The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Aug 22, 2012

Chagall in Paris

When Marc Chagall first arrived in Paris, he was shocked at the prices of food. A franc at the time was worth half a rouble, and he was getting a rather comfortable monthly stipend from one of his well-wishers back home. Yet, he said, it's impossible to eat as well as in Russia. He wrote in one of his letters home:
Meat, for example, is very expensive, and in restaurants they give you small portions; it's the same with eggs and milk. Our black bread doesn't exist at all, and the quality of their white bread and so-called black bread - it makes me feel sick when I see it. When you go into a restaurant for dinner, they immediately give you wine - red or white - but I am going to refuse this for the rest of my life because my stomach can't stand it. But even in this case you have to pay a tip - just to refuse it!
(From Jackie Wullschlager, Chagall: Love and Exile, Penguin, 2010.) 


Post a Comment