20 February 2012

Yackety-Yak: Midnight in Paris


"No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest,
and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure."
~ Ernest Hemingway's character in the film Midnight in Paris

So after a little pleading recently, I convinced Mr. Whimsy to sit down and watch Midnight in Paris with me. I must confess, I really connected with Gil and Adriana's love for bygone eras. But what we both really dug was getting to see all the famous writers and artists Gil gets to hobnob with when he time travels to 1920s Paris. This got me thinking, if you could travel back in time and visit a certain writer in a certain city who, where, when would you pick? Who would you meet? Where would you like to meet them? Would you want to meet them in their hometown or during their travels? When would you rather meet them? In their youth, during the prime, or perhaps later in life when they could reflect back? Will you day dream with me?

99 comments :

  1. I'd probably pick Emily or Charlotte Bronte. They seemed so dark and mysterious...

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    1. Welcome! :)

      That would be cool. I lovvvve Wuthering Heights.

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  2. Oh Juju...now THAT'S a question and a half. Can't honestly say I know as narrowing it down would be such a task. Would definitely want to meet them in their hometown though, whomever and wherever it might be....be interesting to see what molded them from the start before the world had its chance to influence.

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    1. Definitely. Hometown's make sure a difference. :)

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  3. Who is that guy playing Ernest? He's HAWT!

    Great questions. I really don't know who'd I pick.

    It would be cool to have known my grandparents or even my parents in their youth. So, I think I'd choose to visit them during their teen years. See what kind of trouble they got in. :)

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    1. I know right? SO hot!
      He is playing Ernest.
      I had no idea Ernest could be a cutie until I say MIP.

      That's a great idea, I would love to run into my grandparents when they were young. Specially my Cuban grandparents. I would love to meet them in Havana when they were courting.

      Where are your grandparents from?

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  4. I absolutely adored this movie! The beautiful scenes of Paris, the famous characters...sigh. I might have to chose F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in Paris as the authors I want to meet--they seem like so much crazy fun!

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    1. Right? Made me want to jump a plane asap.

      Agreed on Zelda! She seemed SO cool. I bet she was such a blast.

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  5. I think I'd like to meet Edgar Allan Poe...not sure when/where, but it'd be interesting to see what he was like in person!

    William Shakespeare would be fun to meet (at a time when he had already written most of his plays & sonnets) as well! I'm taking a Shakespeare class this semester, so I've definitely got quite a few questions for him ;)

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    1. Oooo I wonder if he was all brooding.

      I can't wait for The Raven simply because I want to see how they imagine he was.

      Whenever I think of Shakespeare, I think of Shakespeare in Love. I love imagining him all cute and Joseph Fiennes like.

      Soooo what would you ask him?

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  6. Great question, needs some thought. Glad you got the Mister to enjoy it with you!

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  7. I haven't even heard of this movie until now and I'm totally bummed I haven't watched it yet because it sounds awesome!
    I would definitely want to meet J.K. Rowling when she was writing the first Harry Potter book when no one knew her and when she was struggling to get by in England. That would be so cool!

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    1. It's not for everyone but I really really dug it :)

      Let me know when you check it out!

      JK! Perfect choice. Wouldn't it be awesome to bump into her in her "writing HP at the coffee shop" days?

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  8. First...this is the first time I have even seen this title!!!

    I really don't know...I don't read many authors that aren't around right now...but I am thinking very hard about this one...

    Perhaps...hmm...still thinking.

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    1. *smile* Let me know if you think of anything, k? :)

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  9. I loved this movie--except I thought Adriana's decision at the end was not given enough time. I would have loved even MORE.

    For me, it's probably obvious: L.M. Montgomery when she lived on Prince Edward Island. Also, Dorothy Parker in NYC!

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    1. Right? I thought that too! I wanted more.

      LMM of course ;) O I wonder what Prince Edward Island was like back then?

      One day, I vow to read those books.

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  10. i totally want to see that movie! i'm really not the biggest woody allen fan :( but i LOVE that time period, and pretty much anything paris-related.

    if i could travel back in time, i'd prolly never wind up going anywhere at all because i wouldn't be able to decide when and where! i love too many time periods and artists!

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    1. I'm not the biggest Woody Allen fan either actually but like you I love all things Paris and how cool to time travel accidentally?! :)

      LOL I feel ya! It would be tough.

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  11. I'll go with Dame Christie or perhaps Ngaio Marsh. I am in complete awe with the vision that these grand ladies of mysteries have to see a mystery through to a logical end and then be able to retell it in a well... mysterious way.

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    1. Aggie! FAB choice.
      In my mind I get to ride the Orient Express with Aggie.
      She is SO good at the intricate details.

