Monday, January 15, 2007

Alain Fournier

'Le Grand Meaulnes' awaits you..

A couple of weeks ago I found, with horror, that none of my "first-generation" children knew about the "Le Grand Meaulnes", the most romantic book an adolescent can read. The lack of reading skills in French in much of them meant I had to procure an English version of Alain Fournier's masterpiece. directed my hard-cover preferences towards one of these outsourced providers who seem to have proliferated in recent times.

Well, I can see why. The book arrived this morning still wrapped in plastic and with a library stick indicating a row in a shelf (AF AL). Inside one could spot several rubber stamps. A rectangular one indicates "Heathland School Library, class A, number 760280". Various circular ones, with "The Heathland School" in the margins mention "Library" in bold letters at its center.

Is this an example of keeping, knowingly, stolen goods? Am I in the wrong side of the law, here? My conscience is quickly satisfied with the thought that the school in Heathland must have closed its doors long time ago, the books in its library having been dispersed after a hastily organized auction.

But... what if the school and the library are still there, awaiting for the "AF AL" item to be handed back?
Children, I'm afraid you will have to read "The Lost Domain" really fast...

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