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James Joyce’s Children’s Stories

The Cat of Beaugency
The Cats of Copenhagen


James Joyce, “The Cat of Beaugency” [commonly called “The Cat and the Devil”]
English Texts
Commentary
Translations
Editions


Editions of The Cat of Beaugency
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Ville de Beaugency: A Gallery
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Stephen Joyce writes: ‘Nonno was a famous writer. What he wrote was then and is today considered by many to be too complex and difficult. Yet he found time to sit down and tell me this wonderful story in very simple, straightforward language, the language a four-year-old boy (or girl) could easily understand.’ (Intro. to Le chat et le diable, Gallimard 1978, q.p.)


Les Chats de Beaugency
 Une légende remonte au Moyen Age, de l'époque ougrave Beaugeny n’avait pas de pont sure la Loire et où ses habitant étaient contraints de’emprunter un bateau pour aller d’une rive à l’autre. Comme la commune n’avait pas le moyens de construire ce pont, le diable leur offrit de le fair, en une seule nuit en donnant comme seul condition de prendre la première ame quie le traversait. Le maire accepta cette propsition en ayant, malgré tour, du malaise dans la conscience.
 Le lendemain de ce singulier marché, de grand matiin, tous les riverains purent constater, de leur fenetres, le prodige: un pont, un beau et solide pont, emjambait le fleuve. Leur première intention fut d’abord de louer Dieur. A l’autre bout du pont le daibale attendait patiemment pour le prendre la premie`re ame qui viendrait à passer. Le maire, sentant qu’il falut faire quelque chose, s’approcha, un seau d’eau a la main et, sous l’autre bras, un chat. Il posa le chat sure le point et, en lui jetant l’eau du seau, le fit fuir du coté du diable. Furieux d’avoir ete ainsi possédé, le batisseur satanique hurla à ceux d’en face: «Messieurs le Balgentciens, vous n’êtes pas de belles gens de tout! vous n’êtes que des chats!» De là, cette appellation familiere au pays: «les Chat de Beaugency».
Version given at Entre L’Àne et le Chat [Course Nature entre Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency] - online; accessed 16.11.2017.


[ See also Pathé News Gazette Interview with Alfred Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin - here or as attached.]


See “The Cat and the Devil” in The Complete Works of James Joyce (2016) at e-artnow.org - online.

Letter to Giiorgio (Beaugency)
Letter to Giorgio from Hotel de l’Abbaye (Beaugency)
[undated but prob. August] 1926 - Janhke Bequest / James Joyce Foundation
See Catalogue of the Jahnke Bequest at NLI
[http://catalogue.nli.ie/Collection/ vtls000574886]

Provisional translation [BS}

Dear Giorgio: We are here for six days – the food is excellent [cibo ottimo] and the weather is breezy [aria viva] – the river is half a kilometre wide [fiume è largo 1/2 chilmetro] - a paradise for fishermen [paradiso dei percatori]- the people [at the hotel] are all old  – few cars and nothing but lots of bicycles – going on to Orléans and Blois – [Paul] Leon and [Alex] Ponisovsky and a mad friend were here for the weekend [e amiche loco erano qua per il week-end] … .


Helen Fleischmann (wife of Giorgio and mother of Stephen) - remembers:

‘As Stevie grew older I loved to watch him crawling onto his grandfather’s knee and asking him grave little questions. His serious childish face was charming to see as he listened to the slow and painstaking answers that [his grandfather] gave him in his slow careful Dublin drawl. [Joyce] was infinitely patient with him and was always willing to stop and talk to him or to answer as he grew older his incessant “whys.” The answers needless to say were always wonderful ones.’ Further: ‘I do not think that Stephen will ever forget his famous grandfather and their relationship was a deep and lovely one.’

—Unpublished memoir in Tulsa Univ. Library; quoted in D. T. Max, ‘The Injustice Collector: Is James Joyce’s grandson suppressing scholarship?’, in The New Yorker (19 June 19 2006) - available online or see copy as attached.

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English Texts

10 August 1936
   Villers s[ur] Mer

My dear Stevie: I sent you a little cat filled with sweets a few days ago but perhaps you do not know the story about the cat of Beaugency.
 Beaugency is a tiny old town on a bank of the Loire, French’s longest river. It is also a very wide river, for France, at least. At Beaugency it is so wide that if you want to cross it from one bank to the other you would have to take at least one thousand steps.
  Long ago the people of Beaugency, when they wanted to cross it, had to go in a boat for there was no bridge. And they could not make one for themselves or pay anybody else to make one. So what were they to do?
 The Devil, who is always reading the newspapers, heard about this sad state of theirs so he dressed himself and came to call on the Lord Mayor of Beaugency, who was named Monsieur Alfred Byrne. This Lord Mayor was very fond of dressing himself too. He wore a scarlet robe and always had a great golden chain round his neck even when he was fast asleep in bed with his knees in his mouth.
 The devil told the Lord Mayor what he had read in the newspaper and said he could make a bridge for the people of Beaugency so that they [382] could cross the river as often as they wished. He said he could make as good a bridge as was ever made, and make it in one single night. The Lord Mayor asked him how much money he wanted for making such a bridge. No money at all, said the devil, all I ask is that the first person who crosses the bridge shall belong to me. Good, said the Lord Mayor.
 The night came down, all the people in Beaugency went to bed and slept. The morning came. And when they put their heads out of their windows they cried: O Loire, what a fine bridge! For they saw a fine strong stone bridge thrown across the wide river.
 All the people ran down to the head of the bridge and looked across it. There was the devil, standing at the other side of the bridge, waiting for the first person who should cross it. But nobody dared to cross it for fear of the devil.
 Then there was a sound of bugles - that was a sign for the people to be silent - and the Lord Mayor M. Alfred Byrne appeared in his great scarlet robe and wearing his heavy golden chain round his neck. He had a bucket of water in one hand and under his arm - the other arm - he carried a cat.
The devil stopped dancing when he saw him from the other side of the bridge and put up his long spyglass. All the people whispered to one another and the cat looked up at the Lord Mayor because in the town of Beaugency it was allowed that a cat should look at a Lord Mayor. When he was tired of looking at the lord mayor (because even a cat grows tired of looking at a Lord Mayor) he began to play with the Lord Mayor’s golden chain.
 When the Lord Mayor came to the head of the bridge every man held his breath and every woman held her tongue. The Lord Mayor put the cat down on the bridge and, quick as a thought, splash! He emptied the whole bucket of water over it. The cat who was now between the devil and the bucket of water made up his mind quite as quickly and ran with his ears back across the bridge and into the devil’s arms.
 The devil was as angry as the devil himself.
Messieurs les Balgentiens, he shouted across the bridge, vous n’êtes pas de belles gens du tout! Vous n’êtes que des chats! And he said to the cat: Viens ici, mon petit chat! Tu as peur, mon pau petit chou-chat? Viens ici, le diable t’emporte! On va se chauffeur tous les deux.
 And off he went with the cat.
 And since that time the people of that town are called ‘les chats de Beaugency’. [383]
But the bridge is there still and there are boys walking and riding and playing upon it.
 I hope you will like this story.

