The Rights of Speech at Versailles

The book by William R. Newton is not for an average reader. It is what the doctors should order to all insomniacs, the statistical data on the Hundred Swiss, gardeners, fountaineers, etc. Myself, I was dozing peacefully through most of it; but did you ever see anyone wake up laughing? It happens. And it happens to me. And those moments of hilarity are indelibly present in my brain.

My favorite character in the book  is the mole catcher who takes part in the conflict between the guard and the fountain boys; his rustic manner and the trusty weapon with which he usually smashes the pesky animals draw a lively picture: The times were lean, and the unpaid fountain personal decided to make an extra buck by guiding a few visitors in the park. This was traditionally the guard job: for years the guards would supplement their wages with the tourist tips and did not intend to share this turf with anyone.

The interstitial violence of the Grand Siecle still echos in the galleries of the French museums. Did you know that the Right of Speech has its limits in France? Yes, unlike the rest of the world museums, the French museums do not allow you to speak unless you have a guide badge: sharing your knowledge in France is still a dangerous thing!

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 Chateau Versailles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s