First: The French onion soup fr om Trader Joe’s is the business. You don’t want to be near enough to smell my breath when I say that though.
Also: A stormy Saturday makes for a perfect day to catch up on reading. Now that all of my students’ papers are graded and returned, and I’ve got over a week until I get new ones in, I’m not too drained to pick up a book/Kindle. So I am picking up where I left off in a biography of Marie Antoinette, called Marie Antoinette: The Journey. It’s the biography that Sofia Coppola based her Marie Antoinette film on. Now, as some may know, especially from reading my “About” page, I was Marie Antoinette in a past life. True Story. Okay, perhaps only true in my imagination. See, I once had an incredibly vivid dream that I was decapitated in a guillotine, and coupled with my love of cake, it seems like a no-brainer.
Marie Antoinette never said “Let Them Eat Cake.” No one really knows who said it first, but the first known instance of some aristocrat ignorantly saying this was recorded 100 years before the storming of the Bastille. Also, to say something of the sort would be completely out of character for Maria Antonia (her Austrian name), as I am learning. It really is a fascinating read, especially if you want to geek-out on all of the complexities of the French royal court pre- revolution. It was truly a bizarre culture.
Then again, any culture that could come up with so many strange things to do to an egg must be a little bizarre . Really. I’ve often wondered the trial and error that went down when it came to French cuisine. And did they test the dishes on some peasant to determine just how much butter is needed to make snails palatable? How many people got sick before they determined how old eggs must be to make the perfect pastry?
But I digress. The point was that I am reading a biography that I like. I don’t read biographies all that often, but I’ve noticed that I have a fascination in reading about legendary women who are far different than the icon that they represent. For example, I love that Marie Antoinette was actually kind,generous, and often frightened– not the frivolous bitch we always imagine. The French court itself was frivolous, and she being the most recognizable face of the court made her the scapegoat of the revolution.
My all time favorite person to read about is Marilyn Monroe. I have an obsession with her that I should probably talk to a trained professional about. But one of my favorite things about her was that she was not the dumb blonde everyone imagined. The is one of my favorite photographs of her, especially because she is reading Ulysses, which I wrote my Master’s thesis on! And I can attest to the complexity of that novel.
I’ve heard a lot of buzz about a biography that just came out about Cleopatra, and so I think that one is up next.
And here’s to hoping that some day, someone will find the biography of Rachel Murphree riveting. HAHA!