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Sunday, August 31, 2014


Text Courtesy of

Editor’s Note: This story appeared in the French daily newspaper, Le Gaulois, December 17, 1883.  The newspaper had many famous contributors, including de Maupassant and Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera,” which was serialized in Le Gaulois.

By Guy de Maupassant

Curving like a crescent moon, the little town of Etretat, with its white cliffs, its white, shingly beach and its blue sea, lay in the sunlight at high noon one July day. At either extremity of this crescent its two "gates," the smaller to the right, the larger one at the left, stretched forth—one a dwarf and the other a colossal limb—into the water, and the bell tower, almost as tall as the cliff, wide below, narrowing at the top, raised its pointed summit to the sky.

On the sands beside the water a crowd was seated watching the bathers. On the terrace of, the Casino another crowd, seated or walking, displayed beneath the brilliant sky a perfect flower patch of bright costumes, with red and blue parasols embroidered with large flowers in silk.

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was a popular French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents.

On the walk at the end of the terrace, other persons, the restful, quiet ones, were walking slowly, far from the dressy throng.

A young man, well known and celebrated as a painter, Jean Sumner, was walking with a dejected air beside a wheeled chair in which sat a young woman, his wife. A manservant was gently pushing the chair, and the crippled woman was gazing sadly at the brightness of the sky, the gladness of the day, and the happiness of others.

They did not speak. They did not look at each other.

"Let us stop a while," said the young woman.

They stopped, and the painter sat down on a camp stool that the servant handed him.

Those who were passing behind the silent and motionless couple looked at them compassionately. A whole legend of devotion was attached to them. He had married her in spite of her infirmity, touched by her affection for him, it was said.

Not far from there, two young men were chatting, seated on a bench and looking out into the horizon.

"No, it is not true; I tell you that I am well acquainted with Jean Sumner."

"But then, why did he marry her? For she was a cripple when she married, was she not?"

"Just so. He married her—he married her—just as every one marries, parbleu! because he was an idiot!"

"But why?"

"But why—but why, my friend? There is no why. People do stupid things just because they do stupid things. And, besides, you know very well that painters make a specialty of foolish marriages. They almost always marry models, former sweethearts, in fact, women of doubtful reputation, frequently. Why do they do this? Who can say? One would suppose that constant association with the general run of models would disgust them forever with that class of women. Not at all. After having posed them they marry them. Read that little book, so true, so cruel and so beautiful, by Alphonse Daudet: 'Artists' Wives.'

"In the case of the couple you see over there the accident occurred in a special and terrible manner. The little woman played a frightful comedy, or, rather, tragedy. She risked all to win all. Was she sincere? Did she love Jean? Shall we ever know? Who is able to determine precisely how much is put on and how much is real in the actions of a woman? They are always sincere in an eternal mobility of impressions. They are furious, criminal, devoted, admirable and base in obedience to intangible emotions. They tell lies incessantly without intention, without knowing or understanding why, and in spite of it all are absolutely frank in their feelings and sentiments, which they display by violent, unexpected, incomprehensible, foolish resolutions which overthrow our arguments, our customary poise and all our selfish plans. The unforeseenness and suddenness of their determinations will always render them undecipherable enigmas as far as we are concerned. We continually ask ourselves:

"'Are they sincere? Are they pretending?'

"But, my friend, they are sincere and insincere at one and the same time, because it is their nature to be extremists in both and to be neither one nor the other.

"See the methods that even the best of them employ to get what they desire. They are complex and simple, these methods. So complex that we can never guess at them beforehand, and so simple that after having been victimized we cannot help being astonished and exclaiming: 'What! Did she make a fool of me so easily as that?'

"And they always succeed, old man, especially when it is a question of getting married.

