Saturday, March 29, 2008


A nice Washington Post write-up about the land of the Cathars as she is now, via The French Journal. I certainly wouldn't mind escaping this tarnished city on a hill for awhile to write and explore amidst the long shadows of that history. If old stuff fires up your inner geek, and you're stuck here as well, then I can heartily recommend books such as these to get your imaginary journey out of the house and onto the road.


Tom Harper said...

Looks like a beautiful place; the kind of place where you can just feel the history whether you're actively studying it or not.

Freida Bee said...

Oh, The Cathars looks like a book that might fire up my inner geek. You should summarize them for us lazy Americans'

Liberality said...

with the real world out here sucking as bad as it does an escape to anywhere looks delightful to me...;D

susan said...

It's a beautiful picture which reminded me of a book about Gnosticism as the Cathars were reputed to be. The Cathars believed themselves to be the only "true" church, and dismissed the Roman Church as corrupt, greedy, hypocritical, and power-hungry Roman paganism. They eschewed materialism and hierarchy, and attempted to emulate the earliest Christians, living simply and ascetically. They refused to fight and refused to remove the walls of their towns and so were annihilated by the armies of Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIII. I'm sure you know all this but it was interesting for me to be reminded.

Betty C. said...

I've climbed up to a few of these places. Sore legs afterwards, basically.

Randal Graves said...

tom, exactly, the ghost of age almost corporeal.

FB, and give away the ending?

liberality, your local park should suffice. ;-)

susan, sad that humanity has changed very little in intervening eight centuries.

betty, thanks for diluting the vibe a bit with a dose of realism. ;-)

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Effing Inquisition.

I have a French last name, you know. Well, I guess you didn't.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding like an elitist, I love Europe. And not for the shopping.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful photo! It certainly stirs up romanticism.

Dean Wormer said...

No go. I was banned from The Cathars for climbing the battlements and pouring hot oil on the invading hordes below.

Okay, it was hot chocolate and the hordes were tourists in bermuda shorts but you get the idea.

FranIAm said...

I have actually read two of the three books you suggest.

A fascinating period. Just because I am in that church doesn't mean I can't or don't look at it then as well as now, with a most critical eye.

As for a visit there, I would love that.

Like right fucking now.

Candace said...

I love reading about the Cathers. Wonder if their "treasure" will ever turn up. :)

Randal Graves said...

SWB, I know now, Mademoiselle Bleu.

dcup, it's only elitist if you own a few summer homes there.

fot, exactly the reason why I stole it!

dean, in both cases, they deserved it. You were simply doing what you had to do.

fran, of course you can. We're all Americans but that doesn't mean we can't point out our long train of fuckups. Hmm, all those giant blogs do fundraisers, maybe we should do. "Is this for charity?"

candace, it already has, but I can't say where. Sacred oaths and all that. ;-)