Written With the Breasts of the Queen


“By order of the Queen,” this sign, coming from a different tradition than that of the Salic Law, could not help but rub the French the wrong way. “Where does she think she is, Austria?” This is why the Little Trianon was quickly nick-named or re-named as the Little Vienna. Alexander Tilly writes that the same way we would offer some other woman a chair, he was always ready to move for Marie-Antoinette her throne.

Jean Genet, also strongly affected by historical figure of the Queen, creates a jail-bird character in his novel, Notre-Dame Des Fleurs, this criminal collects toy soldiers, and when one of them breaks, the man learns that his soldiers are hollow; hollow, says Genet, as the porcelain head of Marie-Antoinette; Genet also compares this void to an unbuttoned fly: His mixing of genres and sexualities is particularly fitting for the style of his memoirs.

The image of baroque soldiers with their war-in-lace laws of warfare fascinates Genet because every one of us is a victim of his time and consequently a martyr. The writer returns to us the tromp-l’oeil of life where everything is false and void of meaning, and where the pastiche of justice is brought about by the pastiche of text, the text whose centerpiece is the pastiche of sexuality, for Marie-Antoinette , the pastiche of her sexuality.

The sex-text or the text-sex makes Marie-Antoinette our contemporary, eyes always below the waste-line, we want more, we are waiting for details. Her real crime is our disappointment, her death is the result of our frustration.

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