by Jack Kessler, email@example.com
November 15, 2017 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on November 15, 2017.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at email@example.com
* Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, bibliothèque
address: Bibliothèque intercommunale, Place de la gare, 64220 Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port t. 05 59 37 34 76
Depuis le 1er janvier 2010, la bibliothèque de Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port est gérée par la Communauté de Communes de Garazi-Baigorri.
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And a Note:
Saint Jean Pied de Port, tiny town on the way to Spain, the path taken in 778 by Charlemagne, and Roland, and Archbishop Turpin, and Bramimonde the Queen of Saragossa, and their army, and by The Moors — and by the bunch from The South who, supposedly, had been defeated by one Charles Martel in 732, ‘way up in the French heartland at or near Tours...
The town came later, as did the town walls and their wonderful gates and the churches — although one imagines that some human habitation has existed there for a very long time, with Spain and the Caliphate just up the long steep valley behind, and the far longer path bearing millions of shell-bedecked pilgrims over millennia and still, from at least the little Paris church of St. Julien le Pauvre and the rue St. Jacques, past the Sorbonne, and up the hill and over the distant mountains to Compostela...
This tiny town and its immense mountain valley has been a gateway to France. To understand the recent “situation” in Catalonia, then — the “Generalitat”, and “Catalunya” and “Spanish regionalism” and the rest — one must imagine what “The Pyrenees” have meant, to France and to Europe, at least since the Romans left and perhaps long before: to borrow an image from Game of Thrones, that was The Wall — to a medieval French peasant the Pyrenees were the barrier protecting civilization, wealth, life itself, from The Unknown, barbarians, mystical religions, weirdness, strangeness, cruelty — this was the border, the frontier, beyond were unknown and very threatening forces — so if small French children crossed themselves and said their prayers at night it was to protect themselves against the pernicious evils which might come barreling down that deep-defile mountain pass at any moment...
— and the people who guarded it were heroes — the Great King, and the mighty knights, the fighting archbishop, the valiant armies, the border kingdoms and towns, the Catalans, the Cathars, the saints, and the monasteries, Vic A.D. 826 and Ripoll A.D. 879 and Montserrat A.D. 888, outposts spiritual & secular against the many threats, spiritual & secular as well, deemed looming beyond that mountain barrier from the vastly-advanced competitor-civilization of that era to tiny & weak & forever-quarreling little Europe’s south and east.
So to Europeans the recent fears, about Catalonia and Spain, are vital, fundamental, primal — and very, very, old — not or not just a recent local squabble between a small region which talks funny and its central government, in one of those strange little nations ‘way over in Europe, no — not even just a recurrence of the terrible Spanish Guerra Civil of 1937, that also now long-ago — no, these issues of Europe’s protections and borders and gateways and invasions, and deepest insecurities and nightmares, go back far further.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives are in various places on the Internet, i.e. at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/, or https://list.indiana.edu/sympa/arc/exlibris-l/ (EXLIBRIS-L), or http://www.fyifrance.com. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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