Nonno.

PS: The devil mostly speaks a language of his own called Bellsybabble which he makes up himself as he goes along but when he is very angry he can speak quite bad French very well though some who have heard him say that he has a strong Dublin accent.

Source: A letter to Stephen Joyce of 10 August 1936, in Letters of James Joyce, ed. Stuart Gilbert (Viking Press 1957), pp.386-87 [rep. Viking Press, as Vol. 1 of 3, 1966], and Selected Letters of James Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann (London: Faber & Faber 1975), p.382f.; & Do (Viking Press 1975), pp.383-84.

Notes: The paragraphs of the original have been observed. Unlike book-form versions, italics are not used in the transcription given in Selected Letters [as here]. Likewise, Joyce uses a capital for the devil only at the first of many mentions and not at all for the ‘lord mayor’. Finally, book-form versions usually omit the abbreviation pau for pauvre.

 

[ Bibl.: the letter to Stephen containing the story of the cat of Beaugency was reprinted from Letters,1 (1957) in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (Oxford University Press 1959), pp.703-05. ]

Note that Simon Sterg, who copies the story of The Cat and the Devil on his website, calls the French sentences 'corrupted French'—viz., *You people of Beaugency. From this time on you will be called the people with the soul of a cat! (Corrupted French); **Come here, my pussy cat. Don’t fear me, my pussy cat. Are you cold, my pussy cat? Come, come, the devil will take you to hell, O.K.? There we will feel warm soon. (Corrupted French); *** The cats of Beaugency. (Corrupted French). See Simon Sterg Wordpress (12.02.2102) - online; accessed 19.11.2017).
 
Cf. the variant paragraphing in standard English language editions:

My dear Stevie: I sent you a little cat filled with sweets a few days ago but perhaps you do not know the story about the cat of Beaugency.
 Beaugency is a tiny old town on a bank of the Loire, French’s longest river. It is also a very wide river, for France, at least. At Beaugency it is so wide that if you want to cross it from one bank to the other you would have to take at least one thousand steps.
  Long ago the people of Beaugency, when they wanted to cross it, had to go in a boat for there was no bridge. And they could not make one for themselves or pay anybody else to make one. So what were they to do?
 The devil, who is always reading the newspapers, heard about this sad state of theirs so he dressed himself and came to call on the Lord Mayor of Beaugency, who was named Monsieur Alfred Byrne.
 This Lord Mayor was very fond of dressing himself too. He wore a scarlet robe and always had a great golden chain round his neck even when he was fast asleep in bed with his knees in his mouth.
 The devil told the Lord Mayor what he had read in the newspaper and said he could make a bridge for the people of Beaugency so that they could cross the river as often as they wished. He said he could make as good a bridge as was ever made, and make it in one single night.
 The Lord Mayor asked him how much money he wanted for making such a bridge.
 No money at all, said the devil, all I ask is that the first person who crosses the bridge shall belong to me.
 Good, said the Lord Mayor.
 The night came down, all the people in Beaugency went to bed and slept.
 The morning came. And when they put their heads out of their windows they cried: O Loire, what a fine bridge! For they saw a fine strong stone bridge thrown across the wide river.
 All the people ran down to the head of the bridge and looked across it. There was the devil, standing at the other side of the bridge, waiting for the first person who should cross it. But nobody dared to cross it for fear of the devil.
 Then there was a sound of bugles - that was a sign for the people to be silent - and the Lord Mayor M. Alfred Byrne appeared in his great scarlet robe and wearing his heavy golden chain round his neck. He had a bucket of water in one hand and under his arm - the other arm - he carried a cat.
 The devil stopped dancing when he saw him from the other side of the bridge and put up his long spyglass. All the people whispered to one another and the cat looked up at the Lord Mayor because in the town of Beaugency it was allowed that a cat should look at a Lord Mayor. When he was tired of looking at the Lord Mayor (because even a cat grows tired of looking at a Lord Mayor) he began to play with the Lord Mayor’s golden chain.
 When the Lord Mayor came to the head of the bridge every man held his breath and every woman held her tongue. The Lord Mayor put the cat down on the bridge and, quick as a thought, splash! He emptied the whole bucket of water over it.
 The cat who was now between the devil and the bucket of water made up his mind quite as quickly and ran with his ears back across the bridge and into the devil’s arms.
 The devil was as angry as the devil himself. Messieurs les Balgentiens, he shouted across the bridge, vous n’êtes pas de belles gens du tout! Vous n’êtes que des chats! And he said to the cat: Viens ici, mon petit chat! Tu as peur, mon [pau]* petit chou-chat? Viens ici, le diable t’emporte! On va se chauffeur tous les deux.
 And off he went with the cat.
 And since that time the people of that town are called ‘les chats de Beaugency’. But the bridge is there still and there are boys walking and riding and playing upon it.
 I hope you will like this story.

Nonno.

PS: The devil mostly speaks a language of his own called Bellsybabble which he makes up himself as he goes along but when he is very angry he can speak quite bad French very well though some who have heard him say that he has a strong Dublin accent.

*pau is omitted from numerous editions.

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Commentary
Amanda Sigler, op. cit., 2008 p.12 (p.551): Stephen James Joyce, ‘Dear Reader,’ The Cat and the Devil (London: Moonlight Publishing 1990), n.p. Further references will be cited parenthetically in the text as as "Reader." The letter, though published in 1990, is dated “February 1989.”
 

Amanda Sigler, ‘Crossing Folkloric Bridges: The Cat, the Devil, and Joyce’, in James Joyce Quarterly, 45, 3-4 (Spring-Summer 2008), pp.537-55 - indicates that the narrative falls under tale type 1191 known as “Devil’s Bridge” in the Aarne-Thompson folk-tale system [see FTD.org online], while Joyce himself owned Henry Bett’s Nursery Rhymes and Tales in which international tales of this type concerning cocks and dogs are cited [seer Sigler]. It was uncertain that Joyce had ever been in Beaugency until a newly-discovered letter of summer 1936 addressed to Giorgio showing the Hotel de l’Abbaye in Beaugency, and dated ‘ferrogusto’ (August) supplies evidence that he visited that town, while a postcard showing the bridge at Beaugency was said to have been sent to Carola Giedion-Welcker about that time also. BS.] (See also response from Marcelo Amorim - infra.)

Amanda Sigler, ‘Crossing Folkloric Bridges: The Cat, the Devil, and Joyce’, in James Joyce Quarterly, 45, 3-4 (Spring-Summer 2008), pp.537-55 - as attached
See Janet E. Lewis, ‘The Cat and the Devil and Finnegans Wake’, in James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Summer, 1992), pp.805-14 - as attached.
See also ..

Marie-Dominique Garnier, ‘The lapse and the lap: Joyce with Deleuze’, in James Joyce and the Difference of Language, ed. Laurent Milesi (Cambridge UP 2003), pp.97-111 - as supra.

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Translations

Jacques Borel [trans.], James Joyce, Le chat et le diable, Introduction de Stephen J. Joyce; illustrations de Roger Blachon [Collection l’heure des histoires, no. 44; Gallimard Jeunesse] (Paris: Gallimard 2010), 32pp. [sous couverture illustrée; + 11 fiches) [30]pp.: Un pont? Bien sûr que les habitants de Beaugency en voulaient un, mais que leur en coûterait-il? «Pas un sou, dit le diable, tout ce que je demande, c’est que la première personne qui passera le pont m’appartienne.» [Gallimard - online.]

[...]

Le diable piqua une vraie colère de diable.
- Messieurs les Balgentiens, hurla-t-il de l'autre bout du pont, vous n'êtes pas de belles gens du tout! Vous n’êtes que des chats!
Et il dit au chat:
- Viens ici, mon petit chat! Tu as peur mon petit chou-chat? Tu as froid, mon pau petit chou-chat? Viens ici, le diable t’emporte! On va se chauffer tous les deux.

[..]

PS. Le diable parle la plupart du temps une langue à lui, appelée le diababélien, qu’il invente au fur e à mesure, mais, quand il est très très en colère, il peut très bien parler un assez mauvais français quoique ceux qui l’ont entendu assurent qu’il a un fort accent de Dublin.

—Extract quoted at Babelio - online; accessed 12.11.2017.
Jacques Borel, Le chat et le diable (Gallimard 1996 Edn.) - blurp: «Joyce, auteur d’un livre pour les enfants, qui le croirait? Aussi n’est-ce pas tout a fait de cela qu’il s’agit. Ce conte est bien un conte, mais c’est également une lettre adressée par Joyce en 1936 à son petit-fils Stephen. Le prétexte? Un cornet de bonbons en forme de chat. Et Joyce raconte au petit Stevie l’histoire d’un autre chat: celui de Beaugency, que le Diable dut bien se contenter d’emmener se chauffer avec lui au lieu de la brave âme escomptée pour prix d’un pont diaboliquement construit en l’espace d’une nuit. Grand-père tendre et malicieux, l’auteur de Finnegans Wake laisse pointer un bout d’oreille: ce Diable parle "diababélien" avec un fort accent de Dublin.» 
Note: The translation by Jacques Borel in the Gallimard edn. illustrated by Roger Blachon is posted at Perochon-Niort - online; accessed 12.11.2017.

Cf. later blurps: Un pont? Bien sûr que les habitants de Beaugency en voulaient un, mais que leur en coûterait-il ? «Pas un sou, dit le diable, tout ce que je demande, c'est que la première personne qui passera le pont m'appartienneUne légende drôle et malicieuse à raconter aux petits, et que les plus grands liront avec plaisir. (Gallimard 2010) - available at Goodreads online; also Amazon Books online; accessed 21.10.2017. [Cf.

 
Christian Ligerien - transcription

A Beaugency la Loire clapote et tourbillonne autour des piles du pont, il s’agit de l’un des plus anciens. D’une architecture complexe cet ouvrage médiéval enjambe le fleuve, ses vingt arches relayant la Beauce à la Sologne. 

 Voici sa légende: il y a très longtemps de cela, les gens de Beaugency quand ils voulaient franchir la Loire devaient prendre une barque car il n’y avait pas de pont. Et ils n’avaient pas les moyens d’en bâtir un eux mêmes, ni de payer quelqu’un d’autre pour le faire. Alors comment s’en tirer!

Le diable toujours à l’affût entendit parler de cette affaire, il s’habilla et vint rendre visite au maire de Beaugency.

Ce maire aimait bien s’habiller lui aussi. Il portait une robe écarlate et avait toujours une grande chaîne en or autour du cou, même en dormant il ne la quittait pas. Le diable expliqua au maire qu’il avait entendu parler de son affaire et déclara que lui était capable de bâtir un pont pour les habitants de Beaugency de telle sorte qu’ils pourraient le franchir autant de fois qu’il leur plairait. Il dit encore qu’il lui suffirait d’une seule nuit pour le construire. Le maire lui demanda alors combien il voulait pour construire ce pont là. «pas un sou, dit le diable, tout ce que je demande c’est que la première personne qui passe le pont m’appartienne». D’accord dit le maire.

La nuit tomba, tous les gens de Beaugency allèrent se coucher et s’endormirent. Le matin arriva, ils sortirent et s’écrièrent: quel pont magnifique? En effet, ils avaient sous les yeux un beau, un solide pont de pierres qui enjambait le large fleuve.

