NEW VIDEO: Ana Parejo Vadillo, "Two Cosmopolitan Women Writers at the Turn of the Century"

Dear Readers,

The last episode of our 2020 mini-series on Vernon Lee has just been released !
ENJOY watching Ana Parejo Vadillo on “Two Cosmopolitan Women Writers at the Turn of the Century” here:  https://vimeo.com/387365218

This interview is in 3 parts:
1. Mary Robinson and Vernon Lee

2. Salon Culture

3. Beyond the National

You may not have watched Patricia Pulham and Carolyn Burdett yet. The good news is that all our videos are accessible on Vernon Lee Online, our Vimeo Channel!

– Patricia Pulham, “Reading and Teaching Lee’s Fantastic Tales”
https://vimeo.com/384332062

-Carolyn Burdett, “Vernon LEE and Art”
https://vimeo.com/385909795
and “Experiencing & Performing Art with Vernon Lee”
https://vimeo.com/channels/1269849/386646718

We hope this will contribute to fostering more studies on Vernon Lee and her circle, and more generally, on women writers!

Gilles Pasquet

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NEW VIDEO! "Experiencing and Performing Art with Vernon Lee," by Carolyn Burdett

Dear Members of the  IVLS,
Dear Followers of “The Sibyl”,
Dear Lovers of Villa Il Palmerino,
Dear Friends of Vernon, Mary,  Kit or Irene,
Dearest Friends,

Today’s episode of this week’s mini-series on Vernon Lee has just been released on our “Vernon Lee Online” Vimeo Channel!

After Patricia Pulham’s interview on “Reading and Teaching Lee’s Fantastic Tales”
https://vimeo.com/384332062


After Carolyn Burdett’s interview on “Vernon LEE and Art”
https://vimeo.com/385909795


Don’t miss “Experiencing & Performing Art with Vernon Lee” by Carolyn BURDETT
https://vimeo.com/channels/1269849/386646718

Our next publication is scheduled for Monday 27 January 2020 : “Two Cosmopolitan Women Writers at the Turn of the Century” (Ana PAREJO VADILLO),

We hope that these videos will be helpful for you in your own studies or your lectures. We encourage you to make them known for the benefit of Lee Studies.
Come and join us at the International Vernon Lee Society!

Best regards

Gilles Pasquet

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"Vernon Lee and Art", by Carolyn Burdett, an Interview by Sophie Geoffroy, London, 15 October 2019

Dear Members of the  IVLS, Dear Followers of “The Sibyl”, Dear Lovers of Villa Il Palmerino, Dear Friends of Vernon, Mary,  Kit or Irene, Dearest Friends,

We carry on with the publication schedule of our new videos on the Vimeo Channel “Vernon Lee Online”. 

These are the interviews of Patricia PULHAM, Carolyn BURDETT and Ana PAREJO VADILLO by Sophie GEOFFROY. They were filmed in London on 14 and 15 October 2019.


– Since Tuesday 14 January 2020, you have had access to  “Reading and Teaching Lee’s Fantastic Tales” (Patricia PULHAM),
https://vimeo.com/384332062

– TODAY, Monday 20 January 2020 please enjoy our second video : “Vernon LEE and Art” (Carolyn BURDETT), https://vimeo.com/385909795

– On Thursday 23 January 2020 : “Experiencing & Performing Art with Vernon Lee” (Carolyn BURDETT),

– On Monday 27 January 2020 : “Two Cosmopolitan Women Writers at the Turn of the Century” (Ana PAREJO VADILLO),

We hope that these movies will be helpful for you in your own studies or your lectures.

We encourage you to make them known for the benefit of Lee Studies.

Come and join us at the International Vernon Lee Society!

Best regards

Gilles Pasquet

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NEW Videos on our "Vernon Lee Online" !

