Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Entrevue en Français à Radio Canada et BC Book Week!


Ever since my interview on CBC Radio last Tuesday with Danielle Marcotte, I’ve caught myself thinking in French from time to time. It’s wonderful. The French language is a sensual language, with full-bodied vowels and sharp consonants that slide off the tongue like a French kiss. Speaking French is like making love. It’s intense, lyrical, interactively fun and ultimately satisfying.

Alors, merci, Danielle! Merci!

So, what was I doing on CBC Radio, you might ask? I’d been invited by Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine to join editors Karl and Stephanie Johanson and fantasy author Janine Cross in a series of readings, mine from my short story, Virtually Yours (selected for “The Best of Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine”) as part of the Main Street Literary Tour (one of the events of BC Book and Magazine Week 2009). My interview with CBC focused on this event. It was a blast!


We parked ourselves over at Strategies Games & Hobbies (located at 3878 Main Street) and had a pleasant crowd join us for our respective readings. The after-party, hosted by Café Montmartre, was surreal. And that was before the red wine!

Fine artists, poets and writers crowded into this authentic Parisenne café to breathe in the excitement of spontaneous artistic pursuit. According to Dining Here, Café Montmartre is a long narrow hideaway that harkens back to the days when neighbourhood radicals philosophized over glasses of red wine while nodding along to jazz standards performed by whiskey-soaked divas…Those days may never have existed in Vancouver but that doesn’t stop Café Montmartre from creating a credible romantic nostalgia vibe.”

The café boasts a strategically placed live stage at the front by the street window that showcases live music and readings by writers and poets. Its funky walls are lined with old photos and vintage French print ads. Bikes hang from the ceiling. The café’s décor, lighting and architecture reflect a European bohemian style that easily transported me back to Paris, France. I felt the same respect and veneration for art and writing among the patrons and owners of the café as I did on the artistic streets and cafés of Montmarte in Paris. Art was palpably in the air. It floated on the breaths of gesturing young men with new beards and fedora hats. It lingered on the alto voices of wildly-dressed women, laughing and sipping red wine over a discussion of Proust or Degas.

I sat with my friends near the back of the café and ordered red wine; we soon realized that our lively discussion made us hungry. The café has a limited menu, but what the chef from Paris creates is decidedly impeccable. According to Vancouver Plus, items include “all the unpretentious basics; chunks of brie served with warm baguette, potatoes cut in generous chunks and baked in olive oil, with garlic and herbs.” And desserts include, “grown-up sundaes (featuring liquors instead of syrups). You can get crepes drenched in dark chocolate, nuts, brandy and spiked with orange zest—the kind of dessert that works miracles when you’re searching for an upscale sugar rush.”

It was a toss-up between the baked brie and a crepe and the chocolate crepe won out. I wasn’t disappointed.

Everywhere I looked I thought I recognized a face here and there. But no one stood out as someone I actually knew. I then reflected that they were perhaps just a familiar ‘type’ of person. The artist.

Et, en fin, j’etais chez moi.




Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.

11 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Ooh la, la, Nina!

Parlez vous francais, bientot!

No, I don't speak French, I just grabbed phrases!

SF Girl said...

Ooh la la, Jean-Luc! :-D

Vous parlez tres bien! Et, moi.... je vais retourner a Cafe Montmartre avec des amies...I'm going back this week to do some belated birthday celebrations and to try out that baked brie I stood up for the crepe! LOL! I'll let you know how it goes...

Alors, a bientot!
Salut,
Nina

Karen said...

Oui, Oui, go for the baked brie B-)

SF Girl said...

LOL! Yes, I think I will, Karen! Mmmmmmmmm Yum! And, of course, I'll have to have some Pinot Noir to go with it...

Susanne49 said...

I agree with you, speaking French is indeed like making love! ;) I love this coparison!

Nice post!
Susanne

SF Girl said...

Ah... mais, oui, Suzanne, je suis d'accord... c'est une langue romantique...

And, by the way, Karen, I DID have the baked brie and it was exquisite! Oh, yes, and I had it with some delicious red wine. All in all, a wonderful and highly civilized experience ;)

Rick said...

C'était bien fait. Meilleur que moi j'pourait faire.

SF Girl said...

Merci, Rick! Mais... well, I think I need to work on my "accent" ... I sound like an alien from Vega 9 who got to Earth through a wormhole on the dark side of Mars and spent too much time with the locals in the U.S.A. ... wait... that IS where I'm from... LOL!

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SF Girl said...

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