Madame Chrysanthème

4620562229_a354537572What a strange book.

It grips you with beautiful descriptions of Japan, shocks you with harsh, almost racist remarks about its people and leaves you with disgust or pity for the protagonist who had sought after this cold and calculative illusion of a relationship.

In the end she is counting the money while he leaves her like this:

“Well, little mousmé, let us part good friends; one last kiss even, if you like. I took you to amuse me; you have not perhaps succeeded very well, but after all you have done what you could: given me your little face, your little curtseys, your little music; in short, you have been pleasant enough in your Japanese way. And who knows, perchance I may yet think of you sometimes when I recall this glorious summer, these pretty quaint gardens, and the ceaseless concert of the cicadas.”

Well, what a great affair that was.


P. Loti (right) with “Chrysanthème” and his friend Yves in Japan, 1885.


Anna Karenina

What is love?

The harp, those tingly feelings in the stomach when you first realise you miss someone…

The cello, yearning that doesn’t subside but only becomes stronger and stronger…
(0:13 “I can’t stop thinking about you…about you…“)

The clarinet, anticipation, and in the background your heart palpitating nervously.

When finally you meet, violins like your feelings, unfolding slowly at first, till deep from within everything surfaces, emotions coming to you in waves, and the harder you suppress them the harder they return, they overwhelm you, they erupt into passion and you surrender…

You often ask yourself:
03:49 “what will be the end?

What is doomed love?
Do you hear the train coming?


Alessandro_baricco_silk_pbA note, her writing in japanese, he could understand nothing, yet he kept it…
Unknown language to him, mysterious, like music can be, no comprehension but still feelings, one feels and hears what he wants to.

The end was shocking.
That selfless, silent devotion and dedication.
The kind of unconditional love which
you do not appreciate until it is too late.
And when it is too late, there is only longing.

(0:09 “κάποτε, κάποτε θα ‘ρθει…” ~sometime, sometime she’ll come…)

‘It is a strange grief.’
‘To die of nostalgia for something you will never live’

Les philosophes et l’amour: aimer de Socrate à Simone de Beauvoir

415KCP6i5lL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Mon type de livre préféré; vies et oeuvres des grands hommes et femmes et leur opinions sur un sujet compliqué…et quoi de plus compliqué que l’amour!

Devrait-on idéaliser l’amour comme disait Socrates, ou le tuer préventivement avec d’hédonisme exsessif comme Lucretius proposait? Devrait-on préserver le bonheur grec ancien d’une ataraxie stoicienne ou céder à l’instabilité d’éros?

La vie personelle de Montaigne m’a absolument surpris (Montaigne le Don Juan!), de Rousseau aussi, son inconsistance entre sa vie et ses oeuvres (et quelle misogynie!)

L’histoire de Kierkegaard j’ai trouvé tragique…il est mort seul, toujours aimant la fille qu’il avait lui même refusé. Il a décidé de sacrifier son amour pour sa philosophie, sa philosophie qu’on peut lire aujourd’hui. Amour vs immortalité, il a choisi ce dernier et il l’a payé profondément. Pitié ou respect?

Nietzsche m’a fait plaisir (naturellement!), l’amour humain comme Carmen de Bizet et l’éros comme une force primitive, une force dont il a aussi été victime quand il a rencontré Lou Salomé.

Kant, Schopenaeuer, Heidegger etc, chaque philosophe avait son propre point de vue.

En bref, j’ai vraiment aimé ce livre, beaucoup d’informations et opinions intéressantes sur la vie, l’amour, l’éros. Je préférerais si il finirait avec une sorte d’epilogue (au lieu de Sartre & Beauvoir qui est le dernier chapitre) mais je suppose que…comme la vie et l’amour on ne peut pas tout avoir!


Now what to say…Nadja_livre_de_poche

Surrealism, a torrent of words and phrases in the beginning, till Nadja appears…
Nadja, mysterious, and strange, and mad. She comes and goes, comes and goes, and yet we learn little of her, her thoughts are racing, frightening delusions, her way of life as irrational as Breton’s writing -hazy and dreamy and illogical.

And as sudden as she came, she disappears.

So what’s left?
What’s left after love is gone; the impact she had in your life…