Friday, May 22, 2009

Violette Leduc - April 7, 1907 - May 28, 1972

I quote from Isabelle de Courtivron's biography Violette Leduc:

     The [final fifty pages] of La Chasse a l'amour* center on Violette's discovery of the Provencal region and her attraction to the little village of Faucon ... [alternating] between the description of the narrator's first enchantment with the area during the early 1960s and passages written from her present vantage point, ten years later, when she is happily settled there.  These pages are filled with lyrical descriptions of the perfumes and colors of Provence, of the simple earthiness of the villagers, of the freshness of the food, and of the peaceful atmosphere.  Although it is not an easy task to gain the approval of the distrustful community of villagers or to locate an available house, a determined Violette succeeds in obtaining both.  The book closes with a description of her cherished monastic existence as the narrator shares with the reader her reconciliation with both her self and the world. 

She is buried in Faucon's tiny cimetiere.


Engraved on the marble, and gold-leafed (but, alas, photographed poorly by me):

Violette Leduc
Ecrivain
1907 - 1972

It was very moving to me to sit on her stone, with a book in my hands, paying homage to her.  I owe a debt of deep gratitude to my French-speaking brother for his travel guidance, and to Alain Coullet, a Faucon resident whom we were fortunate to have met outside a local  boulangerie; Monsieur Coullet kindly showed us which house Violette Leduc lived in, and made it easy to find her resting place in the cemetery.


*I don't know that La Chasse a l'amour has been translated into English; I can only wish that it were.

4 comments:

  1. the color of the stone is very tranquilizing

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  2. What luck in finding your blog after seeing Violette Leduc mentioned several times in Deidre Bair's biography of Simone de Beauvoir. Nice work and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your work.

    LRJ

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I love Violette to death!

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