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A Stage Set for Buffy

Kisses for Oscar Wilde
Originally uploaded by Debbie G.

So on Thursday afternoon, on my return from Mont St Michel, the sun was for once shining in Paris, so I took myself off to La Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, burial place of the famous, the infamous and the just plain ordinary.

I procured a map from a jolly stall holder by the gates. It was a good thing I did, because I think I would have become hopelessly lost and not seen the graves that I wanted to. It is a beautiful spot, criss-crossed with tree lined avenues, quiet and relatively peaceful (apart from the tourists tromping through). It did strike me several times as being a perfect setting for the opening scene of any Buffy episode - I half expected Spike to pop out from behind one of the monuments (too bad he didn't lol). My map came in handy, too, for others, as I was frequently stopped and asked for directions in several different languages: "Je cherche Edith Piaf" was a middle-aged French woman. Nous trouvons Edith Piaf - the woman and her husband went and got themselves a map and we ended up at Piaf's grave at the same time.

I, in the meantime, wended my way past Proust to the monument to Oscar Wilde (thinking of you, superfoo! As you see from the picture, it was covered with graffiti!! Thence to Gertrude Stein, but though I looked I couldn't find Alice B, who was supposed to be next to her. Then Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhart, Chopin and finally Eloise and Abelard, whose monument was covered in scaffolding and being restored. Oh, and Simone Signoret and Yves Montand were in there somewhere. And no, I didn't bother with Jim Morrison - there were plenty of young Americans going in his direction so I didn't think he needed my respects as well.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
Mais, je cherche Oscar Wilde aussi!

Have you ever read Ellman's book on Wilde--it's so sad, him at the end with such a small audience. He was like a meteor that only realizes it is about to crash at the last minute.

I should have suggested Peter Ackroyd's The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde as a Paris book, something witty and tripping to supplement Monsieur Proust.

Anyway, thanks for the picture. Wilde has always touched me deeply, and seeing those kisses reminds me of that.
May. 26th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC)
yes, you've recommended that Ackroyd book several times - I must read it. I'm looking forward to June - a whole month of quiet at home with books and garden and dogs!
May. 26th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
And also, I am disturbed that Alice isn't beside Gertrude.
May. 26th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
I think she was there somewhere - I remember one of my other guidebooks saying that she was in an unmarked grave next to or near Gertrude. I looked, but couldn't find anything that looked likely. G's was well decorated with floral offerings, you'll be glad to hear - not as profusely as Wilde's, Piaf's or Chopin's, but there was a little miniature rose in a pot in the middle.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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