Trigons

Trigon Two: I-III

Chez Harvey Goldberg

1.


                  &  I suppose you could call it business & pleasure
     the pleasure part of it a honeymoon of sorts
     before the wedding six months away and staying with
     my old teacher Harvey Goldberg or at least
     at the same hotel he lived in while in Paris working on the life
     of  Jean Jaurès           HG himself I'd call a great
     orator like J——you should have heard him on those big years
     1789  1848    1870——he'd take off his glasses
     and the music of revolution nothing else can say what it was like
     flooded into mid-America         I hoped he'd approve
     of D given all his strictures on "the girlfriends of poets" as he'd
     say derisively and I could tell in an instant that he'd
     been completely smitten        Funny how charisma really is
     enough because he was a strange looking man
     and not a person you would think could have both  girls and boys
     rolling in his sheets     Sartre was just  the same 
     although he wasn't interested in boys and Harvey wasn't
     wall-eyed
                            Chez Harvey Goldberg        with some glee he
     passed the letter old Captain Adams D's father wrote to
     the address of that hotel thinking it a private home
     Harvey said to D ah! you're smart as Simone de Beauvoir & twice as
     beautiful here's a letter must be from a parent
     I believe....Generations! And we had such a sense of our own
     everybody does I suppose everybody's is the best
     of times the worst of times and all of that but D and I as well as
     on this kind of honeymoon had work to do
     and Harvey said I feared she'd be a blue-stocking 
     or a femme fatale
                                        Jean Jaurès feared worse but fared well
     before the 1898 election when on May 8th cyclists from
     the villages brought news of his defeat by the new right alliance
     of Solages who spooked the constituents with charges J was
     anticlerical and Dreyfusard and agent of Freemasonry to boot 
     though J had trudged through rain and mud to speak in barns & stables
     standing up on barrels haystacks wagons crying Common cause
     my brothers with the miners of Carmaux
     an old peasant shouted back But you're the one who wants to
     tear down churches J replied
     and what do you think I'd do with all those stones
     pile them in 1968 perhaps besides some burned out cars along 
     the Boulevard Saint-Germain with toppled

   

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Sources for Chez Harvey Goldberg.

Harvey Goldberg, The Life of Jean Jaurès.

Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words.

Simone de Beauvoir, The Mandarins.

Deirdre Bair, Simon de Beauvoir.

Georges Simenon, Pietre-le-Letton.

Pierre Assouline, Simenon: A Biography.

Bertrand Tavernier, 'Round Midnight.

Charles Newman, A Child's History of America.

André Breton, Selected Poems, trans. Kenneth White.

Nicholas Halasz, Captain Dreyfus: The Story of a Mass Hysteria.

Olivier Todd, Malraux: A Life.


1789. The year that the French Revolution began which led to the overthrow and execution of Louis XVI and decimated the French nobility.


1848. Known as the February Revolution, one of many insurrections across Europe in the same year, overthrew the Orleans dynasty and Louis-Phillipe and initiated the Second Republic. The original demand in Paris was for the droit de travail or right to work. The revolutionaries were quickly overturned by a conservative backlash which led to a new government under Napoleon III.


1870. The year of the Paris Commune which established leftist control over the city from March 18th until May 28th of the same year. Viewed as a lesson for Lenin and other revolutionaries, the Commune was brutally overthrown by the French army.


Sartre. Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80). French philosopher, novelist and playwright. Viewed as the founder of the post-1945 Existentialist movement, the author of Being and Nothingness (1943), his major philosophic work and several important novels including Nausea and the Roads to Freedom trilogy (1945-49).


Simone de Beauvoir. Simone-Lucie-Ernestine-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir (1908-86). One of the most influential feminist writers of the 20th century. Her The Second Sex has inspired each successive generation since its publication in 1949. In 1929 she entered into a permanent relationship with Sartre which lasted until his death in 1980.


Solages. Jérôme Ludovic Solages (1868-1927). Rightist politician and politician, beat Jaurés in the 1889 election but lost the seat to him in 1892. Director of the mine at Carmaux, scene of the strike in 1892 where the miners were demanding the reinstatement of their leader.


Dreyfusard. The name given to supporters of Alfred Dreyfus, a jewish artillery officer who was wrongly convicted for treason. The Dreyfus affair lasted from 1894 until his exoneration in 1906 and polarised the French nation with conservatives upholding the conviction and the left demanding a full pardon.


Boulevard Saint-Germain.. One of the main Parisian thoroughfares which runs for 3.5 kilometres along the Left Bank of the Seine. Since the 1930s the Quartier Saint-Germain des Pres has been popular with students, artists and intellectuals, its cafès and bars were frequented by Sarte and de Beauvoir along with many others.

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