Marcel Proust. Cahiers 1 à 75 de la Bibliothèque nationale de France (MPC)
Perhaps not for the queen. Standing before the guillotine, she is said to have pleaded for " Encore un moment, monsieur le bourreau " One more minute, Mr.
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Executioner , a statement that has ever since enthralled novelists as a kind of summary of life itself. One of my favourite French novels is about the existential questions that trouble a powerful Parisian man and his mistress.
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The married man is taking an overnight train to visit his mistress in Rome. He goes through a tortured night of indecision, finally deciding, as he arrives in Italy, to leave her and stay with his wife. In the narrative, the wife comes to represent Paris and Christianity, while the mistress is Rome and paganism. And of course art: Rome is mystery, beauty, secrets, the feminine, and it's filled with sculpture. You see why the French don't like to criticize leading men and their mistresses too much.
They think there are big ideas at stake.
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Mistresses, in French artistic history, are evidence not of boorishness and sexism, but of sensitivity and cultivation. In the higher realms of power, it is not unusual to see art as essentially feminine. Yes, these are rather conservative ideas. Special to The Globe and Mail. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way.
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Article text size A. To view your reading history, you must be logged in. Log in Register. Russell Smith. Published January 16, Updated May 11, Story continues below advertisement.
The artful lineage of the French mistress
Follow us on Twitter globearts Opens in a new window. Report an error Editorial code of conduct. It presented many conferences on Iraq in Europe and Canada. See biography below.
C omposer anddirector, plays the guitar, the piano and electronic keyboard. Author of numerous classical music, score film and pop music.
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Since he recorded 28 records. Writer and filmmaker. Benjamin recorded arrangements and composed for singers in France, Italy, Holland, Germany, England Other film see Iraq section below In he presented a play, written by him, on St Francis of Assisi at the Theatre of Kremlin in Moscow, interpreted in Russian and broadcast on the national television. Link to books. Priesthood In , he ended his activities for the United Nations and his artistic activities to devote himself to theological studies in Rome. He is ordained priest on 26 October