"But this is Sumner's story:

"The little woman was a model, of course. She posed for him. She was pretty, very stylish-looking, and had a divine figure, it seems. He fancied that he loved her with his whole soul. That is another strange thing. As soon as one likes a woman one sincerely believes that they could not get along without her for the rest of their life. One knows that one has felt the same way before and that disgust invariably succeeded gratification; that in order to pass one's existence side by side with another there must be not a brutal, physical passion which soon dies out, but a sympathy of soul, temperament and temper. One should know how to determine in the enchantment to which one is subjected whether it proceeds from the physical, from a certain sensuous intoxication, or from a deep spiritual charm.

"Well, he believed himself in love; he made her no end of promises of fidelity, and was devoted to her.

"She was really attractive, gifted with that fashionable flippancy that little Parisians so readily affect. She chattered, babbled, made foolish remarks that sounded witty from the manner in which they were uttered. She used graceful gesture's which were calculated to attract a painter's eye. When she raised her arms, when she bent over, when she got into a carriage, when she held out her hand to you, her gestures were perfect and appropriate.

"For three months Jean never noticed that, in reality, she was like all other models.

"He rented a little house for her for the summer at Andresy.

"I was there one evening when for the first time doubts came into my friend's mind.

"As it was a beautiful evening we thought we would take a stroll along the bank of the river. The moon poured a flood of light on the trembling water, scattering yellow gleams along its ripples in the currents and all along the course of the wide, slow river.

"We strolled along the bank, a little enthused by that vague exaltation that these dreamy evenings produce in us. We would have liked to undertake some wonderful task, to love some unknown, deliciously poetic being. We felt ourselves vibrating with raptures, longings, strange aspirations. And we were silent, our beings pervaded by the serene and living coolness of the beautiful night, the coolness of the moonlight, which seemed to penetrate one's body, permeate it, soothe one's spirit, fill it with fragrance and steep it in happiness.

"Suddenly Josephine (that is her name) uttered an exclamation:

"'Oh, did you see the big fish that jumped, over there?'

"He replied without looking, without thinking:

"'Yes, dear.'

"She was angry.

"'No, you did not see it, for your back was turned.'

"He smiled.

"'Yes, that's true. It is so delightful that I am not thinking of anything.'

"She was silent, but at the end of a minute she felt as if she must say something and asked:

"'Are you going to Paris to-morrow?'

"'I do not know,' he replied.

"She was annoyed again.

"'Do you think it is very amusing to walk along without speaking? People talk when they are not stupid.'

"He did not reply. Then, feeling with her woman's instinct that she was going to make him angry, she began to sing a popular air that had harassed our ears and our minds for two years:

"'Je regardais en fair.'

"He murmured:

"'Please keep quiet.'

"She replied angrily:

"'Why do you wish me to keep quiet?'

"'You spoil the landscape for us!' he said.

"Then followed a scene, a hateful, idiotic scene, with unexpected reproaches, unsuitable recriminations, then tears. Nothing was left unsaid. They went back to the house. He had allowed her to talk without replying, enervated by the beauty of the scene and dumfounded by this storm of abuse.

"Three months later he strove wildly to free himself from those invincible and invisible bonds with which such a friendship chains our lives. She kept him under her influence, tyrannizing over him, making his life a burden to him. They quarreled continually, vituperating and finally fighting each other.

"He wanted to break with her at any cost. He sold all his canvases, borrowed money from his friends, realizing twenty thousand francs (he was not well known then), and left them for her one morning with a note of farewell.

"He came and took refuge with me.

"About three o'clock that afternoon there was a ring at the bell. I went to the door. A woman sprang toward me, pushed me aside, came in and went into my atelier. It was she!

"He had risen when he saw her coming.'

"She threw the envelope containing the banknotes at his feet with a truly noble gesture and said in a quick tone:

"'There's your money. I don't want it!'

"She was very pale, trembling and ready undoubtedly to commit any folly. As for him, I saw him grow pale also, pale with rage and exasperation, ready also perhaps to commit any violence.

"He asked:

"'What do you want?'

"She replied:

"'I do not choose to be treated like a common woman. You implored me to accept you. I asked you for nothing. Keep me with you!'

