“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.

Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.

It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?

Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.

We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.

Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.

Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.

Thanks for reading!

IMG-20160708-WA0058.jpg

“Consider other doors, gallivanter!”

Sometimes you’re less interested by the works than by the theories, discussions, struggles, articles and letters by those who invented it or studied it.

Imagine you’re interested in cubism, or new wave music. You can study the paintings and listen to OMD’s albums, but you could also dislike all of it, and at the same time discovering plenty of good ideas and concepts in the articles, books, letters around these subjects.

Go to France, but visit other cities than Paris. Read a poet, but not his poetry. Focus on trains when you study WWII.

So what? Well, nothing more than :

“Consider other doors, gallivanter!”.

I’d go further : choose a field you really don’t want to like (pick one : Street Art, Turkish Music, history of the Loire Castles in France, early movies of Brian de Palma, African food, or Nicolas de Stael’s paintings), and you go girl!

You could be surprised. Or find harmonic links with what you like, concepts you could apply to your discipline, or other doors to even more interesting territories.

Thanks for reading!

nicolas-de-staecc88l.jpg

Inner Travels are cheaper

I don’t travel, I never took a plane : I know I’m wrong. I knowwww!

I like to read books; though (I’m an astronomer, not an astronaut) about traveling.

Every tourist will say he’s “not a tourist”, but each good traveling authors speaks about other things than local shopping or visiting “what you have to see”. Carrière tells us that he founds many beautiful things in Agra, India, which are NOT the Taj Mahal. And there are others things to see in Paris than Le Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

Deleuze says that traveling authors always finish by saying they were seeking… a father. Beckett has a character who says something like “We are stupid, but not stupid enough to travel as a leisure”.

Proust says that we travel to check something. Mmhhh?

I would imagine, like Deleuze again, an immobile travel. Or a VERY SLOW travel.

So I like to read about these. And I like to prepare a good inner travel, too. With books and Internet, you can travel through the American Civil War, or the French Revolution, the life of Faulkner or Bartok, Stanley Kubrick movies or whatever. Choose your study. It’s a travel. Learning a language too. I had a friend who travelled through India, learned the language, and got married there. Good!

OK, I’ll get a passport.

Have a nice day!

C360_2015-10-11-05-19-05-157.jpg

 

#French #Blogging in #English : un Songe

OK I’m French, I knowwww that I make mistakes. Sometimes I even make mistakes on purpose, like when I use nouns as verb. Thus… at night : I bed, then in the morning I coffee. I should have written that “I mistake on purpose”…

Blogging in English? Why?

Because it’s not my native language, so I HAVE to make in simple and short. Simple because I don’t have all the vocabulary. Short because… I know you don’t like to read long articles on your smartphone. Therefore short is good. It also forces me to be synthetic.

I asked some friends “how does it sound?”, but they were really not able to tell me. Charming Frenchy? Awkward foreigner? Disturbing little flaws? I don’t know if it brings colors or botherness

Yes, OK, botherness : no, OK. I liked it, though!

What I heard also is that it sounds French ALSO because of the way ideas are expressed (How so? Casualness? Impoliteness?), or even because… American people just simple don’t think like that, or say that. Parfois, un article vient d’un simple songe…

Songe? What’s between “think” (penser) and “dream” (rêver), in English? We have this verb : songer. And a splendid noun : un songe…

Bonne journée. Thanks for reading!

mariadelsur_-__temps__La_vie_nous_donne_chaque_jour_86400_secondes.__Avons-nous_pris_une_seule_d_entre_elles_pour_dire_je_t_aime___ceux_qui_sont_pr_cieux_et_uniques_pour_notre_coeur___Je

Instagram : mariadelsur

 

The Casualness Shades of Orchestras

I’m reading a book about orchestras. I liked the pages explaining how different do great orchestras really sound from one another, that’s interesting.

Try this article : World Greatest Orchestras

Cultural differences made me smile. Some American or German musicians hired by French orchestras were disturbed by our… frenchness. Instrumentalists are chatting before rehearsals, par exemple, ohlalaaaaa…

It’s a matter of shades, though. Italian instrumentalists think we are much more rigorous… Makes sense, no ?

In an American orchestra, everybody is on time, all the musicians did their homework, and nobody talks. Not a word. Riccardo Muti, coming from… Italy, was a bit surprised by this American “engine ready” effectiveness and once said to the orchestra : “You know, you can talk !”.

The author tries to be culturally fair. American or German (among others) orchestras are fast and effective, and French orchestras need more rehearsals to prepare a symphony, for example.

He says that the result is great, clean, and pretty much always the same in the United States. They do the job ! In France, orchestras are less like a perfect car and more like a living surprising entity. They do the job too, and sometimes it’s becoming amazing !

Leonard Bernstein always loves French orchestras for this reason : they follow his craziness if he tries something unusual. And… the author says than French instrumentalists are very quiet and attentive when the chief in Giulini or Haitink. Errrr…

Yes, I can link this arcticle to this other one, about following damn rules

So let’s say we can, but we don’t !

After all, the Eiffel Tower has no function, other than a symbol. The Eiffel Tower is uneffective.

I think that in France we just like to do things slightly improperly. Yesss we can cross the road out of the zebras, if there’s no car around. We really do that ! Ohlalala…

Lever : This lever is called “Obey” and has two ways. If something’s boring in your project, because it’s clean and right on the road, pull it here. Try something French. Add wine too.

Josef Krips, a great conductor, once said something like “With half more discipline, the French orchestra would become the best of the world”. Maybe you need half more discipline, then. Pull the lever there. Thank you America !

Day off with #orchestra #pluriel
Day off with #orchestra #pluriel

Une Américaine à Paris…

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

I was once in Paris with an American lady, who seemed constantly amazed by the pace of the city, the taste of la baguette (is French bread really that better ?), cheeses and saucisson, the light on the roofs of Paris, the open skies over La Seine and the way kids are running laughing playing together after school in a warm evening, after school, in le Parc Monceau.

There wasn’t a day without me saying “You knowwwww…”, the only way I found to tell her that, errr, we are cool, we don’t play the rules that much, we like to do nothing, the french wine is cheaper than in California, and we love the word “promenade”…

Woody Allen explained this a little in his movie Midnight in Paris. Owen Wilson was a bit like my friend : American, but fascinated by the douceur de vivre of France.

I would like to thank John Oliver for his little hilarious speech about France : http://www.newyorker.com/culture/sarah-larson/vive-john-oliver

“France is going to endure. And I’ll tell you why. If you are in a war of culture and life style with France, good fucking luck!” – good example with the croquembouche “That is a French freedom tower!”.

Yum.

What’s up ? The Sky. So don’t #prayforparis : just come, breathe, venez visiter la France !

20151005_181420