Culture

Literature, passion and death in French literature über alles

It’s perfectly coherent with my thesis crying in the morning looking at the musical The phantom of the Opera. I read the book years ago and I loved it… The french romanticism and depth, increased by the unique beauty of the language… La dame aux Camelias, Notre-Dame de Paris, Madame Bovary, La morte amoureuse, Le fleurs du mal… French literature of the XIX century. All those books struck me and I recall them for details; in reading in fact, it’s very personal the meaning and importance we give to different parts and details of a story. I couldn’t live without it because reality it’s much more beautiful if we connect some romance to that. And reading sad, deadly story of passion helps reminding how beautiful is life! French are sad Italians, no way to doubt that… While in our literature love triumphs and God is over us to help (let’s think of Dante and Manzoni!), in French literature the masterwork are written by deeply sad people with problems in their couple (death of a beloved one, homosexuality and so on), often resolved by alcol and drugs (the poets maudits sinking in absinth and hallucinogens). And so the operas end badly, with the madness and/or subsequently death of the hero. I find it beautiful. I promessi sposi doesn’t move my soul to that point of morbid com-passion. Suffering in reading helps to well relate in real life, where evil and passion are the most addictive drugs… I bet that in the Divine comedy we all appreciate and remember more than anything else the “Inferno”, isn’t it? And particularly the second giro (fifth canto), where the history of Paolo & Francesca is told by the latter, burning in a vortex of fire for the eternity with her lover… for the sin of lust. Dante for the emotion falls “come corpo morto cadde”. Nothing else move our souls like the tragic history of love do.

What I finally watched this morning touched my heart again, because once again a french branded musical transpired passion with its death’s side – ethos and tanatos, destructive forces. Like Notre-Dame by Richard Cocciante(the MASTERWORK in my opinion by excellence) – and there’s no surprise if the musician as well preferred France’s romance as well – the music is playing in my head non-stop.

The coherence I referred above with my thesis derives to the fact that I regress in french literature there as well (and in many other fields)! Links to reality are the most beautiful thing that studying gives us.

“Fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza” (Dante,XXVI).

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