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  12. I adored this movie! And it is way to hard to pick who I'd like to meet. Maybe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while he was in the midst of writing Sherlock Holmes? Or the Bronte sisters?

    PS i also agree with Missie that it would be cool to be able to go back and see what my parents/grandparents were like when they were young!

    ♥Melissa

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    1. Ooooo too cool! Mystery writers always fascinate me.

      Yes! I would love to meet my grandparents too. I was just saying to Missie that I would love to travel back to Havana, Cuba when they were courting and meet them.

      Where are your grandparents from?

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  13. I thought this movie was so odd! Woody Allen movies are just not really my thing, even though I always watch them bc I WANT to like him so much! I think your question is so interesting... What if I could go back in time and talk with Paul while he was traveling and writing the Bible? Now that would be an experience!

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    1. While this one clicked with me, I don't normally like him either so I totallllly understand.

      Paul? WAY cool choice.

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  14. I'm not sure if I'd want to meet my favorite authors or not. I'm not sure if they'd live up to my idealized expectations, lol.

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    1. Great point! *high five* I hadn't considered that.

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    2. Haha, I have a tendency to romanticize everything, authors included. Reality rarely lives up to my imagination. :P

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  15. Oh gees. There are SO many writers I would love to meet...I'm not sure I could choose only one! Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Wilkie Collins...and that's only off the top of my head! Lol.

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    1. Jane! I would LOVE to sip tea with Jane, ask her about Emma, and find out if she ever had a love that was not-meant-to-be like in the movie Becoming Jane.

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  16. Saw this one, and... didn't love it. Still I do have a review of it scheduled for one day next week (I think). Glad you finally got to see it, Juju - and that you talked Mr. Whimsy into seeing it. ;D

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  17. I've always wanted to spend a day with Madeleine L'Engle - she was such an incredible woman and author.

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    1. I bet Madeleine had an amazing imagination and was such fun to talk to. Great choice.

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  18. I'd love to meet Jane Austen in Bath.

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    1. Yes! I was just telling Natalie that I would love to sip tea with her and chat about Emma.

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  19. I loved this movie too! It was so much fun! I would definitely want to go back to Paris during the same time period as the movie or visit Jane Austen.

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  20. Wow, how am I supposed to narrow it down? Let's see, I think I would really like to meet Corrie Ten Boom, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie - to name a few.

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    1. I don't think I know Corrie Ten Boom! (off to look her up)
      SO with you on Jane and Agatha.
      I want to have tea with Jane and ride the Orient Express with Agatha.

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  21. Interesting question! I think I would love to meet Oscar Wilde! He was always ahead of his times socially and I am always fascinated by him.

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    1. OOooo yes! I bet he was incredibly fascinating to talk to.

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  22. sounds like a good movie. I'm not sure who I would want to meet, I've always wanted to know if King Aruthur and Camelot were real.

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    1. Ooooo fab!

      Your choice makes me think of the book Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Have you read that yet? :)

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  23. This is an awfully hard question to answer. But I think I'd pick Zora Neale Hurston and Dorothy West during the Harlem Renaissance years. It was such a dynamic time for new up and coming artists in all areas, and I would love to pick their brains about their novels because they were awesome and so beautifully written.

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    1. Ohhh!!! Good one, Hurston is one of my favorite novelists, she was so strong and powerful with her words. She spun them so craftily that it astounded me the lengths she went to in her autobiography Dust Tracks on the Road, I absolutely devoured it. I would love to meet her then, while she was writing it just to see how she felt about putting so much of herself out their, even though this was the height of her popularity it is still a lot of ones self to present to the world.

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    2. Zora! While I've never read her work, I am from Central Florida (she's from Eatonville) and I've always been fascinated with her life. I bet she was so courageous and cool.

      I don't know much about Dorothy West, but I LOVED the TV miniseries The Wedding based on her book.

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  24. I've been wanting to see this movie. It's worth checking out?

    You pose such a difficult question! First of all, I know I would be too shy to chat with any writer I hugely admired. But if we're pretending to go back in time I guess I could pretend that I'd be outgoing enough to talk to them ;) It would be amazing to hang out with the Brontes or to chat with CS Lewis.

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    1. I really liked it! :)
      Rent it some night and let me know what you think.

      YES! *high five* That would be my choice, CS Lewis! Based on everything I know of him, I think he was the kind of man who I could learn allot from.

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  25. I would love to meet Jane Austen, mostly to hear more of her thoughts on life at that time in England. And to wear the clothes! They probably were super stifling, but they look so pretty in all the movies.

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    1. OOoo that would be cool. To raid her closet! I want to drink tea with her and find out if Emma was inspired by anyone she knew. Ooo and I want to know how true or false the movie Becoming Jane was.

