Wanton Nights eN I thought it d beNot that I wasn t reasonably interested in Marceline and her story particularly her dual love for her husband and for Latouche but the narration struck me as so inward looking so centered on Marceline smotions and her story herself as the actress and writer of her own life with comparatively few scene setting details comparatively few descriptions of the world The narrator of the novel is an I
THAT LOVES AND FEELS AND MOVESloves and feels and moves the world I could have done with description and less feeling I would have liked for of the story to be told indirectly with the description of a time or a place creating a mood and
letting the reader infer about the motion ofthe reader infer about the motion of story from that At one point in the novel Marceline talks about how critics berated her performances for having an xcess of sensibility and that s sometimes how I felt about the book as a whole p 54That said I like how the book starts right with Marceline s voice with the motional heart of things with this I spent the afternoon with Henri Again the same vertigo as though walking an xposed ridge and not knowing which side to fall on a wild commotion in my chest p 1 And there are some lovely bits of detail the orange colored berg re in Henri s apartment by the piano and the window his tall windows and their view of the Seine the sand strewn on the floor in the Flemish fashion in Marceline s first childhood home the bits and moods of the cities she sees as an actress from one city to the next I liked this a lotRochefort was tiny and oddly laid out It was a port or accurately a shipyard differing markedly from the three towns I had previously known casting all my #points of reference to the winds The sight of masts suddenly rising at the nd #of reference to the winds The sight of masts suddenly rising at the The Fiend Next Door end a street astonished me I could never get used to seeing a ship between two houses I was intrigued charmed and vaguely frightened p 60And thisBordeaux appealed to me With its medieval aspect its tree planted alleys its big red tiled white stone buildings its high clear windows its sumptuous townhouses its wrought iron balconies it looked something like the Spain that was so much talked of The air was soft the sun. E We feel her hurt as she buries child after child her dream of being a mother deferred cruelly time and time again But most of all we share in her transcendence of daily life as she achieves the height of her art and rises above her circumstances avoiding the sad fates of her widowed father and siblings who fall prey to drink and madness The Last Rendezvous is a Romantic novel invery sense of the word and is as irresistible as its tragic but triumphant leading lady who chose to live her life with daring as a modern woman ahead of her ti. Not impressed Don t remember this at all The Last Rendezvous A Novel is the fictional autobiography of the dedicated #Poet And Reluctant Actress Marceline #and reluctant actress Marceline Val who lived from 1786 to 1859 As Anne Plantagenet notes in her Acknowledgments to the novel this novel distorts historical reality throughout The actual life of Marceline Desbordes Val French woman of letters b Douai 1786 d Paris 1859 was likely uite different from the one recounted here And Marceline Desbordes Val would not have told her story as I have She would not have told it at all Marceline definitely is not portrayed as a shrinking violet in The Last Rendezvous In fact she appears to wallow in her motions while disregarding those of her husband Prosper Val as well as those
OF HER LOVER AND INSPIRATION FORher lover and inspiration for of her poetic genius Hyacinthe Thabaud de Latouche familiarly known as Henri For a large portion of the novel Marceline portrays herself as being torn between the stability that her husband provides and the intoxication of her romantic involvement with her reclusive and ccentric lover The intensity and depth with which Plantagenet reveals the uandaries that beset Marceline are dwelt on as though they come from the personal xplorations contained in an intimate journalPlantagenet alternates chapters between the young Marceline who is torn away from her father and other siblings in her mother s lopement of the spirit to the Antilles islands where her mother succumbs to ill health and the older The Return of the Carter Boys: The Carter Boys 2 emotionally drained Marceline who can only find respite in the arms of her physically unattractive though intellectually astute lover Readers are inevitablyncouraged to compare the older and the younger Marceline which facilitates them becoming involved in the seuence of A Meditation on Murder events The dichotomy between present and past is not only intriguing adding to the multilayered feel of the text but it also mirrors the spirit of the correspondence on which Marceline spent much of her lifeven coming to refer to it as her religion Marceline s own waywardness as it is portrayed in the pages of this novel seems to be part hereditary part due to her unusual upbringing She. Women are not supposed to write; yet I write Marceline Desbordes ValIn 1817 at the late age of thirty three Marceline Desbordes the actress and Romantic poet the only woman counted by Paul Verlaine among his poètes maudits or accursed poets a group that included Victor Hugo Charles Baudelaire and Alfred de Vigny marries Prosper Val a fellow actor who brings love and stability to her turbulent life Such stability does not last however We meet Marceline just before she is about to leave Paris yet again in search of better work for her and. Appears to feel no remorse about her actions which were far from #conventional at the time However her compassion for social outcasts as well #at the time However her compassion for social outcasts as well for her alcoholic father and brother reveal traits of kindness to which she makes only passing reference as she does to the political and social upheaval of the revolutionary times in which she lived Anne Plantagenet s personal knowledge of the French landscape including that of the distinction between Parisian and small town life adds resonance to the textThe work nds with a selection of poems by Marceline Desbordes Val which are given both in their original French and in their English translation by Louis Simpson with the assistance of Willard Wood Included are Elegy l gie If He Had Known S il l avait su No Longer Je ne sais plus je ne veux plus The Last Rendezvous Le dernier rendez voux Apart Les s par s Waiting l Attente Are You Asleep Dors tu The Sincere Woman La Sinc re Go in Peace Allez n paix The Roses of Saadi Les roses
DE SAADI AND INTERMITTENT DREAM OFSaadi and Intermittent Dream of Sad Night R ve intermittent d une nuit triste Anne Plantagenet was awarded the 2005 Award for Narrative Biography by the Acad mie internationale des arts Travis et collections for Seule au rendez vous This novel should appeal to all who are interested in the Romantic Movement and the literary outpourings of women However it can also be read as a straightforward period romance so The Last Rendezvous A Novel should be blessed with a wide reading audience The flap copy calls this a Romantic novel invery sense of the word which it is it s a romance a love story and also a story set in the Romantic ra with protagonists who are part of the French Romantic literarymusicaldramatic scene It s the story of Marceline Desbordes Val first an actress then a poet and it s the story of her loves her ill fated affairs her marriage and her great love for the writer Henri de Latouche It moves back and forth in time starting in 1821 and moving ahead but also looking back in alternating chapters at Marceline s youth and arly adulthood and it has its poetic moments but it s mostly straight first person narration which I found less compelling tha. Her husband It is always hard to leave vibrant sophisticated Paris but Marceline is torn now also from Henri Latouche her unattractive dilettante but utterly captivating loverWe witness Marceline's transformation from a celebrated actress to a struggling poet trying desperately to leave the stage behind her once and for all mbarrassed by playing ingenues as she advances in years despite the adulation of her audience We watch her fall in love repeatedly with a young soldier with the handsome actor she is to marry with the ill fated Latouch.