Alors il y eut une sonnerie de trompettes, le maire apparut dans son bel habit, il avait un seau à la main et sous le bras il tenait un chat. Quand il le vit, à l’autre bout du pont, le diable s’arrêta de danser et ajusta sa longue vue. Les gens se parlaient tout bas essayant de deviner les intentions de leur premier magistrat. Quand le maire arriva à l’entrée du pont les hommes retinrent leur souffle et les femmes leur langue. Le maire posa alors le chat par terre sur le pont, et le temps de dire ouf, il jeta son seau d’eau sur lui. Le chat effarouché ne demanda pas son reste, il traversa le pont à toute allure et vint se jeter dans les bras du diable. Celui-ci piqua alors une vraie colère, il entra dans une telle rage qu’il donna un coup de pied à l’une des arches du pont qui depuis reste décalée. «Messieurs les Balgentiens, hurla-t-il de l’autre coté, vous n’êtes pas de belles gens[,] vous n’êtes que des chats!»  Voici pourquoi depuis cette époque on appelle les habitant de cette ville «les chats de Beaugency.»   

Available at Ligerian Christian - online; accessed 19.04.2013 - with the additional remarks:

Plus sérieusement, on pense que le mot «chat» est une contraction du mot châtaigne. Il est vrai que les foires aux châtaignes sont très nombreuses dans la région. Les «chats de Beaugency» seraient en réalité les châtaignes de Beaugency.

Cf. the Beaugency online Tourist Brochure:

Long de 400 mètres, ce pont d’une vingtaine d’arches fait suite à une première construction du XIIe siècle. Au Moyen Age, le vieux pont était le seul, avec celui de Gien, à enjamber la Loire. Ses parties les plus anciennes datent donc du XIIe siècle, mais l’essentiel de l’ouvrage est postérieur à la grande crue de 1608 au cours de laquelle le Petit Pont, qui rejoignait la rive gauche, fut emporté. Une légende reste attachée à sa construction: du temps où les habitants devaient traverser le fleuve en bateau, le diable en personne construisit un pont, en une seule nuit, en échange de la vie de la première personne qui le franchirait. Soupçonneux, le maire de la ville (ou le prêtre selon les versions), posa un chat au départ du pont et lui lança un seau d’eau pour le faire traverser. Floué, le diable en colère donna un coup de pied dans l’une des arches (qui depuis est restée décalée) tout en traitant les habitants de «chats de Beaugency», appellation encore utilisée aujourd’hui. James Joyce trouva cette légende savoureuse au point de la raconter dans un livre pour enfants, à l’humour délicieux et qu’il a dédié à son fils (Le Chat et le Diable, toujours édité chez Gallimard).

See full-text version under Illustrations - infra or as attached.

Gallimard notice: Le Chat et le Diable a été publié pour la première fois chez Gallimard en 1966, vingt-cinq ans après la mort de son auteur. En 1978, Gallimard jeunesse propose une nouvelle édition illustrée cette fois par Roger Blachon, constamment rééditée depuis. / Le rapport texte-image de ce livre est riche et peut être exploité en tant que tel. Par sa rigueur, sa minutie et son ouverture, l’illustration occupe une grande importance tout en laissant une liberté de lecture et d’interprétation qui correspond bien aux ellipses narratives. Le choix d’un point de vue unique sur la ville permet au jeune lecteur de ne pas se perdre, d’identifier les différents temps de l’histoire (personnages vacant à leurs occupations, nuit, personnages stupéfaits aux fenêtres…) et confère au décor de la ville de Beaugency le statut d’un personnage à part entière. (See Gallimard, fiche pedagogiques - online.)

Note: There is an Italian edition as Le Chat de Beaugency: Una storia di Stephen (Brescia: Edizione L’Obliquo 1996), which appears to give notice of an earlier imprint from Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt.

 
Gallimard - new edition (Kindle)

Céline Decamps, trans. with 11 ills. by Jasmine Bourrel Le Chat et le Diable (Paris: Gallimard [iBookids] 2013), [Kindle edn.] 34pp. [... James Joyce écrit là une malicieuse histoire pour enfants (et plus grands), plus particulièrement destinée à son petit-fils. Une petite fable bien distrayante et bien jolie.]

 
El Gato y el Diablo, 1988 (Quoto, Ecuador: Libresa 1988), ill. Carla Torres

El gato, que ahora estaba entre la espada y la pared - entre el diable y el cubo de agua - se decidió como alma que lleva el diablo y corrió, con las orejas gachas, a trevés del puente hasta parar en los brazos del diablo

El diablo estaba tan enfadado como un diablo.

Messieurs les Balgentiens, gritó del otro lado del puente, vous n’êtes que des chats! (que quiere decir: Senores Balgatiens, ustedes no son ni siquiera personas! No son más que gatos!) Y le dijo al gato: Viens ice, mon petit chat! Tu as peur mon petit chou-chat? Tu as froid mon pau petit chou-chat? Viens ice, le diable t’emporte! On va se chaffer tous les deux (que quiere decir: Ven aquí, gatito mío! Tienes miedo, mi mimino monino? Tienes frío, mi minino monino? Ven aquí, el diablo te lleva! Nos vamos a quemar muy juntos los dos). Y se marchó con el gato. Y desde aquella época a los habitantes de ese pueblo les llaman «Los gatos de Beaugency»!

PS El diablo habla en general un lenguaje prioprio llamado cascababelcebululú que inventa mientras prosique su marcha, per cuando está que echa chispas puede hablar muy bien un francês endiablado, aunque los que lo han oído dicen que tiene un fuerte acento de Dublin.

Available online; accessed 12.11.2017.
 

Franco Marucci [with] Cristiano Coppi [ill.], Il gatto e il diavolo (Edizioni ETS 2015), 44pp. [pb.] Publisher’s notice: Il diavolo parla per lo più una sua lingua chiamata Borbogliodipancia, che inventa lui stesso mentre cammina, ma quando è molto arrabbiato è in grado di parlare molto bene un pessimo francese, benché qualcuno, avendolo sentito, affermi che abbia uno spiccato accento dublinese. / Questa piccola fiaba “mefistofelica” fu scritta da Joyce nonno per il nipotino Stephen nel 1936 in forma di lettera. Viene ripresentata qui nell’elegante traduzione di Franco Marucci, accompagnata dai collages di Cristiano Coppi. Gemella de I gatti di Copenhagen, scritta anch’essa per il nipote nello stesso anno, questa lettera fantastica e surreale ci mostra un’altra faccia di uno scrittore camaleontico e polifonico, un Joyce che, in temporanea vacanza dall’ermetismo di Finnegans Wake, ritroviamo a giocare con il piccolo Stephen e il suo linguaggio. (See Good Reads - online; accessed 09.10.2017.)

