Saturday, October 11, 2014

Still Lovin' the Net

Back in May I posted a brief note Lovin' the Net  on trivia found on the Internet. It was prompted by a question that came up in a conversation. Today I'm posting about searches prompted while reading. Most of these are trivia in that they didn't necessarily add to the plot, but are details of descriptions of people or settings.

It's a given that when I'm reading I will stop and search Google maps for the places I'm reading about. But there are lots of other things that I'm curious about that send me off on a search (and often a tangent or two). Recently it was a couple of plants, a food, and two people.

Pelargonium: One of the minor characters in The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg has a hobby of raising these plants. I didn't know what they were so I set out to find them. There is a lot of information out there on this member of the family Geraniaceae (also includes Geraniums)--it even has has its own Club . These are lovely flowers. I even downloaded a picture (from another site) as a background. I won't post it here because of copyright considerations.

Matilisguate tree: This flowering tree Tabebuia rosea (pink trumpet-tree) plays a part in "Some Other Zoo" by Rodrigo Rey Rosa; translation by Daniel Hahn, published online in the October 2014 issue of Words Without Borders.

Daube: In Pascal Garnier's How's the Pain?, Simon, one of the main characters, watches his new friend Bernard "...tucking into his daube of beef, his nose almost in his plate." I was pretty sure I knew what a daube is, but I stopped reading to check myself. Yep, it's stew. I should have been a little more patient because on the next page Bernard says "I could eat beef stew out of a bin." Still, on my laptop I now had a lovely picture of a Daube de Boeuf Provencal to glance at while Bernard polished off both his and Simon's portions. The daube that lingers in my memory is not boeuf, it's a Daube de Mouton that I had at a place in Argelès-Gazost. It was a cold day, we had just found out that we would have to back track to Lourdes because the pass we wanted to use was closed (we never did make it to Spain on that trip), so we decided to have something to eat while we regrouped. Lovely warm meal on such a cold day. 

Claude François (1939-1978): Finding that this pop super star was a real person made the short story "The Death of Claude François" (in All My Friends by Marie NDiaye) much more meaningful to me.

Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg (1910-2012): It's sometimes difficult to tell whether Eduardo Halfon is writing true stories, enhanced true stories, or fiction. In this case Rabbi Scheinberg, who makes an appearance in Halfon's Monastery was a real person, His habit of wearing many layers of tzitzit which Halfon describes in the first chapter is true. I didn't have to look up tzitzit, Halfon explains it clearly, but there are plenty of opportunities to search and learn when reading Halfon.

So, back to reading and discovery.


  1. I totally agree on the tangent searches. Great post!

  2. Thank you. And thanks for stopping by.