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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Brown

60. A+

Updated: May 23, 2022

Caill, Antony, La Question des vacances scolaires, 1891.

The French school calendar includes four two-week vacations. There’s the vacances de Toussaint, in late October; the vacances de Noël, over Christmas and New Year’s, the vacances d’hiver in February, and the vacances de Printemps, in April. The school holidays impact everyone. Families go on vacation. Work deadlines shift. Bakeries, wine shops, cheese shops: shutters come down and signs go up.

Here at The Disappearing Gauguin we are pulling down the shutters for a few weeks. It seems a good moment to pause: we can leave Marie Henry and Meijer de Haan to enjoy the early days of their romance, we can leave Gauguin to sulk and dream of other, unspoiled paradises. We’ll leave Flowers and Fruit in its bifurcated, abstract and concrete state: in the realm of the historical imagination and hanging on a tangible office wall in Stockton, California.

Our friend Valérie used to sign her emails A+. This puzzled us: why did she sign off with a letter grade? One day over a glass of rosé in her village café, she laughed when we asked her about it. A+ was short for à plus tard. See you later. And we will.

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