I had lunch with Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller at Brasserie Le Feyer, a restaurant in the 14th arrondissement. The restaurant is maybe a five to ten minute walk from my apartment on rue Daguerre. They sat in the corner to my left, and occasionally he would lean in and chuckle. She was reading something to him, from a manuscript, I presume, maybe some erotica from Little Birds or Delta of Venus.
There are several problems with that last paragraph, of course. For one, Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller died in 1977 and 1980 respectively.
But I did eat lunch with them and at Le Zeyer.
Recently, I finished watching—binge watching, actually—the French series L’Art du crime, or in English, obviously, The Art of Crime. One of the main sleuths is not a policewoman, but instead she works for the Louvre as an art historian. She is paired with a lead detective who knows nothing about art, and together they solve murders that have a famous painter as a central motif. For example, one episode involved Courbet.
Florence Chassagne, the art historian, speaks to the painters, long since dead, who appear to her, often when she is examining their art. It is a quirky twist to the stories, but effective because we learn information about them and their art. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Florence knows they are not real. She has had these visions and conversations since she was a child. She has told others about them, including her psychiatrist, and her detective partner.
So, the other day, when the morning was wet, and I did not know where to go or what to do for lunch, I remembered that once upon a time Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller had lived close by and had frequently eaten meals at Le Zeyer. I decided to join them. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)