Vissen in de Seine
met Hemingway en Orwell
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
My money oozed away – to eight francs, to four francs, to one franc, to twenty-five centimes; and twenty-five centimes is useless, for it will buy nothing except a newspaper. We went several days on dry bread, and then I was two and a half days with nothing to eat whatever. This was an ugly experience. There are people who do fasting cures of three weeks or more, and they say that fasting is quite pleasant after the fourth day; I do not know, never having gone beyond the third day. Probably it seems different when one is doing it voluntarily and is not underfed at the start.
The first day, too inert to look for work, I borrowed a rod and went fishing in the Seine, baiting with bluebottles. I hoped to catch enough for a meal, but of course I did not. The Seine is full of dace¹, but they grew cunning during the siege of Paris, and none of them has been caught since, except in nets.
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
I knew several of the men who fished the fruitful parts of the Seine between the Île St-Louis and the Place du Verte Galente and sometimes, if the day was bright, I would buy a liter of wine and a piece of bread and some sausage and sit in the sun and read one of the books I had bought and watch the fishing.
Travel writers wrote about the men fishing in the Seine as though they were crazy and never caught anything; but it was serious and productive fishing. Most of the fishermen were men who had small pensions, which they did not know then would become worthless with inflation, or keen fishermen who fished on their days or half-days off from work. There was better fishing at Charenton, where the Marne came into the Seine, and on either side of Paris, but there was very good fishing in Paris itself. I did not fish because I did not have the tackle and I preferred to save my money to fish in Spain.
1 Dace, een voornachtige vis; de common dace is de serpeling (Leuciscus leuciscus).
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, 1933.
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast, 1964.
» Levend behang in vooroorlogs Parijs.
» “And you mustnt write slop”.
Geplaatst op 7 mei 2016.
© de 5e Verdieping 2016