"He stamped his foot.

"'No, that's a little too much! If you think you are going—'

"I had seized his arm.

"'Keep still, Jean. . . Let me settle it.'

"I went toward her and quietly, little by little, I began to reason with her, exhausting all the arguments that are used under similar circumstances. She listened to me, motionless, with a fixed gaze, obstinate and silent.

"Finally, not knowing what more to say, and seeing that there would be a scene, I thought of a last resort and said:

"'He loves you still, my dear, but his family want him to marry some one, and you understand—'

"She gave a start and exclaimed:

"'Ah! Ah! Now I understand:

"And turning toward him, she said:

"'You are—you are going to get married?'

"He replied decidedly" 'Yes.'

"She took a step forward.

"'If you marry, I will kill myself! Do you hear?'

"He shrugged his shoulders and replied:

"'Well, then kill yourself!'

"She stammered out, almost choking with her violent emotion:

"'What do you say? What do you say? What do you say? Say it again!'

"He repeated:

"'Well, then kill yourself if you like!'

"With her face almost livid, she replied:

"'Do not dare me! I will throw myself from the window!'

"He began to laugh, walked toward the window, opened it, and bowing with the gesture of one who desires to let some one else precede him, he said:

"'This is the way. After you!'

"She looked at him for a second with terrible, wild, staring eyes. Then, taking a run as if she were going to jump a hedge in the country, she rushed past me and past him, jumped over the sill and disappeared.

"I shall never forget the impression made on me by that open window after I had seen that body pass through it to fall to the ground. It appeared to me in a second to be as large as the heavens and as hollow as space. And I drew back instinctively, not daring to look at it, as though I feared I might fall out myself.

"Jean, dumfounded, stood motionless.

"They brought the poor girl in with both legs broken. She will never walk again.

"Jean, wild with remorse and also possibly touched with gratitude, made up his mind to marry her.

"There you have it, old man."

It was growing dusk. The young woman felt chilly and wanted to go home, and the servant wheeled the invalid chair in the direction of the village. The painter walked beside his wife, neither of them having exchanged a word for an hour.

The End.

Editor's Note: This ends our summer long weekly posts of classic short story fiction.  We will continue publishing short stories from the public domain on a monthly schedule.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Bubbles on the glass is a sign of a dirty glass

TIME TO COME CLEAN—Guest Blog by Julia Herz, Brewers Assn.

Why are bubbles in your beer glass a red flag to enjoying your craft beer? Appreciation of any food or beverage should be free from detergent (yikes!), food residue (yeesh!), oils (ugh!), lipstick (ew!) and other unseemly sensory assaults. No-brainer, right? However, this is often not the case both at home and in out-of-touch dining establishments.

It’s great that we are finally getting the culinary world to pour beer into an actual glass—thank goodness—but now we have the issue of remnant-riddled glassware.

Dishes, cutlery and glassware sometimes have residue that we, the thirsty and hungry innocent, simply cannot see. So, here’s the trick to immediately know if your glass is dirty: Look for carbonation bubbles on the inside of your glass. Beer’s carbonation colonizes on the what should be forbidden funk clinging to the interior of any beer vessel.

With the exception of laser-etched glassware, clean glass should be smooth enough to leave none of the irregularities on which bubbles like to form. When bubbles cling to the sides of your beer glass, it is a huge red flag signaling that residual food and often soap (yuck!) is present in your beer and entering your body.

If only it was that easy to tell what still lingers on our plates while we eat.