 
Lygia Bojunga, O gato e o diabo (São Paolo: Cosac Naify 2012) [full text]:

O GATO E O DIABO
James Joyce
Villers-sur-Mer,
10 de agosto de 1936

Querido Stevie,

Dias atrás mandei para você um gatinho de brinquedo recheado de bombons, mas talvez você não tenha ouvido falar do gato de Beaugency. Beaugency é uma cidade antiga, deste tamanhinho, que fica às margens do Loire, o rio mais longo da França. O Loire é, também, muito largo, pelo menos comparado com os outros rios de lá. Quando  passa por Beaugency o rio é tão largo que, se você quiser atravessar de uma margem à outra, teria que dar, no mínimo, mil passos.  No passado, quando os habitantes de Beaugency queriam atravessar o rio, eles eram obrigados a ir de barco, por que... ponte? Nem pensar! Eles não tinham dinheiro para construir ponte alguma e, muito menos, pagar gente que construísse uma para eles. Então, fazer o quê? O Diabo, que está sempre lendo tudo que é jornal, ficou sabendo deste triste fato. Então, se vestiu muito bem vestido e foi fazer uma visitinha ao Senhor Prefeito de Beaugency, que se chamava Monsieur Alfred Byrne. O Senhor Prefeito, que também adorava se vestir bem, recebeu o Diabo usando um magnífico manto vermelho e uma impressionante corrente de ouro, que trazia sempre pendurada no pescoço. Não se separava da corrente nem enquanto dormia, encolhido, com os joelhos quase na boca. O Diabo contou para o Senhor Prefeito o que tinha lido nos jornais e disse que estava disposto a construir uma ponte em Beaugency para que o povo todo pudesse atravessar o rio quantas vezes quisesse. Disse que podia construir uma ponte tão boa quanto a melhor que existia no mundo, e mais: podia construí-la numa única noite! O Prefeito perguntou ao Diabo quanto é que custaria aquela maravilha.
“Dinheiro nenhum”, respondeu o Diabo.”
Faço de graça. Só quero uma coisa: o primeiro que atravessar a ponto vai me pertencer.”
“Combinado”, disse o Prefeito. A noite chegou e todo o povo de Beaugency foi dormir. Quando amanheceu, cada um que abria a janela dava com uma bela ponte de pedra, muito bem construída, atravessando o rio todinho.
E todos gritavam, fascinados: “Ah, Loire, que ponte linda que a gente ganhou!”. Todo mundo correu pra cabeceira da ponte para apreciar melhor a grande obra. Enquanto o Diabo, de pé, na margem oposta do rio, ensaiava um passo de dança, esperando o primeiro a atravessar. Mas ninguém se atrevia a dar um passo, por medo do Diabo.
De repente, ouviu-se o som das trombetas  – sinal para que o povo silenciasse  –, e o Prefeito, Monsieur Alfred Byrne, surgiu envolto no seu magnífico manto vermelho, ostentando a pesada corrente de ouro em volta do pescoço. Carregava um balde cheio d’água e, com a outra mão, amparava um gato espremido debaixo do braço. O Diabo parou de dançar quando viu o Prefeito aparecer na outra margem do rio. Pegou a luneta  para enxergar melhor. O povo todo começou a cochichar. O gato levantou o olhar para o Senhor Prefeito e assim ficou, uma vez que, na cidade de Beaugency, era permitido gato grudar o olho em prefeito. Quando o gato se cansou de olhar para o Prefeito (até os gatos se cansam de olhar para prefeitos), começou a brincar com a tal corrente de ouro dele. O Senhor Prefeito parou na cabeceira da ponte. Cada homem travou a respiração; cada mulher  prendeu a língua. O Prefeito depositou o gato na ponte e, com a rapidez de um raio, tchaaaaaa!, despejou o balde inteiro em cima do gato.
O gato, agora entre o Diabo e o balde d’água, nem pestanejou! Orelha apontada pra trás, varou a  ponte numa corrida desabalada e se jogou nos braços do Diabo. O Diabo ficou danado feito só mesmo um diabo fica.
“Messieurs le Balgentiens”, ele berrou lá do outro lado da ponte, “vous n’êtes pás de belles gens du tout! Vous n’êtes que des chats!” E chamou o gato: “Viens ici, mon petit chat! Tu as peur, mon petit chou-chat? Tu as froid, mon pau petit chou-chat? Viens ici, le diable t’emporte? On va se chauffer tous le deux.”*
 E lá se foram os dois.
Desde aquele dia, os habitantes da cidadezinha ficaram conhecidos por “les chats de Beaugency (os gatos de Beaugency). Mas a ponte ainda está lá, e as crianças estão sempre nela: andando, bicicletando, brincando. Espero que você tenha gostado dessa história. 
Nonno.

*[Footnote:] ‘Para quem não entende muito bem francês macarrônico, o Diabo falou mais ou menos assim: “Povo de Beaugency, voçes não são gente boa! Voçes nao passam de gatos de telhado: vira-latas!” Depois, disse ao gato: “Vem cá, meu gatinho, vem. Tá com medo, não é meu fofo? Não fique assim, naão, o Diabo vai tomar conta de voçe, viu. Tá com frio? A gente se aquece um no outro, pobre gatinho, vem.’ (p.26.)

P.S.: O Diabo, em geral, fala uma língua que ele mesmo vai inventado mundo afora, chamada  bellysbabble; mas ele fala, também, um monte de outras línguas. Só que, quando fica zangado, ele fala um francês macarrônico muito bom, apesar de quem já o ter ouvido falar assim dizer que ele tem um forte sotaque dublinense. (p.29.)

Apparatus (Bojunga, 2012)

Note on James Joyce: ‘Foi em Paris que lancou seu últimao livro em vida, Finnigans Wake [sic] - traduzido para o portugu&etilde;s pelos irmãos Campos - no qual sua técnica narrativa se torna tão complexa que chega a ser considerada por muitos ininteligível. É da Françla também que envia a seu neto Stephen, na época com quarto anos, a carta que se tranformaria neste O gato e o Diabo. (1936). A historia traz alguns elementos que permeiam toda a obra de Joyce, como a condição expatriado, personificado na figura do diabo, e a critica às autoridades governantes de seu pais, ao chamar, por examplo, o prefeito de Beaugency pelo nome do primeiro prefeito de Dublin pós-independência da Irlanda. A carta de Joyce permaneceu inédita por vinte anos e, quando tornada publica, foi vertida par catorze idiomas.’ [End papers; p.[30]].

