Letter to my Grandpa
Essay by: Luthien Tasartir
Here I am again sitting in my cozy french chair, covered with embroided beige cusion, in my comfortable lilac Pjs and trying to gather all my thoughts that run wildly in my head so I can tell you
of my most recent impressions of life. My life. Life in Paris. After a year and a half living here I already passed by the 'ooh" s and "wow"s of the city of Lights but unlike any other city that I
have lived in, Paris will never let me down. I still find inspiration in the gloomy grey days when there is nothing but rain and angry frenchmen racing up and down the streets. I can easily break
my routine of " metro boulo dodo" just by taking a walk in the Tuillery gardens or in the labyrinth of ancient streets in the Marais. This is where I find the most charming surprises Paris can
I don't know if I told you about a bookstore I love. It is situated on Rue de Rivoli. It is a small one but its charm is grander than any other book tycoon in the city. There you can find the most interesting books on any subject. And there I found the book I have just finished. It is called " A Little History of the World' by the famous professor E.H. Gombrich. You might ask me what is so special about that book since there are so many written on that matter. Well, wait until you read it. It is written like a fairy tale story. He keeps all the events, names and certain dates straight but it is so much easier to read and it is so enchanting. It actually begins with " Once Upon a Time"!!! How many history books have you read that start with a begining so enchanting? He wrote it when you were still a toddler for kids who hate history. Because let's face it . History is not kids favorite subject with all those confusing dates and names. But he succeeded to present the history of mankind in such a charming way that I am sure children were dreaming of princes and princesses, vast kingdoms and victorious battles that actually took place at one point or another. I strongly suggest that book even for adults who would like to fill in their knowledge gaps. I even consider reading it to my kids, chapter after chapter, night after night as a bed time stories. It is THAT interesting!
Last night I finished the last chapter and I was content as it has been too long I haven't finished a book. (and you know how much I love books and I am sure you still remember the reading marathons Mimi and me did, in those summers curled up in your cozy red chairs in your library looking at the Black Sea...summers that look so distant as it has been a whole century but it was just a few years ago). You see, even our own history changes so rapidly in a matter of such a short period of time! Now I realise how different your world as a young man must have been from that I live in today. But let's go back to the book I was telling you about! Because as formidable as it is, I am disappointed and outraged about a certain fact. In the whole book there is only ONE sentance that we, Bulgarians, are mentioned. And this sentance is not even dedicated entirely to us. We are all together with the Romanians, the Greeks and the Albanians. Gombrich was talking about the fall of all big empires just before the First World War and the Turkish Empire in particular in that paragraph. Not even once it was mentioned that there was once a great Bulgarian Empire that reached 3 seas: The Black Sea, The Eegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea. A prosperous empire with its own culture, litterature and handwriting. As creators of the Cyrillic alphabet we have a strong and important place in the History of the world for it is thanks to the two brothers Cyril and Methodious that this alphabet even exists. I wonder if Gombrich even knew about us or if he died blissfully unaware of the oldest golden treasure in the world, found in the outskirts of my home town Varna. Well he rests in peace now so I will not hold a grudge against him. Just I wish there was a decent history book that dedicates at least a chapter to the Great Bulgarian Empire! Ok enough patriotism as even I start to get fed up with myself:)) All in all the book was marvelous and I will keep it with me until death do us apart:))
So such books that can excite your daily life can be found in this lovely bookstore on rue de Rivoli- WH Smith. I wonder how many people have found their best book there. What are their thoughts and their reactions to what they read? In a world where technology seems to be the master of us all, and the obvious is the order of the day, I wonder how many people still use their own imagination to create splendid worlds filled with thrilling adventures! Someone? Anyone?
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