Place Renée Vivien
I've run into Renée Vivien exactly twice in my life. Once during a reading of Colette's The Pure and the Impure in literature class, and once a few weeks ago when we stopped to admire Place Renée Vivien in the Marais. In the context of her life, the artwork felt feminine, yet fragmented and tortured. What's not to love about Renée Vivien? A celebrated poet. A lavish bohemian life. An affair with American writer, Natalie Clifford Barney. Unrequited love with a lesbian object of affection. Dramatic suicide attempts involving violets. Alcoholism. Drugs. Fetishes. Sadomasochism. You know, all that garden-variety life stuff. Her story is at once intriguing and tragic, and I may dust off my copy of The Pure and the Impure if I can find it. Though it is a bit unfair to judge Renée through her contemporary's eyes, I enjoyed Colette's work. Has anyone read any of Renée's poetry?