Le Bal du Palais d’Hiver

It just so happened that I stumbled across an incredibly posh and surprisingly well composed series of five episodes on the most exquisite XXth century parties I’m going to use as a main support for my own sequence, just to baffle a bit the monotony this blog has, alas, succumbed to.

So without further (and obviously unnecessary) introductory lines, behold the first sample.

As if anticipating the ensuing horrors of the Russian Revolution, Tzar Nicholas II, knowingly the last Romanov ever to sit on his rightful throne, and Empress Alexandra, whose demeanor, like her mother in law,  I’ve always disapproved of, threw the most dazzling party at the Palais d’Hiver.

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The Randy Doctor

March 1, 2012

pozzi

Belle Epoque was the epicenter of both incurable vanity which Paris had literally strolling down its boulevards and unprecedented scientific revolution felt even beyond the borders of the Old Continent, a time when the bourgeois reinforced the avarice supposedly extinguished after 1789 and Greek values borrowed from the ancients augmented people’s desire of  carnal delights. These dominating images, explicitly depicted in Balzac’s “La Comédie humaine “, Zola’s spicy novels, Lautrec’s posters and Proust’s lengthy memoir,  formed the natural habitat of uncountable human specimens defined by most varied traits and lusty doctor Samuel Pozzi (1846–1918) was one illustrious stereotype who combined the two major preoccupations of the time as womanizer & gynecologist (get what I mean?).

Sarah Bernhardt called him Dr. “God”, others Dr. “Love” (quite obvious why…) and some, for the brief period when Pozzi was young and technically insignificant with the student status, yet  still very alluring to his charm’s victims, “the Siren”.

There are several blogs on him where you can find elaborated biographies, like The Life and Work of Samuel Pozzi (brilliant guide, by the way), so I won’t begin to summarize his story in great detail but concern on anecdotes, facts and comments I myself relished while reading about our doctor, juicy informalities.

Main model for Proust’s clumsy/ socially ambitious/ bourgeois  Mr. Cottard, Pozzi was mediocre in his mentality and political views, scarcely aspirant for dandyism, averagely sharp, moderately cultivated and a horrible joker, as the great writer observed, so thanks God he had plenty of charisma to compensate! Oh, and he practiced gynecology, a branch of medicine which somehow forms a propensity for doing women genitalia in the man, especially the dishy one. But he surprisingly managed not to overly indulge into adultery and only select pedigreed pussies (count that of soprano  Georgette Leblanc, actress Rejane, Georges Bizet’s widow, Sarah Bernhardt, and Emma Sedelmeyer Fischof ) to quench his appetite because, professionally, he was impeccable.

You might come to think half the Paris female population prayed to encounter problems at its reproductive organs just to innocently spread her legs for Dr. Love!

Pozzi had an unsatisfying marriage with heiress of a railroad magnate,Therese Loth-Cazalis, who insisted in bringing her nagging hag of a mother to their marital home, thus awarding him the alluring position of poor frustrated husband women queued to console.

Beneath the serious-guy-dignified-academician facade was cunningly hidden a fountain of lechery and one demanding libido, so often met in remarkable persona (preferably check da Vinci before the Marquis de Sade), relieved by the many flirts French society generously granted.

J.J. Sargent masterly captured and expressed this special trait in Pozzi with the above portrait bursting with eroticism (the vivid red robe) but still haughty and transmitting he’s trust-worthy, capable, qualified, the man you’d like to contact if you were sick or weary (can we add “both from clinical and carnal causes”?). The painting incorporated Pozzi’s essence good enough for a 21st century spectator to perceive least a tint of his personality and alleged posture thanks to Sargent’s compressive sense very precious in artists. Can you sincerely affirm you don’t feel that captivating thing about him here?

His illustrative nicknames aren’t bluffs or mocking samples, you know. Pozzi truly was the randy doctor in our title and a damned experienced surgeon rewarded by most European medical associations and very credited for his innovating work. His affairs almost seem part of Boccaccio’s “Decameron“, misty and succulent, true, yet they’re nonetheless authentic and meticulously reported by historical resources at that.

Even his end appears like borrowed from an epoch novel: on a traditionally considered unlucky day of 13, June,  1918, Pozzi, then minding his own business in the consulting room of the clinic, was shot four times in the stomach by a demented Machu-person whose leg he had had to amputate 2 years before, provoking the man unwanted impotence the doctor couldn’t anyway remedy. While the criminal committed suicide, Pozzi died on the operating table during an emergency laparotomy …

His palpitating heart that had tried such a large spectrum of feelings in the ardent game of love eventually ceased to pump blood in his body which turned gray and perished in its tomb at the Bergerac  Protestant Cemetery.

Life.

Marry yourself first!

January 28, 2012

Near the Panthenon, in the ancient Agora where Socrates and Platon used to spread their wisdom, lies a small, beautiful marble temple called „the Hephaisteion”. It is said that its ruins are the best kept in the whole world – a symbol for the times Greece passed through, while history’s cast storms fell above centuries. I was there in the evening when I discovered this. And, as the sun breathed one’s last streak of light on my lids with a mild, friendly wind-whisper which brought the smell of olives to my nose, I couldn’t recall anything else but my own forgotten spirit. It was dusk; night was coming over.

I was the only person in the world who knew exactly what my eyes saw.

Hephaestion Temple

Unfortunately, no one tells us how important is to build a relationship with yourself, nor how much we mean to the soul our body bears because -let’s face it- every single nerve within our been screams out for the little annoying issue called “love”. We search, find, leave,   call,   want,   dream, spy, hate “love”. But we’re always twisted in the end by her poisoned arrows! Why? Nice question. We are, after all, social animals in need of affection and under-standing -even more than it looks- so, I think that leads humankind in the place it is now. At least that’s what I believed. Can’t this labyrinth hide something else, a secret meant to guide us through darkness and oblivion just for showing man that inside lies his greatest discovery and the only key which matches at the gates of Shamballa?!

gates of Dolmabahce Palace

I went there to vow myself “until death will set us apart” and show how much respect I have for me. I went there to scream a silent “I love life” when watching over a very old city. I went there to prove myself that I had learned the lesson and I finally can stay in harmony as a soul, spirit and body.  There’s no more you can hunt than being connected with your inner channels…

Stay whole, rise firm and do not ever -under any circumstances- throw away the appreciation within.

Now I tell this to everybody willing to listen: believe- before giving love we have to sense it flowing in our veins.

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