Yes my friends, carbonation is one mighty and magical ingredient in beer. Besides calling attention to foreign matter that did not come from the brewer or beer, carbonation also:

Produces that aroma-enhancing collar of foam
Livens up a beer’s mouthfeel
Dries out a beer’s finish as a flavor balancing element
Scrubs the tongue, preparing it for the next bite of food or sip of beer
So if you see bubbles clinging to the inside of your glass, send it back to the manager for more cleaning. Beer lovers should not be forced to consume the evidence of any vessels’ previous affairs—no matter how intimate we like to get with our craft beer. You can quote me on that.pullquote

Industry Insiders
Here is what some in the craft brewing community had to say on the topic of dirty beer glassware:

Claudia Faulk | Partner/CFO/Chief glasswasher
Aztec Brewing Company | Vista, CA

I was just served a nitro stout with bubbles lining the entire side of the glass. These bubbles were forming on contaminants. First, residue muddles the flavor of the beer. Who knows how it alters the taste? If I’m serving beer I am proud of, I want people to taste that specific beer. Dirty growlers that have been stored with the cap on are scary too. You open them up and they go poof. I keep waiting for a dirty anti-beer genie to come out. Rinse them out when you are done.

Tom Schaeffer | CEO
Black Cloister Brewing Company | Toledo, OH

There is nothing quite as disappointing as ordering at a bar that features craft beer and receiving it in glass that is not beer clean. When you lift the beer to your nose and just smell chemicals, or visually have a beer that has a quickly dissipating head, it greatly detracts from the entire drinking experience. It does the brewer a great disservice.

Know the bar and the staff. You can certainly request for your glass to be rinsed, or complain about it not being beer clean. I’ve done it many times—usually I’m just seen as a snob. But, if I know the bar and the staff, then they know me. In those situations, rarely do I receive a glass that is not beer clean, and, when I do, the relationship is there that they replace it without question.

Mike V. Sardina | Rule of the Underworld (assistant executive officer)
Societe Brewing Company | San Diego, CA

Brewing and packaging beer is all about cleanliness and sanitation in the brewery. We literally spend our working days cleaning—whether that be cleaning the brewhouse, sanitizing fermentors, prepping bright tanks, or sanitizing or sterilizing hoses, clamps, valves and kegs. Why should the attention to cleanliness stop once the brewing is finished?

A beer-clean glass is the only way to properly respect beer that is born from clean practices and processes. A clean glass ensures that the sight, aroma and taste of the beer is exactly what our brewers intended it to be. You don’t see a world-class chef allow their meals to be served on a dirty plate, so why should a brewer allow their beer to be served in a dirty glass?

Just like cleaning in the brewery, you need to take the time to clean glassware properly. Be sure to teach those folks who serve your beer how to properly wash glasses, either manually or with an automatic washing machine. Be sure to use the correct detergents and sanitizers. Once the glass is clean, be sure to handle clean glassware properly. And finally, make sure that you are periodically testing for beer-clean glassware.

Put Your Glassware to the Test
Whether you’re serving beer professionally or at home, it’s easy to check that your glasses are properly clean. Here are the three methods outlined in the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Manual (page 48):
Sheeting Test: Dip the glass in water. If the glass is clean, water evenly coats the glass when lifted out of the water. If the glass still has an invisible film, water will break up into droplets on the inside surface.
Salt Test: Salt sprinkled on the interior of a wet glass will adhere evenly to the clean surface, but will not adhere to the parts that still contain a greasy film. Poorly cleaned glasses show an uneven distribution of salt.
Lacing Test: Fill the glass with beer. If the glass is clean, foam will adhere to the inside of the glass in parallel rings after each sip, forming a lacing pattern. If not properly cleaned, foam will adhere in a random pattern, or may not adhere at all.
For more information on beer-clean glassware, visit and download a copy of the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Manual.


AUTHOR: Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association, is a homebrewer, BJCP beer judge and Certified Cicerone®. Despite her extensive experience, she will always consider herself a beer beginner on an unending journey to learn more about craft beer.

Julia has also penned a companion article on the five deadly sins of craft beer service.

Friday, August 29, 2014


ANGLO-AMERICANA HANGOUTS--Opened in 1898 in the Montparnasse (left bank) section of Paris, Le Dome Café was a harbinger of the term café society. Le Dome soon became known as “the” in spot as an intellectual gathering place.  Before and after WWI, it became the gathering place of the American literary colony and became a focal point for artists residing in Paris's Left Bank.  Today, it continues as a nostalgic Parisien institution.

