Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank

Leopold and Franz discuss a book that has crossed their paths.

Leopold: I’m reading a book, about a piano, it reminded me of you.
Franz: A piano?
Leopold: Sorry, pianos. A shop of pianos.
Franz: The title?
Leopold: The… something…the Left Bank…
Franz: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank?
Leopold: You’ve read it?
Franz: I have. A year or two ago.
Leopold: How come you can recall the title and I can’t?
Franz: You want me to come out and say it?
Leopold: No. So I don’t have to give you this one?
Franz: I have it. I read it. I liked it.
Leopold: What was its appeal? For you?
Franz: It was a collection of piano stories. It was a history of pianos. It was held together by this narrative about a man who visited a piano atelier.

Forgetting the exact name of a book you are reading is not something you confess to; you try to cover, unless your friend knows the book’s name. Either you try to divert attention from your lapse (“You’ve read it?”) or you come right out and admit to amnesia (“How come you can recall it and I can’t?”). Leopold tries both, suggesting that he and Franz are close acquaintances. Even if they may not be exact contemporaries.

Franz demonstrates a predilection for the triadic declaration: “I have it. I read it. I liked it.” And “It was this… it was that… it was the other.” A man with oratorical leanings.


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