Alain-Fournier’s timeless novel is one hundred years old

France is celebrating the centenary of the publication of Henri Alain-Fournier’s novel Le Grand Meaulnes. There will be numerous literary events, exhibitions and fêtes galantes – such as a circus performance in Épineuil le Fleuriel, where Fournier grew up. There is even a competition for a sequel to the novel. Continue reading Alain-Fournier’s timeless novel is one hundred years old

Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps is one hundred years old

The fracas that greeted the Parisian premiere of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) is legendary. It was the hottest ticket in town and it caused a sensation. Continue reading Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps is one hundred years old

Seashells on the shore of memory

“The places we have known do not belong only to the world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. They were only a thin slice in between contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years.” Continue reading Seashells on the shore of memory

Living with passion, departing with grace

At the end of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, the spirits have all “melted into air” and Prospero laments the passing of the “insubstantial pageant” that is life. It’s a common dream, discovering an enchanted land and searching for a way back only to find a faded photograph or an aching absence. Continue reading Living with passion, departing with grace

Alain-Fournier and the painting that vanished

In 1913, when Henri Alain-Fournier published Le Grand Meaulnes, few people knew that its heroine, Yvonne de Galais, was based on a real-life person. Only much later was it revealed that Fournier had met a girl whose identity was unknown and that his adolescent love for her had led to the writing of the novel. Continue reading Alain-Fournier and the painting that vanished