". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Angélique (1964); The Road to Versailles and Angélique And The King (1965); Untamable Angélique and Angélique And The Sultan (1967). A French series based on the novels by Anne and Serge Golon. The NYPL just acquired the 5 Acorn dvds of these French productions (1964, 1965, 1967), and I stumbled into them yesterday. I recall vaguely encountering these novels when around 19 - 20, working in that Grand Forks bookstore, and read a few, until I realized this was entirely open-ended, and Our Heroine was forever condemned to be kidnapped and ravished by one Mediterranean world splendid powerful man after another, when Louis XIV was the most powerful man in the world. Their reputation is that they are impeccable in period detail, and the use of the French language.

I watched one of the dvds last night -- they are lush and lavish productions, wonderful to look at (the plots, not so much, but nevermind) -- though they are also cheesy in that style of the French in the 1960's -- think Brigit Bardot and St. Tropez style. I just learned that Bardot turned down the opportunity to play Angélique, and regretted it afterwards.

I am guessing these books and maybe the movies too, were at least part of the inspiration for the Terre d' Ange Fantasies of Jacqueline Carey, though her period is roughly the 13th century. If I have this correctly, she spent time as a doctoral student in France, studying both French and French history, prior to embarking on a career as the wildly successful author of the, by now several, Kushiel Fantasy series. If the French in these productions is as perfect as is said, they'd be good study aids.

Yes, I'm aware the poster above is for the Spanish market, not the French, but as I have a Spanish heart rather than a French one, well, there ya go!

No comments: