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Sites of the Commune

I just got back from a quick visit to Paris to see again the rues, buttes and places of the Commune, and felt a special thrill on the little rue de la Corderie, where the Internationale gathered where now there is a plaque dedicated to the amazing Nathalie Lemel. But even more important for my understanding was the dramatic, fully documented and very clearly explained exhibit at the small and hardly visited Musée d'Art et d'Histoire à St-Denis, just 15 minutes from the Gare du Nord. (It was curated, I was told, by Bertrand Tillier.) I am now beginning work on a new novel, to imagine the experience of the Commune by some of the people who are only barely recorded in the histories, and reflect on the enduring repercussions of that wild, exuberant and ultimately tragic social experiement. I'm glad to find others equally moved by this story.

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