Note on Lygia Bojunga: ‘Movida pela desafio de traduzir Joyce, Lygia conseguiu de manter neste O gato e o Diabo o caráter original do texto, sem deixar de dar sua contribuição como escritora, o que resultou em um traduçáo incontestavelmente autoral.’ [Idem., p.[31].]

Bojunga (b.1932) is winner of the Christian Anderson award (1982) and Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2004) and founder of Casa Lygia Bojunga Press [editora] and the Fundacao Cultural Casa Lygia Bojunga for book-related projects.

Note also under Lelis: [...] Neste O gato e a Diabo, chamam attenção o cenário quase cinematográfico e a forma caricatural come que Lelis retratou o prefeito e o Diabo. - que em muito se assemelho ao próprio James Joyce, uma interpretação possível para o postscriptum do autor, onde dá indicios de o diabo ser ele mesmo - con seu frances macarrónico e forte sotaque dublinense. [Idem.]

Lélis [Marcelo Eduardo Lelis de Oliveira] was born in Montes Claros (Minas Gerais) in 1967 and has illustrated works including Cidade de Ouro (2015), Dernières Cartouches (France, 2009) and Clara dos Anjos by Lima Barreto (2011). He has won a prize at the 3a. Bienal Internacional de Quadrinhos with Saino a precurá (2001).

 
Marcelo da Silva Amorim: ‘O gato de Beagency ou uma carta de James a Stevie: biogragia de um tradução’ [Extract], in Bloomsday Ensaíos, ed. Ana Graca Canan & Amorim (Editora da UFRN 2013), pp.25-52; p.43ff.

[...] Em geral, não é natural ao gênero epistolar apresentar títulos. E a carta de Joyce não é exceção. É já na segunda oração, todavia, que encontramos a pista que daria nome à nossa edição: “Alguns dias atrás, mandei para você um gatinho recheado de doces, mas talvez você não conheça a história do gato de Beaugency” (JOYCE, 2013, p. 13, grifos nossos). Ao contrário da estratégia adotada para as edições comerciais da história relatada na carta, que em sua maioria são denominadas, em suas respectivas línguas, ao que se traduz por “O Gato e o Diabo”, Joyce deixa claro que a sua narrativa tratará da história de um gato — o Gato de Beaugency. Trata-se de uma questão de foco, e já se viu um pouco do papel que gatos desempenham [44] nas duas narrativas joyceanas que comentamos. Aqui, o Diabo não se apresenta senão mais adiante, depois de descritas a cidade e a dificuldade do povo em atravessar o rio. Não quer isso dizer que o papel do Diabo seja secundário na narrativa. Ao contrário: é ele quem movimenta toda a trama e se destaca inclusive por suas características tipicamente humanas, inesperadas em um ser de poderes sobrenaturais, como o fato de falar francês ruim quando está nervoso, de precisar ler jornais para se manter bem informado, de usar uma luneta para enxergar do outro lado da ponte ou mesmo de dançar enquanto espera o prefeito do outro lado da ponte. O personagem do Diabo, assim, afasta-se do prototipicamente demoníaco, já que Joyce descreve-o sem chifres, rabo ou pés de bode virados para trás, como é comum em suas aparições nas narrativas folclóricas. Com exceção do fato de ser capaz de construir a ponte em uma só noite, o Diabo, atendendo por qualquer outro nome, poderia se passar por um cavalheiro qualquer, habitante da cidade. Na visão do Stephen adulto que escreve a introdução à história (JOYCE, 1957), o Diabo chega a ser “kind and considerate to animals” — bondoso e atencioso com os animais. [...] (pp.44-45)

—See longer extract under Joyce > Commentary - as attached.

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Main Editions
English
  • The Cat and the Devil, ill. by Richard Erdoes [Daisy Books for Print Disabled Series] (NY: Dodd, Mead & Co. 1964);
  • The Cat and the Devil, ill. Gerald Rose (London: Faber & Faber 1965);
  • The Cat and the Devil, ill. by Roger Blachon (London: Moonlight 1980; NY: Schocken Books 1981);
  • The Cat and the Devil, ill. Blachon [rep.] (London: Moonlight 1990; Newfoundland, Can.: Breakwater 1990), 29pp., [28]pp. [afterword by Stephen Joyce];
French
  • Le chat et le diable, trans. Jacques Borel [1st French edn.] (Paris; Gallimard 1966), ill. Jean-Jacques Corre;
  • Le chat e le diable, dessiné par Roger Blachon, intro. by Stephen J. Joyce [Collection folio Benjamin, 77] (Paris: Gallimard 1978 [rep. 1984]) [30]pp., 18cm [see extract and publishing details - as infra].
Le chat et le diable - links to French Editions
 
Kamishibaï (1985)
 
*See further works by Joyce published by Gallimard (Paris 2012) - as attached.


[ See also Fiche Pédagogique at Gallimard's L’heure des histoires [Story-time] - online; or copy as attached. ]

Italian
  • Le Chat de Beaugency: Una storia de Stephen [2nd edn.] (Brescia: Edizione L’Obliquo 1996)*
Portuguese
  • O Gato e O Diabo, trans. Joana Morais Varela (Lisboa: Contexto 1983);, with Blachon’s illustrations.
  • O Gato e o Diabo (Lisboa: Nova Vega 2013), ill. by Tomislav Torjanac.
  • O Gato e O Diabo, Lygia Bojunga, trans. (São Paulo: Cosac Naify 2012), ill. “Lelis”  [Marcelo Eduardo Lélis].
  • Ana Graça Canan & Marcelo Amorim, trans., O Gato de Beaugency (Natal: EDUFRN 2013), ill. Arthur Seabra; Afterword by Bruce Stewart [48pff.]*
  • Eclair Antonio Almeida Filho, trans., O Gato de Beaugency seguido de Os Gatos de Copenhagen (Bauro Brazil: Lumme 2015).*
  • Os Gatos de Copenhague [sic], trans. Dirce Waltrick Do Amarante (Sao Paolo:

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Full Listing of editions at 07.10.2017

[Source: Primarily compiled from the Goodreads database for The Cat and the Devil - amplified by other sources. Note that the Goodread website includes the following tag: ‘The Cat and the Devil by James Joyce first published 1936’. Note: This list has been amplified by other known editions to form a complete record.]