Dear Followers of “The Sibyl”, Dear Members of the IVLS,

Dear Lovers of Villa Il Palmerino,

Dear Friends of Vernon, Mary,  Kit or Irene,

Dearest Friends,

I am writing to wish you a happy new year and to offer you 4 new videos to watch on our Vimeo Channel “Vernon Lee Online”. These are the interviews of Patricia PULHAM, Carolyn BURDETT and Ana PAREJO VADILLO by Sophie GEOFFROY. They were filmed in London on 14 and 15 October 2019.

Today, please enjoy “Reading and Teaching Lee’s Fantastic Tales” (Patricia PULHAM), 10’10”https://vimeo.com/384332062

-The other videos are scheduled as follows:

Monday 20 January 2020 : “Vernon LEE and Art” (Carolyn BURDETT), 16’44”

Thursday 23 January 2020 : “Experiencing & Performing Art with Vernon Lee” (Carolyn BURDETT), 8’12”

Monday 27 January 2020 : “Two Cosmopolitan Women Writers at the Turn of the Century” (Ana PAREJO VADILLO), 15’19”

We hope that these movies will be helpful for you in your own studies or your lectures. We encourage you to make them known for the benefit of Lee Studies.


Best regards

Gilles Pasquet

Treasurer of the IVLS

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Digital Vernon Lee in London

HOBAR IVLS EVENT -1

HOBAR IVLS EVENT 14.10.2019 A4 FLYER FINAL-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vernon Lee 2019: An Anniversary Conference in Florence

Brilliantly organised by the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS), the University of University, and the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino, the Florence symposium “Vernon Lee: An Anniversary Conference” gathered 33 academics and scholars, among whom keynote speakers Christa Zorn and Carolyn Burdett, and many lovers of Lee’s work.

IMG_0646.JPG                                                       Christa Zorn    IMG_0590                                                                                                   Carolyn Burdett

No less than eleven panels of speakers dealt with the following topics: Art and Aesthetics, Writing, Style and Philosophy, Ecocriticism and the Genius Loci, History and Aesthetic Revivals, Place, War and WWI, Myth, Religion and the Supernatural, Vernon Lee and the Senses, Otherness, Pacifism and Sympathy, Dialogic Exchanges, Travel Writing and Affect, Violence and National Identity. To crown it all, a round table was organised to envision Vernon Lee Studies in the 21st century.

Here are a few pictures, testifying to the high level of engagement of all participants, and also to the remarkably friendly atmosphere prevailing all through the conference. This was indeed the major scientific event of the year for all Lee scholars. I thank Gilles Pasquet for capturing these moments, and I apologize for not being able to post pictures of all of you, dear speakers and participants (but you will find a list of all registered speakers at the end of this post).

IMG_0485.JPG                                                                      IMG_0462.JPGFrancesca Baldry                                       and                                       Kristin Mahoney

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Sally Blackburn-Daniels                        and                         Shafquat Towheed

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Michael Craske: ‘Sit up! Hearing the World or Listening for Ghosts: Lee’s Music and its Lovers

 

 

IMG_0599.JPG       IMG_0440.JPG   Sophie Geoffroy                                              and Federica Parretti

IMG_0460.JPG      Kitty Gurnos-Davies

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IMG_0613.JPGEmma Liggins

 

 

Katharina Herold

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Victoria Mills

IMG_0543.JPG    Alex Murray            IMG_0531.JPG

Ana Parejo Vadillo

IMG_0627.JPG       Patricia Pulham

IMG_0496.JPG      Liz Renes                        IMG_0592

Claudia Tobin and Katharina Herold

IMG_0596.JPG      Sole Alba Zollo

Below: Denis Denisoff, Carolyn Burdett, Christa Zorn, Kristin Mahoney, Federica Parretti, Sally Blackburn-Daniels, Patricia Pulham, Emma Liggins, Victoria Mills, Francesca Baldry, Liz Renez, Kitty Gurnos-Davies, Cristina Acidini, Elisa Bizzotto, Serena Cenni, Stefano Evangelista, and the talented Angeliki Papoulia.