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  26. I still need to see this movie, I've only heard fabulous things about it. And I would love to travel back in time and meet William Shakespeare, see the Globe theater, see one of his plays performed the way he meant it to be performed, etc. I have a lot of questions for that literary genius. :)

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    1. I was just telling YA Book Queen that whenever I think of Shakespeare, I think of Shakespeare in Love. I love imagining him young and in love.

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  27. I loved that movie for all the scenes of Paris and for all the authors and artists. I'm not sure who I'd want to meet - maybe Louisa May Alcott?

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    1. Oooo yes! I would love to ask her about Little Women! :)

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  28. I'm not sure who I would pick. Interesting question. I'll have to think about it more.

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  29. Excellent question! Quite an elaborate one too... this is tough. I think it would be neat to meet Harper Lee though, after she had written TKaM, and ask her questions about it and her inspiration.

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    1. I imagine her as such a cool chica! Brave too! Cool choice.

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  30. Oh I LOVED that movie! Fantastic post as always, Mrs. Whimsy!

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  31. Oh, so many questions! Hmmm... I think I would love to meet Robert Frost, BEFORE his life got so sad. :-)

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  32. Oh wow, I loved that movie!
    If I could meet an author, I would love to meet Émile Zola. We would go to the Salon and I would discuss paintings and sculptures with him. And then, we would step on the streets of Paris to take some pictures. *sigh* I so wish that I could!

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  33. I've had several non-reading friends tell me that I should see this film. I suppose I'll get to it eventually...

    As for meeting an author, I think I'd like to meet Mark Twain - anytime, anyplace. I think he was a genius, and though I'd probably be fairly tongue-tied, the experience would be worth it. Great questions!

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    1. Very cool choice. I imagine him as quite the intellectual. :)

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  34. I loved this movie! Jake watched it with a friend of his and when he finished he made me sit down and watch it with him again! I would like to meet Jane Austen in her time and at one of the many beautiful estates she talks about in her novels. Although I would miss indoor plumbing!

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    1. Yay Jake!

      And I too would love to meet Jane. To chat and sip tea while I question her about her inspiration for Emma and her romantic life.

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  35. I just recently saw Midnight in Paris with my folks. We all loved it. Not only does Gil learn about writing, but he also learns about himself in the process. I hope it does well at the Academy Awards. I would love an artistic film like that to win. Although, I've read The Artist is fabulous!

    Wow...those are a lot of questions, Juju! Hmmmm....I would love to meet Daphne du Maurier. I'd enjoy visiting her in the UK during the late 30s and 40s when she wrote Jamaica Inn, Rebecca and Frenchman's Creek.

    Another writer I would love to meet would be Pearl S. Buck during the 30s and 40s. She wrote a lot of books around this time period, including The Good Earth, Dragon Seed and Peony (my fave). It would be fun to visit her in China during the 30s and her home in Pennsylvania during the 40s.

    Who would you like to meet and when?

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    1. Oh Buck! Yes, I'd want to meet her too, I love Peony, it is so smoothly written and Dragon Seed was so powerful. I think I'd like to meet her in the 40s in Pennsylvania, I'd like to ask her who her inspiration was for Peony.

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    2. O I love your choices!

      China during the 30s... *daydreaming*

      I think I would choose CS Lewis before his love Joy passed away. I think I could learn so much from him.

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  36. I would LOVE to meet L.M. Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series. *sigh* Love love love those books so much. And I love this post, Juju! The answers you've gotten have been great.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  37. Oh, I so want to see this movie! I must get my hands on it soon.

    So,...Louisa May Alcott would be a must. Anytime in her life--I'm sure it's all fascinating.

    Oh, and Alexandre Dumas (sr.), if only just to shake his hand for a job superbly done. :)The Three Musketeers will always be a favorite.

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    1. Oooo Dumas? Very cool! From his pictures I imagine him as quite fun and kooky.

      You've reminded me, I really must read The Three Musketeers some day.

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  38. i loved the movie. i agree seeing those writers had to be one of my favourite parts.

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  39. Jim Butcher, later in his life where he could look back and reminisce about established characters and events in his book :)

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    1. I've never read his work but I did see The Dresden Files and really liked it. I was SO sad that they didn't continue it. I should SO try his books on audio.

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  40. very interesting, i've never really heard much about this movie. sounds like it's great!

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  41. I would geek out so much if I met Ernest Hemingway.

    And I love your question. *Joins you in your reverie* and what a lovely one it is.

