Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pass the peas, please

Albertine is the object of jealousy when Andrée's mother learns her daughter's best friend is being invited to fine houses. The inevitable scapegoat is of course the chef responsible for the undercooked peas at dinner.

"Andrée's mother was probably not prompted by the thought that the banker and his wife, learning that Albertine was made much of by her and her daughter, would form a high opinion of them both; still less did she hope that Albertine, kind and clever as she was, would manage to get her invited, or at least get Andrée invited, to the financier's garden parties. But every evening at the dinner table, while assuming an air of indifference and disdain, she was fascinated by Albertine's accounts of everything that had happened at the big house while she was staying there, and the names of the other guests, almost all of them people she knew by sight or by name. Even the thought that she knew them only in this indirect fashion, that is to say did not know them at all (she called this kind of acquaintance knowing people "all my life"), gave Andrée's mother a touch of melancholy while she plied Albertine with questions about them in a lofty and distant tone, with pursed lips, and might have left her doubtful and uneasy as to the importance of her own social position had she not been able to reassure herself, to return safely to "the realities of life," by saying to the butler: "Please tell the chef that his peas aren't soft enough." She then recovered her serenity.


  1. thanks for sharing.

  2. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I've had
    difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.

    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.

    Any recommendations or tips? Thank you!

    my blog post Andrea Conde

  3. Thanks for the compliments. Anon2, I try to write about the many "wow" moments that strike me as I read along! I underline everything, then I type it very carefully into my blog, and I make a few comments to introduce or summarize it. When you write what you love it comes easily. To start, you need a lede sentence that introduces the subject and the points you are trying to make. If you hone this talent, you'll be able to write anything.