Monday, January 7, 2008

French love song

Do you believe that Bill Shakespeare, before penning his great love tragedy entitled Romeo and Juliet, took the trouble to verify that the son of Lord Montague and the daughter of Lord Capulet had indeed been linked in an amorous relationship? I don't think so. I would consider that the Bard of Avon simply pulled this particular couple out of his magic hat because he imagined they would be great personages for a love story. I find it difficult to visualize Shakespeare in the role of an investigative journalist, peering in through bedroom windows in order to be absolutely certain, before daring to say so publicly, that the Capulet nymph was indeed getting laid by the randy Montague lad. William Shakespeare was such a good story-teller that spectators were willing to believe his tales without even bothering to ask whether or not they were factually true. Wow, what an artist! These days, I would say that the only cultural creator who gets anywhere near Shakespeare is Steven Spielberg... or maybe George W Bush back when his public performances used to refer to weapons of mass destruction.

In an adjacent domain, should we waste time trying to determine whether Nicolas Sarkozy and Rachida Dati [present minister of Justice] have really been lovers? Or maybe still are?

Even without a factual Department-of-the-Interior-type answer to this question, French art and culture will continue to evolve. I'm persuaded that French creators, deprived of nitty-gritty dirty details about Nicolas and Rachida, can still produce romantic masterpieces. Here's the proof:

The artists, Alec and Clément, are known as Beaubourg, and this exquisite lyrical composition belongs to a series entitled La chanson du dimanche [Sunday song]. Don't worry if you can't catch the subtle meaning of the words. Just let yourself drift into a marvelous romantic world like that of Romeo and Juliet, and imagine a utopian setting in which Nicolas and Rachida might indeed be Shakespearean lovers.

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