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The two sides of the underground passage were lined with large-dimensioned aviaries in which the Urban Arrangers stored Spare Pigeons for the Gardens and Monuments. There was also the nursery for sparrows and the chirping of little sparrows. People did not often go down in there because the wings of all these birds made for a terrible wind in which minuscule white and blue feathers flew about.[1]

Boris Vian’s little gem is full of strange scenes; asurreal love story with a tragic twist. l’Écume des Jours is a touching piece of fiction.


[1] Boris Vian, l’Écume des Jours (1947; Paris, 1963), 44. “Le souterrain était bordé des deux côtés par une rangée de volières de grandes dimensions, où les Arrangeurs Urbains entreposaient les pigeons-de-rechange pour les Squares et les Monuments. Il y avait aussi des Pépinières de moineaux et des pépiements de petits moineaux.” The Pépinières-pépiements wordplay unfortunately does not translate well into English.