One abiding memory is my favourite address, where much of the “action” (if that’s the mot juste) takes place:
7 bis, rue du Nadir-aux-Pommes
We often used this a forwarding address.
What an age—Rafaelson, Bertolucci, Godard, Chabrol… At the time [historical note—Ed.], the way to see all these films was to do something called “going to the cinema”. Late-night Marx brothers films at the Arts Cinema were a rite de passage too…
In my imagination I tend to reduce my student years to the Tang dynasty, violin, and Adnams, forgetting how important—and how modern—my wider education was—film, art, literature. But the gaps were remarkable too. Meanwhile, Li Manshan and his fellow Daoists were languishing in silence and hunger (my book, p.133):
“We just sat around at home, but we could never feel at peace”—always fearing a knock at the door.