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Talked to Elle today

She called me a while ago. She is on her way home from the mountains, where she went for some much needed solitude (you have no idea how much teachers need that) and rest.

I last saw her Friday night, when we celebrated her birthday at Caraba's.

When I saw her I loaned her my copy of The Baron In The Trees by Italo Calvino. She had asked me for reading suggestions, and this is one of the first things that came to mind.

TBITT is  a story about a young baron in 18th century who runs away from home to live in the treetops. That doesn't sound like enough of a premise to sustain a whole novel, but it is. It is an enjoyable fable, and it's thought-provoking if you want it to be. There is a lot of exploration of the theme of individual vs. community, but if that bores you you can just enjoy seeing how the protagonist manages the everyday tasks of life without leaving the treetops. As John Ciardi said of The Divine Comedy, the gold runs deep, but it also runs right up to the surface.

When I talked to her she seemed to be enjoying it. "Where do you find these things" she asked me. She asks me that a lot. I never know if it's out of distress or admiration.

It was nice talking to her. :)
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