    I would totally love to meet Michel de Montaigne (writer and philosopher of the French Renaissance) right after he abandoned political life and retreated into writing his famous 'Essays' in his castle/home. And I would ask him why he was inspired to write about himself in a time where other topics where much more revered. He basically treated his journal like most people tweet twitter nowadays and was courageous enough to publish it.

    I would also want to time travel and talk to JK Rowling right when she learned her books where gonna be turned into movies, probably at a café, to see how she felt about her books becoming films and such a part of our culture.

    Another person I would want to meet is Dante Alighieri right before he decided to write The Divine Comedy in his youth and ask him why Beatrice was such a muse and inspiration for him, that, he would write an epic poem where he travels through hell, purgatory and heaven just to meet with up with her again. I would ask him about his love for her and why it evoked/inspired such emotion and lovely prose in him.

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    1. OOoo essays in the castle! Fabulous!

      O JK when she first found out? I love that! I was just saying I would love to meet her at a cafe when she was writing Harry and had no idea what he was destined to become.

      You are sooo right! Hell, purgatory and heaven? That's SOME love! :)

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  42. Ahhh...I can't WAIT to see this movie!!! And visiting writerly peeps in their times? Hmm...not sure, but I'm thinking A.C. Doyle, Shakespeare, Dorothy Sayers, Tolkien, and Orczy :0).

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    1. Tolkien! *high five* Great choice! Ahhh to be a fly on the wall at that pub (The Eagle and Child).

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  43. Oh dear me, oh my. I mean really just one? I can't steal a Tardis and whisk away to meet them all.... :(
    Oh well, if you persist. Charles Bukowski, or Virginia Woolf, I am a huge poet buff and their work really hits a nerve with me. If I could I would meet Charles Bukowski during his sixties, in a bar, drink straight whiskey and smoke (because yes I am one of those horridly offal people who smokes herbal ciggies, I am also one of those people who calls cigarettes ciggies and smokes herbal instead of tobacco) while we talked about his novels, his poetry, and his life.
    Virginia Woolf, uhmm, now she is a bit more difficult to nail down, I am not sure if I would prefer to meet her at her imprisoned cottage country home simply so I can spring her and take her to London for a day or meet her in her happy days. Oh but what about Anita Page? Ugh it's too hard, I can't choose, someone seriously needs to build a time machine already.

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    1. I can't say I know Charles Bukowski but I looked him and up and he totally looks like the kinda dude you meet for drinks and cigs! Love it!

      Ciggies btw is an adorable name for them! ;)

      A happy day with Virigina...Love it!

      Ooooo Anita Page? Old screen stars? *le sigh* I would LOVE to meet Myrna Loy.

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  44. Great Questions!!! Ayne Rand!!! On the set of Fountain Head... she must have been so angry! But then she might be a little too pretentious... maybe Jane Austen for tea... OH! Margaret Mitchell!!! I seriously can't pick....

    I think that I would love this movie though... :)

    ~Liz

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    1. Ayn Rand? OOo yes! To pick her brain! *high five* She must have been so passionate.

      Totalllly Jane for tea! *high five*

      A Southern gal like Margaret Mitchell would be awesome! We'd stroll some tiny cobblestoned downtown and chat.

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  45. I'd love to meet the Bronte sisters and Louisa May Alcott - I think they would all be fascinating women and it would be so much fun to just sit, have coffee and chat the afternoon away!

    I loved this movie and really want to watch it again. It was fun seeing all the literary characters but the streets of Paris were gorgeous too!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

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    1. I would LOVE to meet the Bronte sisters and Louisa too. To chat Wuthering Heights and Little Women. *dreamy*

      And yes this movie had me SO ready to jump a plane and see Paris at night for myself.

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  46. All: Thank you thank you thank you ladies for all your amazing answers. You gals made me smile and smile and smile some more. Thank you for daydreaming with me. And I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond. Baby Whimsy had a rough week with her formula. *group hugs*

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  47. I've just discovered this film through you, and I will definitely be giving it a watch. If I had to travel back in time to live the day in the life of any writer, it would have to be three writers (I can't choose, lol): Jack Kerouac, and I would want to visit at least one place with him whilst he's on the road, Khalil Gibran, and any time in his life would be awesomely rewarding, or Guy De Maupassant, just so I can see where he got the material for his awesome short stories!

    <3

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    1. Very cool choices. Jack Kerouac makes me think of his home in Orlando. I've been meaning to visit it.

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  48. I'm gonna have to think about that one, but this film does sound amazing! I'm adding it to my Lovefilm List now. I also wanted to let you know you have been tagged, my lovely Juju! http://bit.ly/wMtINV I hope you join the fun! Lots of love P. x @PaulaSHx

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    1. Why thank you sweetie! I'm off to check it out.

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