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  • [es-pree de less-ka/-iay] (idiom) A witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations defines esprit de l'escalier as, "An untranslatable phrase, the meaning of which is that one only thinks on one's way downstairs of the smart retort one might have made in the drawing room."


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January 13, 2007


Claire! That image looks amazingly like the pattern on my sheets! My sheets will now be known as "Russian Supimatism".

You are so brainy and visual. You are putting the rest of us to shame!

Jennifer, I think I remember my family having some Suprematist sheets, too! They were hideous! Actually I'm feeling a lot more sympathetic to Malevich. He was an idealist whose memory was purposefully forgotten by the Stalinists.

Thanks, Maryam. I'm not sure about that, but thank you all the same.

The DePaul library! By contrast, we made the mistake of attempting to see the Annie Liebowitz show at the Brooklyn Museum. No one in retrospect will own up to instigating the venture: not after 45 min. waiting outside, then an hour waiting on the fifth floor, which did provide other interesting art, while we waited. Once inside, the photos we were interested in--the personal ones--were tiny and almost impossible to see what with everyone pressed body to body, and continuously jostling, nudging, occasionally shoving.
From beginning to end, I kept saying, oh please, let's cut and run. There was a time when I would have just done that on my own. But I've tried to toughen up and deal with crowds whether they're avoidable or not.

In my next life I wouldn't mind being the one who studies art.

I know what you were getting at there. But, it still seems to me that you are one who is doing it now. And you can keep doing it.

And I shall say one day!...

That Claire ... the brainy one who said things such as ... He was an idealist whose memory was purposefully forgotten by the Stalinists. was one who studied art. And we, her readers, were the better for it!

...Sorry. I was trying to sound brainy!


i could have sworn that was a kandinsky.
if you're doing the poster thing, i have a good idea- the zimmerli
museum (at rutgers) has a show

(sorry, i just looked out my back window-there is a horse farm and two of the horses on either side of the fence-it looks like they're trying to give each other hickeys. one ran off, the other looks forlorn and confused, now the other is back, now a third
has arrived- they're about 200 ft
away and it's cold and rainy outside or i would go and photograph them. this is what i'm
like when avoiding cracking open
the anatomy and physiology textbook to study for test.)

the zimmerli has a show up of posters by toulouse-lautrec and
others french late19th (cheret, etc). i imagine their web-site
has some of it on display. and, now that i think of it, the backbone of their permanent collection is modern russian art,
so there's another reason to check it out.

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