Wed 04 April 2012

Marcin Wroński blogs about Chartres (1)

Marcin Wroński, the Polish author of numerous crime novels exploring the streets and everyday life of Lublin, is a travelling writer for citybooks in Chartres. Here are some of his first impressions of the French city. Read on!


Chartres in Spring

For a couple of days now I’ve been trying to get down to some honest work, some quality time with my keyboard. But the cloudless blue sky invading my room through the window uninvited is stronger, so I give up and go out to stroll around the city. And it seems as if Chartres enjoys being watched by me, because, even though I know maybe ten words in French (including a few indecent ones), I feel completely at home here. Maybe because it resembles Lublin. With its quarters sprawling into different directions it’s peaceful and yet entirely urban. © marcin wronskiAnd, from what I’ve heard, it has a population not bigger than the one of Świdnik. It even has its own Hartwigs’ Corner, although, for the lack of the Hartwigs, here it is called St. Peter’s corner.

My most lovely mascaron on the front of the cathedral

There’s just one problem, I hope God forgives me!, I’m annoyed by the cathedral. Not even the real one, a landmark soaring like the Palace of Culture used to soar marking its place in Warsaw. It annoys me that this lovely city places the cathedral on every single gadget, when, if you ask me, God feels much better at St. Peter’s; religious people would rather go to the St. Aignan’s; whereas lovers and fat wild ducks can be more often found on the bank of the Eure River, where I finally understood why it was here that the French created Impressionism.

© marcin wronski
I did not come here to paint pretty landscapes, though. I came here to write a crime story! Not that I couldn’t write a non-crime story, but it's best to stick to one's spécialité de la maison...  I was therefore over the moon when, walking around my beloved downtown, I came across Rue du Massacre, the Massacre Street, as I dared to assume. I’d already started to imagine some bloody crime scenes, corpses scattered around the Eure, when the plate on the wall allied with my French-Polish dictionary to cause yet another disappointment. Instead of a massacre I was left with an uninspiring slaughterhouse.
© marcin wronski

So I continue admiring beautiful scenery, smiling to French women and, if nothing surprises me in time, I will have to consider changing my specialisation. No dead men in Chartres! Or wait… “No Dead Men in Chartres”. Not a bad title indeed…


Marcin Wronski © Filip Modrzejewski (W.A.B. Publishing)Read the original Polish text by Marcin Wroński here.
The citybook that results from his stay in Chartres will be published on later in 2012.



Portrait of Marcin Wronski © Filip Modrzejewski (W.A.B. Publishing)
Photo's © Marcin Wronski


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