[ See cover illustrations - infra.]

The Cat and the Devil 1964
[Dodd, Mead & Co.] 48pp. hb.
Richard Erdoes (Ill.)

The Cat and the Devil 1965
Faber & Faber, London 32pp. hb.
Gerald Rose (Ill.)

Die Katze und der Teufel 1966
Fritz Senn (Trans.), Richard Erdoes (Ill.)
24 pages Rhein-Verl. [Zürich]

Le chat et le diable [1st French edn.] 1966
Gallimard, Paris 1966, 64pp., 32 ills.*
Albums Jeunesse Pays : Irlande
Jacques Borel (Trans.). Jean-Jacques Corre (Ill.)

Il gatto e il diavolo, 1967
Enzo Siciliano (Trans.), Flaminia Siciliano (Ill.)
Milan: Emme Edizioni 1967.

Kattene fra Beaugency 1669 [Danish]
Ole Wahl Olsen (Trans.), Kirtsten Ruth (Ill.)
(Ravnesbjerg: Tryk & Scanprint 1969)

Die Katze und der Teufel 1973
Fritz Senn (Trans.), Roger Blachon (Ill.)
[Die besten klasischen und modern Katzengesichten]
(Zürich: Diogenes 1973), pp.97-99.

Η γάτα και ο Διάβολος 1977
Χατζηνικολή
Τζαίημς Τζόυς 16pp. pb.

Le chat e le diable 1978 [new edn.; rep. 1984, ... 2010, &c.]
[Collection Folio Benjamin, 77]*
Gallimard, Paris 1978, [30]pp.,
Roger Blachon Ill.); intro. by Stephen J. Joyce.

The Cat and the Devil 1978
[Japanese] trans. Maruya Saiichi
(Tokyo: Shueisha 1978);

Neko to akuma 1981
Bunka Publ. Bureau (1981)
Ando Moto (Trans.), Roger Blachon (Ill.)

The Cat and the Devil 1981
Moonlight 1980 [London]; NY: Schocken Books 1981]
Roger Blachon [Ill.] Afterword by Stephen J. Joyce.

The Cat and the Devil 1981
[Hebrew] Avraham Yavin (Trans.), Blachon [Ill.]
(Tel Aviv: Am Oved Publ. 1981).

Die Katze und der Teufel 1995
Fritz Senn (Trans.), Roger Blachon (Ill.)
Stephen J. Joyce (Vorwerd)
([Berlin:] Broshciert [Insel Verlag] 1995).

El Gato y el Diablo 1996
Gerald Rose (Ill.). Julián Rios (Trans]
2nd Spanish edn. 32pp.
[Lectorum Pubns (1981).]

O gato e o diabo 1983
Contexto e Imagem [Lisbon] 27pp. hb.
Roger Blachon (Ill.), Joana Morais Varela (Trans.)
[This version set in Linda-a-Gente]

The Cat and the Devil 1987
January 1st 1987 Schocken 28pp. hb.
Roger Blachon (Ill.)

The Cat and the Devil 1988
December 31st 1988 [London]
Moonlight Publishing 32pp. pb.
Roger Blachon (Ill.)

El Gato y el Diablo, 1988
(Quoto: Ecuador: Libresa 1988)
Carla Torres (Ill.);

The Cat and the Devil 1990
[rep. of Moonlight 1980]
January 1st 1990 Breakwater Books
[Newfoundland] 2[7]pp. hb.
Blacon (Ill.)

Le chat et le diable 1990
Gallimard 32pp. hb. [premier parution 1978]
Roger Blachon (Ill.)

Katten og djævelen 1990
Susanne Vebel (Trans.), Roger Blachon (Ill.)
Agertoft [Copenhagen], eksp. Børnenes boghandel

Le chat et le diable 1994
November 3rd 1994 Gallimard Jeunesse pb.
Roger Blachon (Ill.)

Die Katze und der Teufel 1995
Insel Verlag (Berlin)
Fritz Senn (Trans.) Roger Blachon (Ill.)

El Gato y el Diablo 1996
August 28th 1996 Lumen Espana [Spain]
Mabel Piérola (Trans.), [Torres, Ill.]

Le chat de Beaugency: Una storia de Stephen 1996
(Brescia: Edizione L’Obliquo 1996)

A Macska es a Odrog 1997
Imre V. Szilvia (Trans.), Peter Vladimir (Ill.)
(Budapest AB OVO 1997) [Hungarian].

Kočka a čert 1999
Argo 32pp. hb. [Czech]
Jarmila Rosikove (Trans.), Sasa Svolikova (Il..)
(Praha: Argo 1999).

“A Letter to Stephen Joyce” 1999
[bilingual English & Japanese]
N. Watanabe (Trans.)
in ABIE Quarterly, 3 (Spring 1999), 67-70;


القط والشيطان. 2000
مكتبة الأسرة 28pp. pb
جيمس جويس, عبد التواب يوسف (ترجمة)
[Arabic]

Mmacek in hucic 2000
Ales Pogacnik (Trans.) [Slovenian]
James Joyce: Poezija in kratka proza
(Ljubljana Zaloznistvo Literature DZS 2000), pp.185-89

Mačak i vrag 2005
Mozaik knjiga, Zagreb 20pp. hb.
Tomislav Torjanac (Ill.) [Croatian]

Kot i diabeł 2008
Media Rodzina 32pp. hb.
Kiedy Stevie [trans.] [Ill. Blachon]

Kočka a čert 2011
Meander [Prague] 32pp. hb.
Ivana Pecháčková (Trans.), Tadeáš Kotrba (Ill.)

Kedi ile Şeytan 2012
İletişim Yayınları 36pp. pb.
Celâl Üster (Trans.), Gerald Rose (Ill.) [Turkish]

O gato e o Diabo 2012
Cosac Naify [São Paulo] 32pp. hb.
Lygia Bojunga (Trans.), “Lelis”  [Marcelo Eduardo Lélis] (Ill.)

Le chat et le diable (iBookids) 2013
February 26th 2013 Numeriklivres
Kindle Edition, 34pp.
Jasmine Bourrel (Ill.), Céline Decamps (Trans.)

O gato de Beaugency 2013 pb.
Ana Graça Canan & Marcelo Amorim (Trans.), Arthur Seabra (Ill.);
EDUFRN, Natal 2013,
Afterword by Bruce Stewart [pp.48-55.]