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List (alphabetical order) of speakers:

Rachel Baldacchino: Otherness and the Essay in Vernon Lee’s Pacifist Work

Francesca Baldry & Kristin Mahoney: ‘Initiate Minds’: Vernon Lee, Harold Acton, and Decadent Affinity

Sarah Barnette: The Ethics of Vernon Lee’s Travel Writing: the Genius Loci Post-1900

Henry Bartholomew: ‘Face to Face with the Past’: Time, History, and the Ghost in Vernon Lee’sHauntings: Fantastic Stories

Sally Blackburn-Daniels: From Crystal Palace to the Grand Guignol: Vernon Lee and the Performance of War

Matthew Bradley: A Warm, Familiar Acquiescence: Vernon Lee, William James, and Religious Experience

Carolyn Burdett: Lee’s Motional Aesthetics

Marco Canani: The Ballet of the Nations: a modern morality, an intermedial mosaic

Mary Clai-Jones: To See the Forest for the Trees: Vernon Lee’s Environmental Activism

Michael Craske: Vernon Lee, Music, and Hearing

Dennis Denisoff: The Lizard of the Invisible Sunset: Eco-­Collective Memory in Lee’s Tower of Mirrors

Ana Alicia Garza: How should one read Vernon Lee?

Sophie Geoffroy: Recording the missing year: Vernon Lee’s lost 1919 notebooks; or from Satan the Waster to Proteus or the Future of Intelligence

Kitty Gurnos-Davies: ‘what can, or cannot, or must, or must not, be done, said, or thought by women’: the cultivation of aesthetic reading practices in Vernon Lee’s criticism

Katharina Herold: ‘Teutonic Romance’: Vernon Lee’s aesthetic Germany during and after World War I

Emma Liggins: ‘The Rapture of Old Houses:  Representations of Gothic Italy in Vernon Lee’s supernatural tales and place writing

Catherine Maxwell: Bringing the perfume out of everything’: Vernon Lee and Scent

Victoria Mills: Vernon Lee, ‘historic emotion’ and the aesthetics of ruins

Alex Murray: Vernon Lee’s Britain

Ana Parejo Vadillo: ‘Cultivate Garlic’: The Handling of War

Patricia Pulham: Haunting Palmerino: Vernon Lee in the Neo-Victorian Imagination

Liz Renes: Redefining Leonardo’s Queen: Vernon Lee, John Singer Sargent and Aesthetic Whiteness

Daria Ricchi: Kinesthetic Knowing. Italian Baroque Architectural Influence in Vernon Lee’s Aesthetic Theories’

Angelo Riccioni: ‘I feel I could write chapters about him’: Tracing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Influence on Vernon Lee’s Twentieth-Century Writings

Fraser Riddell: ‘No Thought Beyond the Moment and the Body’: Proprioception and Attention in Vernon Lee and Marion Milner

Helen Thaventhiran: ‘(Exit Pragmatist, exulting.)’: Vernon Lee in the margins of philosophy

Claudia Tobin: Inhaling Colour: Vernon Lee, Virginia Woolf and Chromatic Experience

Shafquat Towheed: At the limits of Pacifism? Vernon Lee, Gandhi, and India, 1930

Barbara Vrachnas: Mythology and Female Power in Vernon Lee’s Hauntings

Leonie Wanitzek: ‘The presence of that peace and goodwill’: Nostalgia, National Identity and the Genius Loci in Lee’s Pre-WWI Travel Writing

Yurie Watanabe: ‘Reaching Beyond Here and Now in The Handling of Words: The Pacifism of Vernon Lee’s Sympathy’

Sole Alba Zollo: Stance and engagement in Vernon Lee’s The Economic Dependence of Women: the writer-reader metaphorical dialogue

Christa Zorn: Vernon Lee and Irene Forbes-Mosse: Cosmopolitan Friendship at the Dawn of a New Europe beyond Borders.

Many thanks to all !

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Vernon Lee 2019: An Anniversary Conference, Florence, 30-31 May 2019

 

Dear Readers and Vernon Lee scholars,

we are just back from Florence, barely touching ground after the major Vernon Lee event of the year.

