Wednesday, October 23, 2019

About Eluard and Bayard

Two accidental encounters yesterday. First, a fascinating radio documentary about surrealism in Ireland (isn’t this exactly what Radio 4 should be for?) reminded me of Paul Eluard’s map of the world, displaying the sizes of countries in proportion to how strange they are. (I love the Canada/Mexico border.)

And then my virtual friend Steph (who used to be Chaucer’s Bitch round these parts) posted a nugget from Susie Dent about the 17th-century word “bayard”, which apparently means an unshakeable self-confidence that’s rooted in ignorance. Which is all kinds of relevant to the modern world, but specifically reminds me of one of my favourite books of recent years:

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