Sunday, April 29, 2007

a letter from Henri IV

dropped by the MUSEE DES LETTRES ET MANUSCRITS yesterday in the quirky little rue de Nesle. i went to see an exhibit organized around the journal of Calamity Jane--only to discover that the journal itself has a dubious provenance and may or may not have been written by the Wild West icon. However, the museum's permanent collection more than made up for the quirky Calamity exhibition...i spent time gazing at letters by Henry IV (my favourite of the French kings--after all, he was responsible for Place des Vosges), a military memo from Cardinal Mazarin, and a polite note from Anne of Austria. i admired the very nice handwriting of Gustave Eiffel and the careful yet messy calculations of Marie Curie, and i wondering how anyone managed to read the skinny flat letters written by Charles de Gaulle. Graphologists would have a field day with him! i have no idea what it means that Isaac Newton had very small slanted handwriting, or that Albert Einstein's scientific notes are much neater than his hair...but it was quite amazing to see the original letters on display.

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