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Friday, August 29, 2014

Prosper Mérimée: La Vénus d'Ille

Prosper Mérimée wrote this story in 1835. It's definitory, I think, for his entire oeuvre: his passion for the cultural artifacts of Greek-Roman antiquity, even his desire to make their universe alive again, at any cost; his empathy for local folklores, his voluptuousness in pushing the imaginary to become reality;  his courage to find the evil dimension of the ineffable (lesson absorbed from Pushkin?); his balance of the story between rational and irrational; and his superb balance, superb mastership, of the phrase.

Was he a faithful Christian? Far from that. But, instead of faith, doubt: and nihilistic obsession for a mysterious presence of something beyond. Mysterious, capricious, incomprehensible, evil.

You can find the text here:

(Prosper Mérimée)



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