Generously housed at the British Institute and the Villa Il Palmerino, beautifully organised by Patricia Pulham, Serena Cenni, Stefano Evangelista and Sally Blackburn-Daniels, Vernon Lee 2019: an Anniversary Conference and with keynote speakers Carolyn Burdett and Christa Zorn, will be remembered as a milestone in the history of Vernon Lee scholarship.

On 29 May 2019, a study day and exhibition VERNON LEE AND THE THEATER OF PASSION: FLORENCE, ART, AND POLITICS took place at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Sala delle Adunanze – Palazzo dei Beccai, via Orsamichele 4, Firenze. This event inaugurated the Conference, with presentations of the most distinguished following speakers: Cristina Acidini, Serena Cenni , Elisa Bizzotto, Stefano Evangelista, Maria Alberti, Patricia Pulham, Angeliki Papoulia and Federica Parretti.

This was followed by a marvellous exhibition of unique original photographs, manuscrips, posters, and letters by Vernon Lee, Ethel Smyth and others. This Iconographic Exhibition was curated by the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino with the advisory support of Francesca Baldry (NYU Florence) and of Sally Blackburn-Daniels (U. of Liverpool), in collaboration with Atelier degli Artigianelli.

Many thanks to Promoters and Archival Loans:
Gabinetto Scientifico Vieusseux, Firenze; Collezione Acton, Villa La Pietra, New York University Florence; Collezione Dazzi – Cini, San Marcello Pistoiese ; Collezione Brewster Archive – San Francesco di Paola, Firenze; Syracuse University in Florence; Collezione Karl-Heinz Kles vicepresidente della Fondazione Frans Masereel Saarbrücken, Germany ; Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino Firenze; Noufflard Archive.

Particular thanks to Jean-Michel Rabotin (Noufflard Archive) for lending us an impressive cast of  Vernon Lee’s hand!

An exhibition of Vernon Lee’s marginalia offered all participants an insight into her reading experience. Many thanks to Alyson Price, of the British Institute, for this!

To crown it all, The Ballet of the Nations premiered at Villa Il Palmerino May 31 2019, a hundred years after Vernon Lee’s return home after WWI.

 

 

Please click here for the programme.  More details and some pictures in my next Post!

Day 1 (30 May 2019)

VERNON LEE 2019: AN ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE

Day 1:

British Institute of Florence, Palazzo Lanfredini, Lungarno Guicciardini 9

Welcome & Keynote 1:

Christa Zorn, ‘Vernon Lee and Irene Forbes-Mosse: Cosmopolitan Friendship at the Dawn of a New Europe beyond Borders’

(Ferragamo Room; Chair: Patricia Pulham)

Panel 1a: Art and Aesthetics (Ferragamo Room)

Chair: Victoria Mills (Birkbeck)

 

 Panel 1b: Writing, Style and Philosophy (Small Lecture Theatre)

Chair: Alex Murray (Queens University)

 

  Kitty Gurnos-Davies (University of Oxford), ‘“[W]hat can, or cannot, or must, or must not, be done, said, or thought by women”: The cultivation of aesthetic reading practices in Vernon Lee’s criticism’

 

Ana Alicia Garza (Independent Scholar), ‘How should one read Vernon Lee?’

 

Kristin Mahoney (Michigan State University) & Francesca Baldry (Collection Manager, Villa La Pietra), ‘“Initiate Minds”: Vernon Lee, Harold Acton, and Decadent Affinity’

 

Helen Thaventhiran (Robinson College, Cambridge), ‘Adversaria: Vernon Lee at the margins of philosophy’
Liz Renes (University of York), ‘Redefining Leonardo’s Queen: Vernon Lee, John Singer Sargent and Aesthetic Whiteness’ Angelo Riccioni (Parthenope University, Naples), ‘“I feel I could write chapters about him”: Tracing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Influence on Vernon Lee’s Twentieth-Century Writings’
 

 

Panel 2a: Ecocriticism and the Genius Loci (Ferragamo Room)

Chair: Emma Liggins (Manchester Metropolitan)

 

Panel 2b: History and Aesthetic Revivals (Small Lecture Theatre)

Chair: Shafquat Towheed (The Open University)

  Dennis Denisoff (University of Tulsa), ‘The Lizard of the Invisible Sunset: Eco-Collective Memory in Lee’s Tower of Mirrors’

 

Marco Canani (Università degli Studi di Milano), ‘The Ballet of the Nations: A Modern Morality, an intermedial Mosaic’ Dennis
  Sarah Barnette (Independent Scholar), ‘The Ethics of Travel Writing: The Genius Loci Post-1900’ Sally Blackburn (University of Liverpool), ‘From Crystal Palace to the Grand Guignol : Vernon Lee and the performance of War’.

 

 

  Mary Clai Jones (Chadron State College), ‘To see the Forest for the Trees: Vernon Lee’s Environmental Activism’ Daria Ricchi (Oxford Brookes University), ‘Kinesthetic Knowing. Italian Baroque Architectural Influence in Vernon Lee’s Aesthetic Theories’

 

Panel 3a: Place, War and WW1

(Ferragamo Room)

Chair: Kristin Mahoney (Michigan State University)

 

Panel 3b: Myth, Religion and the Supernatural

(Small Lecture Theatre)

Chair: Sally Blackburn-Daniels (University of Liverpool)

  Ana Parejo Vadillo (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘“Cultivate Garlic”: The Handling of War’ Matthew Bradley (University of Liverpool), ‘A Warm, Familiar Acquiescence: Vernon Lee, William James and Religious Experience’

 

  Alex Murray (Queen’s University, Belfast), ‘Vernon Lee’s Britain’ Henry Bartholomew (University of Exeter), ‘“Face to Face with the Past”: Time, History, and the Ghost in Vernon Lee’s Hauntings: Fantastic Stories
  Katharina Herold (Brasenose College, Oxford), ‘“Teutonic Romance”: Vernon Lee’s aesthetic Germany during and after WW1’

 

Barbara Vrachnas (Edinburgh Napier), ‘Mythology and Female Power in Vernon Lee’s Hauntings
 

 

 

Plenary Panel: Vernon Lee and the Senses

(Ferragamo Room; Elisa Bizzotto)

  Catherine Maxwell (Queen Mary, University of London), ‘“Bringing the perfume out of everything”: Vernon Lee and Scent’

Michael Craske (Queen Mary, University of London), ‘Vernon Lee, Music, and Hearing’

Fraser Riddell (Trinity College, University of Oxford), ‘“No Thought Beyond the Moment and the Body”:
Proprioception and Attention in Vernon Lee and Marion Milner’

 

 

 VERNON LEE 2019: AN ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE

Day 2: 31 May 2019

Villa Il Palmerino, Via del Palmerino, 10, 50137 Firenze FI, Italy

 

 

 Keynote 2: Carolyn Burdett, ‘Being Moved: Bodies, Lines, Minds’ (Associazione; Chair: Stefano Evangelista)
 

 

Panel 4a: Otherness, Pacifism, and Sympathy (Associazione)

Chair: Ana Parejo Vadillo (Birkbeck College)

Panel 4b: Dialogic Exchanges

(Salon)

Chair: Katharina Herold (Brasenose College)

  Rachel Baldacchino (University of Malta), ‘Otherness and the Essay in Vernon Lee’s Pacifist Work’

 

 

Claudia Tobin (University of Cambridge), ‘Inhaling Colour: Vernon Lee, Virginia Woolf and Chromatic Experience’
  Yurie Watanabe (Durham University), ‘Reaching ‘Beyond Here and Now in The Handling of Words: The Pacifism of Vernon Lee’s Sympathy’ Sole Alba Zollo (University of Napoli, Federico II), ‘Stance and Engagement in Vernon Lee’s “The Economic Dependence of Women”: The Writer-Reader Metaphorical Dialogue’
 

 

 

Plenary Session: Sophie Geoffroy, ‘Vernon Lee’s Letters and Notebooks in the Digital Age’ (Associazione; Chair: Sally Blackburn-Daniels)

 

 

 

 

Panel 5a: Travel Writing and Affect (Associazione)

Chair: Mary Clai Jones (Chadron State College)

 

Panel 5b: Violence and National Identity (Salon)

Chair: Matthew Bradley (University of Liverpool)

  Victoria Mills (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘Vernon Lee, ‘historic emotion’ and the aesthetics of ruins’ Shafquat Towheed (The Open University), ‘At the limits of Pacifism? Vernon Lee, Gandhi, and India, 1930’
  Emma Liggins (Manchester Metropolitan University), ‘The Rapture of Old Houses: Representations of Gothic Italy in Vernon Lee’s Supernatural Tales and Place Writing’ Leonie Wanitzek (University of Oxford), ‘The presence of that peace and goodwill’: Nostalgia, National Identity and the Genius Loci in Lee’s Pre-WWI Travel Writing’
  Patricia Pulham (University of Surrey), ‘Haunting Palmerino: Vernon Lee in the Neo-Victorian Imagination’  
 

 

Film Showing & Round Table: Vernon Lee in the 21stC (Associazione) with Stefano Evangelista (Chair), Christa Zorn, Carolyn Burdett, Dennis Denisoff, Kristin Mahoney, Patricia Pulham, and Sally Blackburn-Daniels
 

 

 Wine Reception & Special Performance: Ballet of the Nations

(Villa Il Palmerino)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not to be missed! The Ballet of the Nations at Villa Il Palmerino

Vernon Lee’s Ballet of the Nations

to be performed at her home, May-June 2019!

Vernon Lee’s The Ballet of the Nations will be the first performance of Vernon Lee’s satire of the First World War. The Ballet will be performed in three locations around the Villa Il Palmerino, Florence, Vernon Lee’s home for over forty years.”

Le Ballet des Nations de Vernon Lee sera la première représentation de cette satire de la Première Guerre Mondiale. Le Ballet se déroulera en trois lieux différents autour de la Villa Il Palmerino, Florence, où Vernon Lee vécut pendant plus de quarante ans.

Pour tout savoir sur le projet de Federica Parretti et le soutenir, rendez-vous sur

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-ballet-of-the-nations-at-il-palmerino#/

To know everything about this splendid project by Federica Parretti, and to support it, please visit:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-ballet-of-the-nations-at-il-palmerino#/

The project is also presented in a video filmed and realized by Sally Blackburn-Daniels.

Le projet est présenté dans la video filmée et réalisée par Sally Blackburn-Daniels, que vous trouverez, ainsi que davantage d’informations, à l’adresse: https://theballetofnations.home.blog/

More complete information at

https://theballetofnations.home.blog/

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The Ballet of the Nations, Palmerino, May 2019

Dear Vernon Lee readers, chers lecteurs de Vernon Lee,

we are very glad to pass on to you the important announcement we have just received from the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino.

C’est avec plaisir que nous transmettons l’importante annonce que nous venons de recevoir de l’Associazione Culturale Il Pamerino.

“Vernon Lee’s The Ballet of the Nations will be the first theatrical performance of Vernon Lee’s satire of the First World War. The Ballet will be performed in three locations around the Villa Il Palmerino, Florence, Vernon Lee’s home for over forty years.”

Le Ballet des Nations de Vernon Lee sera la première représentation théâtrale de cette satire de la Première Guerre Mondiale. Le Ballet se déroulera en trois lieux différents autour de la Villa Il Palmerino, Florence, où Vernon Lee vécut pendant plus de quarante ans.”

The project is presented in a video filmed and realized by Sally Blackburn-Daniels.

Le projet est présenté dans la video filmée et réalisée par Sally Blackburn-Daniels, que vous trouverez, ainsi que davantage d’informations, à l’adresse: https://theballetofnations.home.blog/

More complete information at https://theballetofnations.home.blog/

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Armistice Day: Vernon Lee’s Letter to Mathilde Hecht, 17 November 1918

Dear Readers, chers lecteurs, chères lectrices

en ce jour de commémoration du centenaire de l’Armistice, qui mit fin à la sanglante Première Guerre Mondiale de 1914-1918, cette lettre inédite de Vernon Lee à Mathilde Hecht, recopiée par Berthe Noufflard, et datée du 17 novembre 1918, révèle à quel point la pacifiste fut marquée par cette guerre qui en annonçait d’autres. Non, la guerre qui venait de s’achever n’allait pas être la “der des der”.

Today’s celebration of the centenary of Armistice Day 1918 calls for the testimony below. This unpublished letter to Matilde Hecht, copied by Berthe Noufflard, and dated November 17, 1918, reveals how traumatised the pacifist Vernon Lee was. Indeed, the war that had just ended was not “the war to end all wars”.

Demeurons vigilants!

Let us never forget…

Sophie Geoffroy

 

Vernon Lee à Mathilde Hecht,

34 Royal Avenue, Chelsea [Londres]

le 17 Nov. XVIII

Bien chère Mathilde,

Si j’avais mis sur le papier les lettres que je vous ai écrit ces derniers temps, surtout cette dernière semaine, chaque poste vous en aurait apporté une, et quelquefois deux…

Peut-être devinez-vous leur contenu, de même qu’il me semble deviner ce qui se passe en vous.

Chère Mathilde, au moins la tuerie a cessé, et avec elle l’angoisse pire qu’elle. Les malheureuses gens retournent chez eux, pour y trouver… quoi ?

Et tous, il me semble, nous sommes un peu comme ceux-là : après l’incendie, nous sortons, croyant retrouver un peu du monde d’avant. Et ce n’est peut-être qu’à partir d’aujourd’hui que nous apercevrons toutes nos pertes, morales bien plus que matérielles, et les ruines fumantes qui peut-être tomberont pour nous ensevelir ; car la haine est restée et la misère combien plus grande !

Je ne veux pas mettre cette note dans votre joie. Car après les souffrances et les angoisses traversées, il ne doit y avoir en France qu’une folle joie ; Pardon alors d’avoir étalé mon pessimisme.

Et après tout, l’essentiel c’est que la tuerie cesse, et avec elle la tromperie, la peur qui est le pire menteur de tous ; la vie reprend, l’humble, stupide, saine vie d’avant ; et dans le travail petit à petit la haine s’oubliera.

Pourvu que l’intérêt des particuliers ne l’érige pas en religion où ces messieurs vivraient comme toujours de l’autel. Mais avec la paix est venue, ou viendra, la possibilité de parler, d’écrire et d’être écoutés ! Il y aura un immense déblayage moral et intellectuel à faire. Je voudrais avoir vingt-cinq ans au lieu de soixante-deux !

Pour l’instant je reste ici, où il y a de quoi vivre et je ne dirai pas se chauffer, mais ne pas mourir de froid, ce qui avec une colite chronique n’est pas un vain mot.

Les conditions de l’Italie sont beaucoup plus mauvaises ; sans compter que la misère actuelle y produira peut-être quelques désordres, une fois qu’ils auront couvé leurs victoires. Il est possible que je ne rentre chez moi, où, du reste ma maison est toujours habitée par des réfugiés vénitiens, qu’à la fin d’août. Il faudra alors que je vous revoie, chère, chère Mathilde.

Je reverrai Irène [Forbes-Mosse] probablement en traversant la Suisse ; je l’espère. Notre affection est restée intacte ; mais je ne crois pas qu’elle retourne jamais en Italie, ce qui m’obligera peut-être à vendre mes deux chères maisons et à finir mes jours ici le moins mal possible.

Donnez-moi de vos nouvelles. J’imagine Mary[Duclaux] dans la joie lyrique. De telles joies ne sont plus mon affaire : le monde me semble beaucoup trop compliqué pour s’y prêter.

Adieu bien chère ; rappelez-moi à vos enfants et à ceux de nos amis qui le voudront bien.

Afft

Vernon

Posted in Primary Sources, Uncategorized | 2 Comments