Too lazy today to go through my weekend checklist; there are some days you just give in to sloth.
Сырники and my plum jam for breakfast (and then again for brunch…), finishing the long-winded French novel, for once competently translated (y Hoyt Rogers)- all those strange turns of phrase and endless sentimental passages reasonable enough for the premise and the story to be believable, to relay the fragrance and tone of time.
“By a Slow River“by Philippe Claudel (“The Gray Souls” in original), is a story set in a village near provincial town of V. during, immediately after and 20 years since WWI. It is a story of a life-long crime, of several crimes; of a monster in holier-than-though impeccable suit; of a local policeman’s belated investigation. Fans of literary tradition will find there any number of morality tale’ lessons: that conformism retreats only before a great love; that most evil men are not inhuman but damaged in their core and deserve understanding if not pity; that War wounds are not just those tearing apart flesh. But it not, as I make it sound, a tale in Flaubert’ mode – nor it is as sarcastic, disillusioned and cynical as Simenon’s. In short, I enjoy it very much and hope you will, too.
Then I got a word from the library that a film I claimed hold on arrived and I can stream it. A Royal Affair, by a Dane Nikolai Arcel, featuring decoratively brutal but softhearted Madds Mikkelsen and beautifully cast Alicia Vikander. Costume romantic drama with a serious and dangerous message: onesided call for redistribution of wealth, expropriations, taxation and usurpation of power – all in the name of Enlightenment and Liberty. I doubt the irony of historical consequences of French Enlightenment hit home to the film screenwriters: the bloody history of French revolution(s), Danton, Robespierre, the Reign of Terror, “aristocrats – to the lightposts!”and all kinds of other results of the naive idealism of Encyclopedists are left outside the shoot. Just like the current state of Denmark, succumbed to the leftist Northern Socialism – not quite the enlightened idyll of a country the authors hint to at the final subtitles.
All in all, a film perfectly suited for a solitary Sunday. Good to watch, periodically stopping to make notes of gorgeous dresses and daring hats, every once in a while raising my eyes to the windows where chestnut blossoms are getting wet under a spring rain…