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my talk at the Arts and Letters Club Tuesday Feb. 27 at noon

As I started the Life Stories II class, the advanced section, on Zoom last night, I was about to tell them I have a cold. I opened my mouth, and one of the students said, Hi Beth. Sorry you have a cold.

I guess I mentioned it in the blog. They know more about me than I do! I was pleased to tell them their essays this week were all superb, the best yet. A new flock of good writers unleashed on the world.

I’m supposed to be taping the audiobook, but my voice sounds like Tallulah Bankhead’s so taping is delayed. I think this bug is partly stress about the whereabouts of my elusive book. But also, perhaps, my beloved grandsons passed on their bug to me. They’re both happily back in school, which is the good news.

FYI: I am speaking next week at the venerable Arts and Letters Club downtown, a very old institution and fabulous old building that’s a support and gathering place for artists of all kinds. My talk is, of course: Writing a memoir: How, when, what, why? If you’re not a member, you can still come; for $32 you get a communal lunch with a lot of interesting artists, and then moi. What a deal! My mellow tones will be back, guaranteed.

Have to say, The Taste of Things – a poorly translated title, incidentally – is haunting me. I heard it was submitted by France as their Oscar foreign picture offering and was turned down. Hard to believe. Anatomy of a Fall was a good movie, but Taste is a masterpiece in every regard: cinematography, acting, story. I’m sure a bunch of L.A. people — skinny, starving — watched and were bored out of their minds. Appreciate food, enjoy cooking? What a waste of time, I can hear them thinking. Too slow; where are the car chases, the superpowers, the murders?

It’s a gorgeous film. Don’t miss it.

I may have told you that I had transcribed and printed my blog – now in eight fat books, a million and a half words. I picked up one at random – 2015 – and plunged in, completely absorbed, because I’d forgotten so much. An incredible trip to Europe that April — Paris, London visiting friends; Florence, Cortona, Lucca, and Cinque Terra with Bruce; then the train to Nice, Gordes, the Alps, and Montpellier with Lynn and Denis, then back to Paris and home. Amazing energy, that woman had nine years ago! Lots about Eli, who was three and didn’t have a brother yet.

This is what I will talk about at the Club – the joy of being a chronicler. To me, the world is divided into those who chronicle and those who don’t. I cannot imagine living without keeping track. “We is bof kitties.” I would have forgotten that. He’ll be twelve soon and taller than his mother.

And finally, Famous Friend alert: here’s Dame Harriet looking very glam in black, standing between Twiggy and Penelope Wilton and right behind Queen Consort Camilla and a very small Vanessa Redgrave. Good times!

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4 Responses to “my talk at the Arts and Letters Club Tuesday Feb. 27 at noon”

  1. Theresa says:

    Thanks for the movie recommendation. I don’t watch many but this one sounds entrancing. And yes, reading years of blog entries is a chance to appreciate how a life truly accumulates. Good idea to print them!

  2. Rudy Stussi says:

    Hi Beth, it was a surprise to see that you are reading at the Arts & Letters Club, of which I’ve been a member for over 40 years! Sorry I can’t make it, I’m living mostly in Europe (Berlin and Switzerland) this past decade, painting and exhibiting. I actually have my 7th book being published this year, paintings and stories of Berlin. You have also written a lot, it seems! Super, would love to read your books. I’m still in touch with a number of Sock ‘n’ Buskiners like Terry. Roger & Anne, Roger Clown, occasionally Peter Blais. Do you ever get over to Europe? Anyway, have a great time at the Club! Get in touch, if you want.

  3. Beth Kaplan says:

    Theresa, you would love this film, I think, as you too celebrate good food and great love.

    I wouldn’t have been able to print the blog posts except that my friend Jean-Marc works with someone in New Delhi who did the work of transcribing in her spare time. It’s ridiculous, I have these eight big fat books – what to do with them? I’ll leave them to an archive.

  4. Beth Kaplan says:

    Rudi, good to hear from you! And congrats on a successful creative life. I do get to Europe, in fact am going to be in Paris, Amsterdam, and London in April, visited Berlin some years ago but have no plans to return, for now. Perhaps we’ll run into each other somewhere, however. Cheers!

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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