O gato e o diabo 2013
Nova Vega Editora [Lisbon] 28pp. hb.
Tomislav Torjanac (Ill.) [n. trans.]

O gato e o diabo 2013
Iluminuras [São Paulo] 32pp. pb.
Dirce Waltrick do Amarante (Trans.), Michaella Pivetti (Ill.)

Le Chat et le Diable (iBookids) 2013
Céline Decamps (Trans.), Jasmine Bourrel (Ill.)
Kindle Edition 34pp.  

Η γάτα και ο Διάβολος 2015
May 2015 Ηριδανός 32pp. pb.
Σπάρτη Γεροδήμου (Trans.)

Il gatto e il diavolo 2015
Edizioni ETS [Pisa, Italy] 44pp. pb.
Franco Marucci (Trans.), Cristiano Coppi (Ill.). 

The Cat and the Devil/O Gato e o Diabo e The Cats of Copenhagen/Os Gatos de Copenhagen 2016
Eclair Antonio Almeida Filho (Trans.)
Bauro Brazil: Lumme Editor 2015, 34pp.

Editions listed by Amanda Sigler (JJQ 2008 - as infra: 1. The Cat and the Devil [in Hebrew] trans. Avraham Yavin, ill. Blachon (Tel Aviv: Am Oved Publ. 1981); 2. The Cat and the Devil [Japanese] trans. Maruya Saiichi (Tokyo: Shueisha 1978); 3. Il Gato y el Diablo, ill. Carla Torres (Quoto: Ecuador: Libresa 1988); 4. Il gatto e il diavolo, trans. Enzo Siciliano, ill. Flaminia Siciliano (Milan: Emme Edizioni 1967); 5. Kattene fra Beaugency [Danish], trans. Ole Wahl Olsen, ill. Kirtsten Ruth (n.p. Ravnesbjerk [sic] Tryk & Scanprint 1969); 6. Die Katze under der Teufel, trans. Fritz Senn, [Die besten klasischen und modern Katzengesichten] (Zürich: Diogenes 1973), pp.97-99; 6. Kocha a cert, trans. Jarmila Rosikove, ill. Sasa Svolikova (Praha: Argo 1999); 7. “A Letter to Stephen Joyce” [English & Japanese]. trans. N. Watanabe, in ABIE Quarterly, 3 (Spring 1999), 67-70; 9. Mmacek in hucic (Slovenian) trans. Ales Pogacnik, James Joyce: Poezija in kratka proza (Ljubljana Zaloznistvo Literature DZS 2000), pp.185-89; 10. A Macska es a Odrog (Hung.) trans. Imre V. Szilvia, ill. Peter Vladimir (Budapest AB OVO 1997). [The foregoing titles have been incorporated in the above list. BS: 30.10.2017.]

 

Go to Goodreads Inc - online; accessed 07.10.2017.

 

[ See Gallery of Editions - attached.]

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The Cats of Copenhagen
5 Sept. 1936
[Copenhagen]
There are lots and lots of fish and bicycles but there are no cats. Also there are no policemen. All the Danish policemen spend the day at home in bed. They smoke big Danish cigars and drink buttermilk all day long. There are lots and lots of young boys dressed in red on bicycles going around all day with telegrams and letters and postcards. These are all for the policemen from old ladies who want to cross the road and boys who are writing home for more sweets and girls who want to know something about the moon. When I come to Copenhagen again I will bring a cat and show the Danes how it can cross the road without any instructions from a policeman.

[Note: The letter is among numerous items donated to the Zurich James Joyce Foundation by Hans E. Jahnke, son of Giorgio Joyce’s second wife, Asta. See version at Ithys Press 2012 - online; also Guardian report by Alison Flood - online; accessed 20.04.2013] See also commentary by Amanda Sigler, in JJQ (2008) - as supra.

Publishing History
Apparently the text of ‘the Cats of Copenhagen’ was copied from a letter to Stephen among the Joyce papers donated to the James Joyce Foundation in Zurich by Hans Jahnke, son of Giorgio Joyce’s second wife, Asta. The letter was published by Ithys Press whose principal is Anastasia Herbert. The Foundation have expressed outrage at the unauthorised publication of the text ad treat it as an infringement of copyright relative to private papers notwithstanding Joyce’s published work now being in the public domain. (See Alison Flood, ‘James Joyce children’s story The Cats of Copenhagen gets first publication’, in The Guardian, 9 Feb. 2017 - online; accessed 10.10.2017.) The Ithys edition was circulated in America within the year by Schuster (NY).
Editions
  • The Cats of Copenhagen (Dublin: Ithys Press 2012), 40pp. [printed by Michael Caine in letterpress; in early 20th cn. Italian and French handcut fonts; with pen-and-ink drawing by Casey Sorrow; edn. of 200 copies consisting of 26 lettered copies, 170 numbered copies and 4 copies hors commerce; distrib. by Schuster & Schuster in America citing Ithys copyright. Priced at £300-1,500. See copy at Brain Pickings - online; accessed 20.04.2013].
  • Os Gatos de Copenhague, trans. Dirce Waltrick Do Amarante (Sao Paolo: Illuminuras 2013), 24pp. [narrando a assombrosa inexistência de felinos nessa famosa capital; claims to have received the text from the JJF - see Illuminuras page - online; accessed 10.10.2017].
  • O Gato de Beaugency seguido de Os Gatos de Copenhagen, trans. by Eclair Antonio Almeida Filho (Bauro Brazil: Lumme 2015).
 
Note: On 17 July 1937 Joyce wrote to his Dublin friend Con Curran: ‘By way of Clongowes Fr Conmee Used to say my letters home were like grocer’s lists. Sono sempre quello. For I am sending you another £2 & ten 10/- and I would like you to exhaust the amount in the purchase of all the songs available in French, Ashcroft, Wheatley and Vousden […] I would like these soon.” (Sel. Letters, Viking edn. 1975, p.386.)

Links

Nursery School [chatons e diablotins]: http://www.beaugency.fr/mon-quotidien/petit-enfance-et-jeunesse/les-0-3-ans/chatons-et-diablotins/
Nature Course [Menug-Beaugency Marathon]: http://lma45.over-blog.com/tag/entre%20l%27ane%20et%20le%20chat/


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