Image by Jeremy Shapiro

Labeled as the “Anglo-American café,” it created the buzz of the day as it was frequented by the famous (and soon to be famous) painters, sculptors, writers, poets, models, art connoisseurs and dealers.

Le Dôme at no. 10 rue Delambre was the hang-out of artists and expatriate Americans and the place where Canadian writer Morley Callaghan came with his friend Ernest Hemingway, both still unpublished writers, and met the already-established F. Scott Fitzgerald.

When Man Ray's friend and Dadaist, Marcel Duchamp, left for New York, Man Ray set up his first studio at l'Hôtel des Ecoles nearby to Le Dome at no. 15 rue Delambre. This is where his career as a photographer began, and where James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau and the others filed in and posed in black and white.

A poor artist used to be able to get a Saucisse de Toulouse (sausage) and a plate of mashed potatoes for $1. Recently, it is a top fish restaurant (the Michelin Guide gives it one 1/3 stars star), with a comfortably old-fashioned decor.[ The food writer Patricia Wells said, "I could dine at Le Dôme once a week, feasting on platters of briny oysters and their incomparable sole meunière."

With the success of Le Dome Café as a beacon, other cafés and bars of Montparnasse became the centre of Montparnasse's night-life. For example, the Carrefour Vavin, now renamed Place Pablo-Picasso [Vavin is the name given the nearest subway station in Montparnasse; La Closerie des Lilas, La Rotonde, Le Select, and La Coupole—all of which are still in business— were the places where starving artists could occupy a table all evening for a few centimes. Lore still has it if they fell asleep, the waiters were instructed not to wake them.

Why was this corner of Bohemia so popular in Paris in the first quarter of the 20th century?  Journalist of that day Andre Billy blamed women: He said, “love, pleasure and the art are drawn to the same places.” 

And, once the artists populated an area, impresarios were quick to pounce, added Elizabeth Wilson in her book “Bohemians: The Glamorous Outcasts.”

Arguments at Le Dome and other bistros were common, some fuelled by intellect, others by alcohol, and if there were fights, and there often were, the police were never summoned. If you couldn't pay your bill, people such as Le Dome’s proprietor, Victor Libion, would often accept a drawing, holding it until the artist could pay. As such, there were times when the café's walls were littered with a collection of artworks, that today would make the curators of the world's greatest museums drool with envy.

Le Domiers
The term Dômiers was coined to refer to the international group of visual, and literary artists who—over the years--gathered at the Café du Dôme, including:

Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924)
Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951)[4]
Henry Miller (1891–1980)
Anaïs Nin (1903–1977)
Robert Capa (1913–1954)
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004)
Paul Gauguin (1848–1903)
Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961)
Pascin (1885–1930)
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
Ezra Pound (1885–1972)
Man Ray (1890–1976)
Aleister Crowley (1875–1947)
Max Ernst (1891–1976)
Tsuguharu Foujita (1886–1968)
Youssef Howayek (1883–1962)
Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883–1931)
Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944)
Moise Kisling (1891–1953)
Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920)[
Chaim Soutine (1893–1943)
Gerda Taro (1910–1937)
Ernesto Sábato (1911-2010)
Sándor Márai (1900-1989)

Le Dome in Literature:
--Henry Miller, “Tropic of Cancer”
--Elliot Paul's, “The Mysterious Mickey Finn: or Murder at the Cafe Du Dome (1939)”
--Ernest Hemingway's, With Pascin at the Dôme, in “A Moveable Feast”
--"Paris", lyrics by Édith Piaf
--Simone de Beauvoir, “She Came to Stay (1943)”
--Jean-Paul Sartre, “The Age of Reason (1947)”
--Ernesto Sábato, “Abaddon el Exterminador (1976)”

--W. Somerset Maugham, “The Razor's Edge (1944)”