Adonis Diaries

“The abbot will be very pleased with his new environment…”

Posted on: September 10, 2009

“… Today he will dine with Mr. The Viscoun”; (August 21, 2009)

 

            Abbot Mugnier lived very well; he was dined by noble families and the illustrious writers and personalities of Paris; and his diary (Journal) was very funny. Abbot Mugnier’s maid servant was even funnier; when he died at the age of 91 the servant said: “The abbot will be very pleased with his new environment.  Today he will dine with the Viscount (meaning God)”

            Abbot or priest Mugnier was famous before WWII for his words and sentences on society, art, literature, love, rapport among people were recounted in conversations among the families in Paris and France.  He was not elegant; his shoes were square and his black frock was threadbare; he wore a tricorn hat but his behavior was ultra-mundane.  Abbot Mugnier was a snob; when his mother died he said “the aristocracy in my hometown behaved very nobly. Dukes and princes came to her funeral”.  He was aware of being a snob “Nobody ate outdoors in Paris as much as I did. I dissipated my soul in full dishes.  What a life that I am carrying on; cars, lunches, and dinners.”

            Abbot Mugnier said “I am the priest of the wedding of Cana (where Marie invited Jesus to attend); I am not the one who fast in desert.  I live among people of contradictory opinions. I have to keep a supple role but how can I preserve unity? Thus, I am Abbot Plural.  What I love in this world is the frame, the names, the beautiful residences, the reunion of fine spirits, the contact with celebrities.”  At the end of his life he wrote: “I lived at the expense of others. I am a born parasite but I managed to develop my little personality”

            Abbot Mugnier has no illusion about the prestigious personality who invites him. He says “An aristocrat can never have original talents to be a writer.  He is too satisfied. He has many servants between him and reality. He never fraternizes with things. There are no communions.”  To a certain writer he notes down: “Bloy shouted to me his misery, too much maybe.  He is conscious of his talents, too much maybe”.  With respect to Mauriac he wrote “He has not healthy enough to be a pagan”.  He confessed the countess of Noailles at her deathbed and he confessed “She told me beautiful things…What do you want, I risked giving her absolution”.  Cocteau told him “the future of literature is limpidity enriched of all the anterior complications”

            Abbot Mugnier dreaded most losing his sight “My life was reading. I am dead” (that would be my case too if I get blind).  “My job is to offering communion, reciting the rosary, and giving my blessings. Any priest can do it. The minor corner in nature seems to me closer to God.  How tiring and trying is my task.  I tell all these young women coming to confess their sins: go, go. Enough sermons and guidance, what do I know!” Abbot Mugnier married many couples and wrote: “Most of these couples do not realize that when they approach the sacred they lose their liberty”

            Malraux said “Excepting Memoirs, Journals, and diaries, what book is worth the pain of writing?”  I have published a draft of my autobiography; it should be titled “Biography of an unknown confused man”.  You may stick reading biographies of celebrities; that would please me hugely: my revenge would be that you exacerbated your regrets with packs of lies.

 

Note: The topic is from “Smell of time” (Odeur du temps) by Jean d’Ormesson.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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