la Mode" from 1932. There certainly will be more forthcoming about this 128-page gem.

In the magazine I found these two rebuses. As a lifelong fan of all word games, I thought I'd tempt any French linguists to see if they can solve them. Now let me see if I can find page 128...

7 comments:

Evelyn said...

What a fun way to spend the morning! Please be sure to post the answers to the word puzzles for those of us who are trying to improve our rudimentary French skills. Evelyn
PS I just discovered your blog and I'm hooked!

Peter said...

I tried for a short moment, but I failed... except that the second one obviously starts with "Seules dans la vie...". Trust that you will find page 128!

A nice story you tell here!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Thanks - I'm trying not to cheat and look at the answers, which I will post soon! But I think figured out the last line of #1: decision (de + six ions). And I think whenever there is a bow it is ne (noeud). We'll see!

Pierre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pierre said...

You're right about the last line of #1. Looks like the last 2 lines mean "pour prendre une d├ęcision".

Can't figure out lines 1-3 yet, except that the third drawing looks like the often-used wood, which translates into "bois"

Line 1 of #2 still eludes me. I can't go on after "Seules dans la vie" (well done!).

However, the end (lines 2-5) means "bonne action, efforcez-vous toujours d'aider votre prochain".

(2 x bail = baux / bow = noeud / ac scie on / e fort (strong) c / v houx (holly) / tou jours / des D / v eau / tr oeufs (eggs) / pr eau / ch ain (French department)

Like your blog, by the way! :)

ONEDIA said...

Glimpses into an earlier day. What an incredible find and who could bear to part with such a trove.

Pierre said...

OK, for #2 I offer:

Dans la vie, seules comptent les bonnes actions. Efforcez-vous toujours d'aider votre prochain.

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