Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jean d’Ormesson.

Mon cher Ado/Jean. Part 16

Quand j’ai appris le décès de Jean d’Ormesson je fus bouleversé: les derniers temps il me rendait la joie de vivre lors de ses interventions à la télé avec son charmant sourire et ses beaux yeux malicieux !

(He enjoyed a great life of comfort and all the privileges of the elite class)

Aujourd’hui quand j’y pense , je suis triste malgré un petit sourire qui s’affiche sur mes lèvres . Je souris en me remémorant sa fougue quand il se faisait le chantre de l’un de ces écrivains préférés et particulièrement quand il parlait de Chateaubriand , l’auteur des Mémoires d’outre-tombe !

Alors tout son corps semblait jouir de plaisir pendant que ses yeux lubriques devançaient ses mots pour nous dire son amour de l’écrivain , de la vie … N’oublions pas que l’un de ses derniers romans s’intitulait : ” Je dirai malgré tout que cette vie fut belle ” .

J’espère mon cher Ado qu’il a retrouvé aux cieux ses copains et qu’ensemble il échangent leur traits d’humour … (J’ai lu plusieurs de ses ouvrages et plusieurs sections de Mémoires d’outre-tombe) 

Mais Jean d’Ormesson n’était pas du tout pressé de s’en aller! Ce qui le chagrinait, c’est qu’un jour il s’en irait ” sans avoir tout dit “” Qui suis-je? ” . Mais que dire ?

Si Montaigne avait conclu ses Essais par un ” Que sais-je?” , d’Ormesson qui n’avait jamais cessé de scruter la vie pour chercher à comprendre l’existence aurait pu conclure par un ” Qui suis-je? ”

C’est si difficile de savoir qui nous sommes ! Sa donne le vertige ! C’est évanouissant !

Écrivain, journaliste , critique , mais surtout homme de bonne compagnie , scandant avec bonheur sur les plateaux de télévision la poésie de ses aînés …

Avec toujours ce sourire un peu narquois au bout des lèvres …

Oui , mais il savait bien que ” rien n’est jamais acquis à l’homme.. ” sur cette terre !
Il avait , de ce fait, préféré souvent la malice à la tragédie , car plus divertissante , plus distrayante , excellente thérapie pour échapper à “l’Ennui “…

Enfin le “petit “Jean aux yeux bleus se mit très tôt à écrire pour exorciser le mal existentialiste qui nous torture , qui nous supplicie … (On ecrit toujours quand on est dans un etat neutre, apres avoir subit des rages de passions et d’anxiete’ existentielle)

Écrire , aimer et se divertir , tel était sa devise ! (Sans un sense de l’humour, rien n’ ai acquit)

Voilà déjà trente ans que je me suis exilé en France , l’un des plus beaux pays de cette planète , ce pays que j’ai appris à aimer pour l’avoir appris dans les livres au Liban et maintenant à l’avoir parcouru du Nord au Sud et d’Ouest en Est.

Et pourtant ,ce matin je suis nostalgique du pays de mes ancêtres qui dorment tranquillement à l’ombre de nos cèdres millénaires. (Et que les Libanais essaient de reveiller les Cedre pour qu’ils les eveillent?)

Note: En 5ieme, le Frere jouflu qui enseignait le Francais a Notre Dame de Furn el Chabak m’avait dit “ton style avec ce “Que sais-je” ressemble a Montaigne“. Et pourtant je n’ avais jamais entendu ou lis Montaigne.

 

“… 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.

Garbo or Dietrich? (August 26, 2009)

 

            The French author Jean d’Ormesson who writes for the daily Le Figaro tells this anecdote.  Jean was having lunch for the first time with Greta Garbo.  He kept humming the song of a movie “Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt”.  Garbo had no reaction. Jean sang the entire song.  No reactions from Greta.  Jean finally said “I had admired so much in Bleu Angel”.  Greta Garbo destroyed Jean with a look and also finally said “You are confusing me with Marlene Dietrich”

            A couple of years later, Jean were having lunch with Marlene for the first time. Marlene liked Jean and invited him for tea next Tuesday afternoon.  Jean was in ecstasy and went on accumulating his cuteness by telling Marlene his adventure with Garbo. Marlene Dietrich coolly looked at Jean and told him: “My invitation for tea at avenue Montaigne… consider it canceled”

 

            It appears that depressed people prefer to watch movies; the more the better, the more stupid the lovelier.  Only people in excellent mood read books; no wonder why people don’t read as frequently anymore as before television.  Pictures have soothing effects on depressed people, especially when the dialogue is pretty simple, the sceneries gorgeous, and the topic easy to comprehend.

            No wonder why people likes old smooth movies such as “The countess in naked feet” by Ava Gardner, “The snow of Kilimanjaro”, “Pandora”,  “The shop around the corner” of Lubitsch; “The Big Sleep” of Howard Hawks; “The train will whistle trice” or “A man for eternity” of Zinneman; “Casablanca” of Michael Curtiz; the “Cheetah” played by Claudia Cardinal, Alain Delon, and Burt Lancaster and realized by Lampedusa and Visconti.

The priest, the warrior, and the peasant; (August 22, 2009)

Another alternative title could be more realistic and comprehensive such as “Elder, male, and female” but it is not catchy enough.

