Friday, June 11, 2010


Some readers will recall the Umbrellology theme of the Alphonse van Worden blog. There were collected images and bits of text to trace the umbrella as a trope of idealised property and proprietor, the prop(erty) and image of bourgeois individual owner-subjectivity, and to uncover the premises, argument, justification and romance of I and Mine condensed into the figure as motif in literature and art. The umbrella would be succeeded in this role of dominant trope of the proprietor subject, primary prop and figure of I and Mine, by the camera. Sadly (for me) those posts have all been lost to nicotine withdrawal.

But here's a kind of ghostly apparition as epilogue, something I came across today which not only illustrates powerfully the core of the case attempted at Alphonse van Worden but seemed to connect to topics lately touched on here and in the surrounding regions:

Tout Versailles est en fête. Elle se tait sanglante.
Le passant rit, l'essaim des enfants la poursuit
De tous les cris que peut jeter l'aube à la nuit.
L'amer silence écume aux deux coins de sa bouche ;
Rien ne fait tressaillir sa surdité farouche ;
Elle a l'air de trouver le soleil ennuyeux ;
Une sorte d'effroi féroce est dans ses yeux.
Des femmes cependant, hors des vertes allées,
Douces têtes, des fleurs du printemps étoilées,
Charmantes, laissant pendre au bras de quelque amant
Leur main exquise et blanche où brille un diamant,
Accourent. Oh ! l'infâme ! on la tient ! quelle joie !
Et du manche sculpté d'une ombrelle de soie,
Frais et riants bourreaux du noir monstre inclément,
Elles fouillent sa plaie avec rage et gaiement.
Je plains la misérable ; elles, je les réprouve.
Les chiennes font horreur venant mordre la louve.

Victor Hugo, L'Année terrible

(Bourgeois women holding "the carved handle of a silk parasol" dig about in the wound of the defeated communarde.)


  1. "Sadly (for me) those posts have all been lost to nicotine withdrawal"

    Arpege, are you saying that you had to delete your old bleugs in order to concentrate properly on giving up cigarettes? I don't know if that constitutes cognitive dissonance, non sequitue or what, but I am interested to truly find that Qlipoth is a smoke-free zone.

    I think I started reading after you did your early Umbrellology, so did you mean the Colonel Chabert bleug was about the 'camera', the successor? Not that I have much to offer, given that I am stepping out in a few hours to be a blatant Ballet Goeur...FOUR--count 'em--FOUR Ashton works at ABT, which have the best dancers (except I'll miss the new sensation, Osipova, who Alistair Macaulay says is the best in the world right now, from the Bolshoi), Veronika Part, Peter Hallberg, and also Diana Vishneva from the Kirov. I've quit the NYCB, they are awful except for 2 or 3 ballerinas, it's in total decline with Peter Martins, who's pretty cheesy. I remember when NYCB was the smartest ballet company in the world. I think the best is POB now, and they're coming here in 2012. Their director, Brigitte LeFevre, is very impressive as seen in the Wiseman docu, but she doesn't seem to know that we don't need ballets about 'Siddhartha' and 'Caligula' all that much. otoh, I'm praying they'll bring that evening-length 'Wuthering Heights' here, that is the best new piece I've seen in years. They're much better trained than the other companies, and Marie-Agnes Gillot's fouettes are so perfect even the company people can't get used to it.

    Gawd, you have to sign into Google every time you put a comment. You're going to keep them away in droves, dear.

  2. "Arpege, are you saying that you had to delete your old bleugs in order to concentrate properly on giving up cigarettes?"

    almost. I had to delete them to not be distracted by them in order to concentrate on other things which had become really difficult to do because of the quitting process.

    it was really hard, and i really don't smoke but I still feel strange and foggy.

    yes chabert was more about camera -

    i am sorry about peter martins cheesiness and the ruin of his company - .

    sorry about the signing in but you were the one complaining about the mess!

    "Marie-Agnes Gillot's fouettes are so perfect even the company people can't get used to it. "

    she is so precise you get the sense it has to do with technology; think about dancers who were trained up able to watch themselves in great detail and easily, not in a mirror but on video. She dances like someone who is seeing herself, no?

  3. but maybe that's my impression because i only see her on a screen and the direction and lighting, etc, of contemporary dance is now very geared toward filming.

  4. "She dances like someone who is seeing herself, no?"

    What a marvelous way to put it. And it could even be possible she does have a mental picture of the very movements she is making. But that's got to be the first time I've ever heard the people who've seen her every day literally realize that she is better than the last time they'd seen her. About the training, though, I meant to add that it's the corps de ballet (which you'd see a good bit in the opera too, I believe) is just so much better than ABT's tired cygnets and NYCB's non-enough-rehearsal corps. Ms. LeFevre doesn't allow anything to be taken for granted in the technique, and you may know that Aurelie Dupont also progressed pretty far as a pianist before she became one of the most brilliant at POB (perhaps a little more well-known here even than Marie-Agnes, I think has been with them a little longer).

    Sorry about the complaint, no, it's well worthwhile to sign in, and the loading time is MUCH faster. That was truly unbelievable when I was being crashed by your bleug every time I tried to even read it.

    That is GREAT you were able to do that, though! I'm pretty lucky in that I only have one or two a day and don't want more except when Jack comes for lunch Monday, then I have maybe five, but my roommate said she wasn't going to have the smoke smell in the house, so if I have one, I have to go up to the roof landing; I don't know how to explain it (and I DEFINITELY don't recommend it to anyone who was smoking a lot to try to smoke in moderation--I imagine I can only do it BECAUSE I can't do any work or concentrate when smoking), but I immediately cut down to one pack a week, which is where I was for 10 years until this past August when that mess really started getting to me. She's so excited about going to ABT tonight, and also has never been inside the Met. It's nice that the first Ashton piece is called 'Birthday Offering', since it's for both of our birthdays we're going.

    Catch you later!