Summer/Fall 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 3/4 Nonfiction |

My Two Grandmothers

Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne La joie venait toujours après la peine APOLLINAIRE Like most children, I had two grandmothers, but none of the children I knew had two who were as unlike as mine in background, association, and temperament. My two grandmothers were both widows in straitened circumstances, and they both lived in the same small town where I grew up, but their social worlds were far apart, and I have no recollection that they ever met. Their differences were, in any case, very large; what made it impossible for them to meet was, of course, the marriage of my parents, which had overturned the worlds of both. From the social point of view, that marriage was a recipe for disaster, all the more since neither of my parents belonged to the kind of affluent and cosmopolitan world in which their match might have been considered just a little risqué, and to that extent fashionable. In my adult life, I have had some encounters with that world but have not found them more a

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