George Dumezil, a French researcher who can speak over 20 languages, says “The first 10 languages are the hardest to learn; the remaining languages come pretty easy because it is the same routine and same thing”.

George Dumezil wrote the trilogy “Myth and Epic” that describes the mythologies in Ireland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Germany, Roman, Greek, Ossetia (Caucasus region), and then links all these mythologies to their hierarchical transmission from the Indian Mahabharata and Bhagavat mythology.

Dumezil calls this unifying mythology “The Indo-European mythology” and end up with a summary that this mythology is based on 3 fundamentals the Priesthood, Warrior, and Peasant classes with their respective Gods.

After over 40 years of detailed research to reach this common sense conclusion is a monstrous let down.

Da! This classification of society is common to all cultures and civilizations and going pretty strong nowadays. (The main Gods in all civilizations were of Justice, War, and Fecundity. The all-encompassing unifying God was barely worshiped by the people because not symbolizing their trade or class).

The Romans had the (Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus). The Scandinavian counties had Odinn reigning over the Val-Holl of (Porr, Mimir, and Odrerir) and  Ases was their unifying God. The Germans had Wotan reigning over their Walhalla.  In the Near East mythology we had (Shamsh, Baal, and Ashtarout); El or Allah in the Arab Peninsula was their unifying God.  In the Nile civilization we had Amon (Sun), Osiris, and Isis.

The major let down is this conventional direction of researchers of thinking top down or hierarchically.  Well, after the Scandinavian got their mythology from Ossetia that got their mythology from Northern India, then from whom did the Indian receive their mythology?  If there are any written records that go many thousands of years in antiquity (not probable) we might discover that mythology transmission is no longer hierarchical but cyclical.

Adopting the easy hierarchical line of reasoning is basically wrong. It is the wrong logic to consider: simply because it stick to the conventional that the King/Priesthood classes are the transmitters of culture and civilization. The Priesthood class is mainly the conservative maintainer of the status quo and barely the transmitter of much anything.

A more realistic and promising line of reasoning is to consider that it is the warrior classes that transmitted rituals, myths, and customs.

It is the soldiers and sub officers who were in direct and daily contact with the conquered people: they are the ones who interrogated prisoners, facilitated trade and communication, and learned by osmosis the new culture and civilization of the subjugated people.  The soldiers and sub officers returned to their hometowns and villages and disseminated their story telling testimonies and accounts of their war period.

The dissemination was quick because most soldiers were mercenaries from the neighboring countries to the powerful Kingdom. Once the war was over, the soldiers were disbanded to return mainly to their families and spread the news of alternative rituals, myths, customs, and techniques of the conquered culture.

Since frequent communication of central government of Empires with their neighboring vassal countries was not sustained, it stands to reason that the peasant classes managed to occasionally change their traditions before the government realized the changes.

When central government is strong then either of two possibilities was activated:

1.  If the mercenary warriors sided with the peasants then the King/Priesthood was defeated and the newer traditions and mythologies took roots.

2.  If the King/Priesthood vanquished then many varieties of sects and cults mushroomed in the neighboring kingdom.

Empires come and go, but the tank sources for mercenaries were constant.

These warriors came from mountain chain regions and high plateaus or desert regions.  In “Indo-European civilization” the mercenaries flocked from the Turkish Anatole Plateau and its extension in the Caucasus of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ossetia, Chechnya, Albania, and Romania.  The people were known as Cherkessk, Kurd, Tatar, Parthian, Scythe, and so on.  The other sources of mercenaries came from Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, and Mongolia.

The main central EMPIRE was Persia that extended many times from coastal Turkey to all of Afghanistan and part of Pakistan.

Babylon and later Assyria empires were counties of current Iran that moved the Capitals to their provinces as central power weakened in Persia. The same is true for the Hittite Empire in Anatolia that expanded to Egypt and signed the first recorded peace treaty with Egypt after the battle of Caddish. The Hittite aided the Greek by all means to defeat the Empire of Troy: Troy was a major handicap to extending to the coast and building a navy.

The urban centers in plains, rich with major water resources and large river,s hires mercenaries to defend or expand empires. The Near East region was constituted of City-States) that hired mercenaries for the war effort to defend the cities. A City-State was the center for Priesthood/learning class and peasant/skilled artisans class (the bread basket).  Empires that could not maintain autochthonous soldiers as majority of their armies vanished in no times.

When studying civilizations and their continuity we should never dismiss the main factor: climate.

There are the cold, mild, and hot weather civilizations. Within these 3 categories there are the plain and mountain region people. Talking about “indo-European” languages or civilizations is stretching the imagination a tad too far and forcing issues.

It is not with the antiques written records of the elite class that civilizations and dissemination of culture can be described and comprehended, but with archeological finds of daily living, rituals, and customs within homogeneous climatic regions.

Note 1: I had the topic from “Smell of the Time” (Odeur du temps) by Jean d’Ormesson who published three articles on George Dumezil. I didn’t read “Myth and Epic” and hope that d’Ormesson did.

Notes 2:  The nomadic desert Jewish tribes could not invent but one God “Yahwa”; Jehovah ended up to be their warrior God. When the Jews of Moses got in contact with the Canaanites in Palestine, Yahwa was set aside during peaceful period to be resurrected during war period and his statues and temples moved closer to God Baal in order for the Jews to be hired as mercenaries.

“Today he will dine with Mr. The Viscount…”; (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.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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