The Art of Gossip


No butt, no hips, flat-chested, big arms, even bigger feet, very small head, and a profusion of outfits and jewels, for she insists on being beautiful against the will of nature. She has published some works in geometry, and they say she had studied the subject so that she herself could understand what she writes. She talks about it the way Sganarelle speaks Latin — to those who do not speak any. Nobody really knows who she is, since even her defects are phony; but all these pretensions would not rend her famous, for she is famous; and she gets to be famous because she is a mistress of Voltaire. It is Voltaire who makes her the subject of all the conversations; and it is always to him that she will owe her fame, for the fame of Voltaire will outlast our century.

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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2 Responses to The Art of Gossip

  1. for a woman in those exceedingly vain times, though, Émilie du Châtelet was an interesting figure…

    • I don’t know if this is jealousy or just the habit of back-biting, but I cannot but admire the skill with which Marquise Deffand mops the floor with Emily to put Voltaire on his pedestal.


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