Monday, October 02, 2017


Herodotus in the Skip

Henri Thomas, letter to Pierre Leyris (January 4, 1947), in Henri Thomas, Choix de lettres, 1923-1993, ed. Joanna Leary (Paris: Gallimard, 2003), pp. 243-244 (at 243, brackets in original):
Je t'écris de la Bibliothèque de la BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] au troisième étage du Bush House, Aldwych. C'est un endroit délicieux, où l'on peut avoir tous les livres ou à peu près.
I'm writing to you from the Library of the BBC on the fourth floor of Bush House, Aldwych. It's a delightful place, stocked with every book, or nearly so.
Julian Potter, Stephen Potter at the BBC (Orford: Orford Books, 2004), p. 214:
When I myself was researching this book at Broadcasting House, I was told by someone in the Library: 'We've just had another big clear-out. We've only got management reports left on the shelves. You'll find Herodotus in the skip.'
The skip, for Yanks like myself, is the dumpster. I translated troisième étage into American English as fourth floor. I remember being taught, long ago, that the French don't count the ground floor, the rez-de-chaussée, when numbering floors.

Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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