“Making Love Non-Stop Is The Only Thing That Separates Us From the Rest of the Animals,” Beaumarchais, “Marriage of Figaro”


“Women would be the most debauched of all creatures, if not for prudery which replaces all their instincts…. When in love, they resist spontaneously what they desire. And in this ambiguity is their attraction: they are not obscene enough to know what they want.” If  the XVIII century women were anything else, assures us Jean-Jacques Rousseau, he would not be interested in them. All real passion is in pursuit! As an example of frigidity he offers us his former mistress, Madame de Warens, who would go to bed with twenty men daily and think nothing of it. Not interested? Rousseau finds feminine desire equally turbulent for men. The chase and the flight cannot be socially conditioned, and are but a spontaneous reaction of a female facing her own feelings, making her not inaccessible, but unpredictable. In the end of  Jean-Jacques’ analysis, prudery is understood not as an obstacle, but as a condition of love: The complications are appreciated for their erotic value!

Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier, Madame Warens and Jean-Jacques Rousseau Walking Down the Steps…, 1815, oil, Musée d’Orsay.

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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.
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