Dans les jardins de mon père by Nicole Avril

By Nicole Avril

Une plage de Nieul-Sur-Mer, près de l. a. Rochelle. Une maison à Rambouillet. Un quartier pauvre de Lyon. Autour de ces lieux de mémoire, Nicole Avril se raconte pour l. a. première fois.

Elle découvre les parfums d’algue et d’iode, le goût du sel, et l’appel de l’horizon. Elle discover les jardins de son père, dignes des « jardins d’Allah », qui mélangent les fleurs, le maïs, les end result juteux et tendres. l. a. douleur surgit dès los angeles cinquième année, quand los angeles petite fille est soignée pour un « joubi » (joue-bis) qui lui déforme le visage. Elle connaît l’hôpital, l’odeur de l’éther, le froid et los angeles peur. l. a. douleur se manifeste aussi plus tard, lors de l’adolescence, à Lyon, avec le premiere amour.

Chaque vie est specific, et, en même temps, ressemble à n’importe quelle vie. Le récit de Nicole Avril ne dit pas autre selected. Il évoque en quelques touches une France d’après-guerre presque oubliée, et, avec des mots justes, l. a. determine d’un père régnant sur des jardins qui ne flétriront jamais.

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It is irrefutable material evidence of life, literally drawn from life. Isolated and framed on its white background, a pressed plant draws attention to itself formally; it invites and allows scrutiny long after its living form would have ceased doing so. The unique and mundane reality of the plant can become secondary to abstract scientific or aesSpecimens | 41 thetic ends. Fundamental to botanical science, taxonomic study locates the plant in a phylogenetic order; aesthetic study responds to the form, texture, and color of a specimen as a composition.

Nelson was not arguing against precision or progress in scientific knowledge. Still, knowledge was only part of an experience of the world that included joy in familiar places, too. ”41 In another address on the same subject, he lamented that a great tradition had been sundered: “We no longer have any naturalists or, if we do, they are sometimes justly and sometimes unjustly called nature fakirs. Darwin and Huxley and Thoreau and Agassiz and Gray and Fabre have left no successors. We do not even have botanists any more.

A photograph of Nelson hangs over a narrow shelf informally displaying Roger Williams’s biography of Nelson, a sample specimen, a guest book, and some pamphlets, but a casual visitor would not really know what sort of place this was. The herbarium’s riches, over 700,000 plant specimens from the Rocky Mountain West and around the world, lie stacked in the dark cabinets. A computer sits ready for additions to the herbarium’s on-line database, an enormous project of data entry; when it’s not occupied, the computer displays one of Nelson’s more acerbic field observations as a screen saver: “a vile and most pernicious weed,” it scrolls.

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