Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rowing on the Seine

The other day I received a nice e-mail from one of the readers of my blog, Hélène from France. She attached a drawing of some ‘Parisian Boating Men’. The image, she writes, can be found in the book Canotage, Glouglou, Stella et Mignonne by Alain Chartier. Hélène continues, ‘it is a humorous album featuring boating scenes on the Seine between 1861 and 1878’. Hélène also points me in the direction of the National Maritime Museum, Musée National de la Marine, which is running a blog on maritime matters.

Hélène mentions in her e-mail a blog entry entitled ‘Le Canotier a Paris’ where one can read an interesting article based on the thesis of Frédéric Delaive, who came out with his doctor’s thesis, ‘Canotage et canotiers de la Seine: genèse du premier loisir moderne à Paris et ses environs (1800-1860)’ in 2003. Monsieur Delaive will soon have his thesis published by Presses Universitaires de Rennes. Then everyone can take part in this interesting subject, everyone that can read French, that is.

However, to come back to the image. It made me think of Guy de Maupassant’s short story Fly, or Mouche, which I, as a rowing advocate, think is one of his best. May I, however, warn you all to not spend any time watching a horrible movie based on de Maupassant’s story. The film is called Daddy Who, and it is terrible… Why is it so hard to make a good rowing film?

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