Sunday 12 March
Snow-flakes over Auteuil. Reading the Jean Racine by Mauriac, fatigue Academician as by the Dictionary who does not hesitate to write : “The poet would without doubt not have agreed that ...” (let us agree that this is, without ambiguity, a matter of best convenience) ; Mauriac who evidently identifies himself with the young great bourgeois of La Ferté-Milon (big borough all façade), that is, with this Racine who came to revel at the “Mouton Blanc” of the village of Auteuil and who feared that the Oc language (alias the patois of the gascon tenant farmers of the divine proust follower ?) would change his style at the contact with a fiery climate.
What surprizes Racine are these “sun-roasted harvesters who work like demons and when they are out of breath, they throw themselves on the ground in the very sun, sleep the length of a miserere and get up again immediately. As for me, I only see this from our windows, for I could not be outside for a single moment without dying.” What seduces Racine are the women, as he writes to La Fontaine, who “are sparkling and adjust themselves to it in a way which to them is the most natural in the world ; and as regards their person, color verus, corpus solidum et succi plenum”.
No wonder therefore that the dramatist of Port-Royal (38 years old) has set fire to Phèdre’s backside and to a few others (Madame Phèdre, is that him ?).
Finally it is striking that the man from la Ferté-Milon ends one of his letters with the formula “Adioussias” (A Diou Siats !, Be With God, as said the predecessors of the Jansenists in the land of the Heresy), considering that the body of the missives of the admirer of the Champmeslé (14.15 hours on the waves of Radio Nationale, 12 August 1944) abounds in Latin citations and that Racine did not know of the very existence of the Troubadours (and of fin’ amor !), the troubadours who would have been perfectly indifferent to the granulated face of this demoiselle from Nîmes who had attracted him at first (indicative of illness or “on one of these annoying and uncomfortable days when sex is the subject ?”).
Happy literary men, therefore, who never asked themselves questions about the heroine’s entrance in act III ! As regards Mauriac who has a codicil for everything (thanks to his notary-brother), he sees “bleeding” everywhere (thanks to his surgeon-brother) and is that not the great rule of all the rules, as would say the toughie of the Abattoirs ? In rugby, the case of this wing 3 / 4 removed from the match in South Africa for apartheid reasons. The doctor-physician, ex-captain of the French fifteen and ex-winner against South Africa, down there, at home, also advizes him to stay here.
As regards Prime Minister Wilson, visiting Ian Smith on the latter’s home-ground, he had an excellent meal served to the black chiefs awaiting under the sun the time to approach the conference table. It is true that at the time of the doctor in question, in the Midi, the rugby forwards were called : “the she asses”.
““It is strange that our blood should have the same colour, the same weight, the same temperature as that of the others, and that it establishes between us such big differences”, isn’t it ?.
Claude d’Esplas (Le Petit Train d'Auteuil)
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