Musee Marguerite Yourcenar
It has been a while since I read something interesting about M.Yourcenar, an erudite and eccentric Grande Dame of Letters, so refreshing to find this article by Joan Acocella, Becoming an Emperor or how Marguerite Yourcenar reinvented the past. New Yorker magazine. I did not know that Yourcenar spent half of her life in USA, and even had a citizenship and taught at Sarah Lawrence.
John Updike described her writing as marmoreal and elegant – thus pasted in the back of book “That Mighty Sculptor, Time”. (Marmoreal means like a marble or statue – learned a new word today.)
More about M. Y. “Her many meditations on the meaning of love and pleasure often had their roots in personal crisis; yet they were always filtered through historical, mythological or fictitious characters.”
Here is a sample of her writing;
Febo del Poggio
I am awakening. Before me, behind me, there is eternal night. For millions of ages I have slept; for millions of ages I shall sleep again…I have but one hour. Why would you spoil it with explanations or maxims? I stretch out in the sun, on the pillow of pleasure, in a morning that will never again return.
(Excerpt from a book “That Mighty Sculptor, Time” by M. Yourcenar).
“The Vision of the Void” was her book on Mishima, where she interpreted Mishima’s suicide as part of his work. A few reviews that I read online were all very negative, and I have not read her Mishima even though her writing on Mishima was how I came to know her.
She visited Borges and spent some times with him just before he died. Her tribute to Borges became her last piece of writing.