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August 19, 1987
Clear. Walked to Merkala. The cherqi was violent, and raised mountains of dust along the way. On the beach hundreds of small children, hardly any adults. The boys were beating each other with long strips of seaweed. Constant smell of the sewage coming out of the conduit at the east end of the beach. Lalla Fatima Zohra was right to forbid the public to use the place a few years ago. But that was during the cholera epidemic. A letter from Paris saying that Quai Voltaire will not agree to letting me inspect the galleys of any book they may publish. I never asked to see galleys. I wanted to see typescript before it was set up in type. They called my request "legalisme excessif " Buffie found her two thousand dollars and passport, hidden somewhere in the flat.
Paid my last visit to the consulate, and was given the copy of my will, which they'd been keeping for me. Moving vans in front of the Residence. Afternoon brought a M. Jebari, doing a thesis at the Sorbonne. His first suggestion, La vie et l'oeuvre de Paul Bowles, turned down. When he called it L'horreur et la violence dans l'oeuvre de Paul Bowles, they accepted it. Ridiculous. Claude Thomas came by, resentful of the newcontracts Quai Voltaire have sent her to sign. I hope she doesn't eventually lose patience with them and refuse to translate any further works. I count heavily on her for Up Above the World. Bourgois writes that he expects her to take on the volume of Jane's letters.
Curious how difficult it is to sustain anger, once the initial flush of it is over. For three days L. has been coming here to spend the entire afternoon.
Excerpted from Days by Paul Bowles Copyright © 2006 by Paul Bowles. Excerpted by permission.
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