The Theory of the Circles offers us an anthropological insight into the distribution of power in XVIII century. The notion is perfectly medieval and ostensibly addresses the problem of hierarchy with its multitude of the subordinate/superordinate relationships. Ideally, the figure of the monarch represents the center of the system; next to him are the successors to the throne, the Dauphin and the Dauphine, then the princes and princesses of blood, the dukes and duchesses, etc. The power flows directly from the monarch, through the nearest toward the farthest circle of subjects.

The asymmetrical elements are the counterweight in the pyramid: the physical proximity to the sovereign matters as much as the blood ties, Alexandre Bontemps is a perfect example in the times of Louis XIV. Under Louis XV the symmetry matters more than ever, it rules in the ranking of the guests, their sitting, parking of the carriages, opening of doors, dancing, mourning, the right to a sitting cushions in the royal chapel; as before, the asymmetry governs through the distribution of the largess: Madame Pompadour is a member of the Third Estate, but outside of her inner circle, the king is inaccessible; so, to get to the king one must court his mistress.

We see that this peculiar balance of power is lost under Louis XVI: power and responsibility are concentrated in the inner circle of the Queen, the royal couple is locked in  a symmetrical paradigm, which makes the king responsible for every misfortune that befalls the larger circle. The nobility, the Court and the king become directly responsible. No longer the obscene songs are composed about the monarch’s mistress, but it is his wife who assumes the unseemly role.

For sure, under Louis XV the treasury is empty, yet it is the mistress and not the queen who does all the spending: Compared to Madame Pompadour, Marie Leszczinska has a negligible budget. In the porno-politics of her day, we see Marie-Antoinette put her desires before the interests of state; consequently, the following tirade is put into her mouth, “I despise the throne with all its vain honors; to me a good pair of balls is worth the crown.” The strict application of a rule has to be compensated by a neglect. What is so wrong about the wife playing the role of a mistress?

In today’s politics, the political and sex scandals are still equivalent; under Louis XVI, pornography, a form of political satire, opens the inner circle of the Queen. The sexual intercourse with its aggressive visual vocabulary attacks the Ancien Regime. The circle of responsibility narrows, it is just the family and friends. In the eyes of the larger circle, these are bored spendthrifts. As the family business nears economic and political bankruptcy, the circle turns vicious. In such a family, when you are bored, you get screwed.

The absolute monarchy is now an absolute decadence, its queen is the queen of all perversion, she is a masturbating lesbian, sodamide and a group-sex prostitute. Her betrayal is uteral, she fails to provide the country with a legitimate heir to the throne. The king is impotent: he is weak, passive, usually drunk or asleep, and on top of his unconscious body various perversions are tried out. “Don’t speak to me of him as man, it’s just a mass of flesh….” The one who is not a man, cannot be human. Louis XVI is often shown as an animal, “but he’s got no tail…,” sexually and politically impotent pig.


About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Alexander Bontemps, Chateau Versailles, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Madam Pompadour, Marie Leszczinska, Marie-Antoinette. Bookmark the permalink.

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