Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette AKA Colette

Sunday saw us hitting the movies. In the past, sometimes we have waited too long and the movie that we want to see is gone.

This was special since it is about the French writer by the name of Colette. As a French major and as someone having a Master’s degree in French Literature, I came across her name and also her importance to the French literary scene, but somehow Master’s programs were not in tune with the idea of her real importance. My tremendously long reading list did not include her at all, in my memory. Having seen the movie, I have more of a sense of her place in French literature and I wonder seriously if perhaps she was not considered to be as important as she was due simply to the fact that she was female.

I learned a few things before going to the movie, for example Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, something I don’t remember at all. She also is the person who wrote a novella by the name of ‘Gigi’ which became the film and Stage Production by Lerner and Loewe.

The movie cast:
Keira Knightley as Colette
Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgie Raoul-Duval
Fiona Shaw as Sido
Dominic West as Willy
Aiysha Hart as Polaire
Al Weaver as Schwob
Denise Gough as Missy

So, I learned a lot in a short time and I would like to do her a bit more justice. Clearly, I have to find some of her writing, which as I told Mary Kay, is easy enough to do. Somehow, I am guilty of not pursuing the reading of some of her works.

The movie was not well attended and it makes me wonder how the general public is going to take it. It added a few surprises, as she was a small town inhabitant in the Burgundy region. It was called Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye. She was the daughter of a well-off war hero who had little money by the time she was of age, not enough for her dowry. She ended up marrying Henry Gauthier-Villars, otherwise known as Willy, a well-known author and publisher and apparently a war colleague of her father’s. He apparently had more than one ghost writer and ‘Colette’ became one of those, writing her first four novels and publishing them under his name, the ‘Claudine series.’

Willy was fourteen years older than Colette and had quite the fascinating sexual lifestyle and introduced Colette to avant-garde intellectuals and artists and even encouraged her lesbian affairs.

Again, I learned a lot and it was great seeing a very important French woman of literature in such a way that I want to further my own understanding of her position in history.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Cinema, French / français, Life in general, Literature, Thoughts and philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

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