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October 11, 2011


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DBC Reed

You seem to mention absinthe rather a lot in your latest updates: a vicarious pleasure and no mistake. I had a heavy -drinking friend who could n't read Hemingway's Parisian stuff because it made him too thirsty.Talking of which, what is the word on "Midnight in Paris" (or are you in it)?.Many thanks for introducing Kiki; I never really took to Lee Miller whom I always thought Hemingway was trying to look like in his cross- gender escapades.)

Stu Harris

Somewhere on the web there's a guide to the locations featured in "Midnight in Paris." I was actually taken aback to discover that the location where Gil was picked up and transported into the 1930s was a back street on Montaigne Ste. Geneviève that I used to walk down often. I didn't recognise it.


Thanks for letting us experience the event vicariously! I'll never think of the Institut Francais cafe the same way again... (btw I don't think you make odd faces when you draw. You just look intent - surely that's a good thing?)


Haven't seen Midnight in Paris yet I confess. And also confess I don't really like Absinthe (I just grabbed a big glass of red somewhat shakily as soon as the speaking and drawing were over).

Interestingly I always felt on the Kiki side in the Kiki vs Lee divide - but why divide them: isn't that just brunettes vs blondes (vs redheads, as Flaubert said in his dictionnaire des idees recues?). A friend and Lee Miller scholar recently told me the lengths Miller went to in order to minimize her fashionably (then as now)androgynous beauty (plus how much she liked a shot of scotch) which made me feel a whole lot better about her.

Paris Karin (an alien parisienne)

Oh fun! Thank you for posting photos of the event. It's really nice to see you at work & it looks like a good time. Love the Kiki drawing. It cracks me up a little that there would be a Kiki model in underwear like that -- I'm not being a prude or anything, but my brain goes to funny places seeing here & asks a lot of curious questions like, "Who is the model? Does she know who Kiki is? Where can one find 1930s underwear? How does one know what 1930s underwear looks like?" and finally, an observation, "WOW. Absinthe really is Day-Glo green. I'd forgotten about how fluorescent it is." That's a big punch bowl of the stuff, lol. I have a curious mind.

Last, I agree with Rachel. You are not making a funny face, but an intent one -- focused. I like it. :)

DBC Reed

Perhaps it is going too far to implicate Lee Miller in the Hemingway androgyny mystery.There is a very pedestian review in the current NYRB of a book by Paul Hendrickson about H's boat Pilar which suddenly becomes interesting when discussing the long unhappy life of son Gregory who died in a women's detention centre under the name Gloria Hemingway, so ingrained was his cross dressing (to my mind heroic to a degree that his father did not approach).
Hendrickson "I'll whoof this straight out: a lifelong shamed son was only acting out what a father felt..." To which the reviewer James Salter adds "And these were possibly the transsexual fantasies in The Garden of Eden along with all the women in Hemingway with hair cut short like a boy's"


At least she didn't have his beard...

Karin what you're saying is very relevant - all questions that occured to me.Yes I did talk to the model, and incorporated her into my (short) talk which was very much about the fact that Kiki was herself an artist as well as a muse - she was both a painter and a caberet singer. I've been a model too (well you have to think up some ways of earning money as a student). Kiki chose her pseudonym partly out of pride in her identity as the queen of Montparnasse, but also out of shame and the desire to preserve her identity from her unarty family. Funnily enough both Catel, the illustrator of Kiki, the graphic biography, and I, also use pseudonyms in our work...

Oh yeah and the model got her underwear here http://www.whatkatiedid.com/index.php?gclid=CLz5-PKf5asCFdFc4QodyA-BJg

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