Monday, February 1, 2010

re: Michel Mohrt's "Un Soir, A Londres"

In a recent blog post discussing some recently uncovered references to Louise Brooks in modern French fiction, I mentioned the now elderly writer Michel Mohrt. From what I discovered through a search of Gallica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Mohrt mentioned Louise Brooks in a couple of books.

I put in a request for those books, and one arrived via inter-library loan just the other day. It was Mohrt's 1991 novel Un Soir, à Londres. Though I don't read French, I paged through the novel and found the page which includes the reference to the actress. Here it is.

I would certainy appreciate it if any French speaking Louise Brooks fans could provide a quick translation into English of the sentences around the reference to the actress. The search goes on . . . .

2 comments:

  1. Using Google translate from the first word in the image to the rest of that first paragraph:

    "with grace of a young animal, black eyebrows a perfect arc, hairdressing GARCONNIERE UNCOVERING ears. Like tonight ... A little shorter? And the two notches along the cheeks a little Louise Brooks. He was admired then as we admire a beautiful marble, not great photo, full page in Vogue magazine feminin ...: In Paris, the woman is ... He could tell her breasts in the man's shirt unbuttoned, long legs extended, was made by the naked short ... no emotion sensual not lived when he contemplated the wife of his friend, Chris longed to possess the woman so beautiful, so desirable. And they were singing ..."

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  2. This may perhaps be a little late; however, I've just read this book, and I suppose the best translation of the lines would be (starting from the actual beginning of the sentence at the top of your page, missing in this photo, on page 64 of my edition):

    "And he used to admire Vicky's face, the length of her outstretched neck which she would bend, curve, with the grace of a young animal, her perfectly arched black eyebrows, her boyish hairstyle revealing her ears. Such as this evening's. . . A little shorter? And the two locks down her cheeks: a little like Louise Brooks. He had admired her then as one admires a beautiful statue, a beautiful photo, full-page, in a woman's magazine. . . Vogue: "In Paris, women wear. . .""

    Vicky is the ex-girlfriend of the narrator (Martin's) best friend, Chris, who has disappeared; the two of them eventually realise their love by the end of the novella, all over the course of a dinner's retelling of stories of their joint past.

    Hope I've helped!

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