Writing Through Music
Article contents 1. Background and early years, — The early Diaghilev ballets, — Exile in Switzerland, — France: the beginnings of neo-classicism, — Return to the theatre, — Last years in France: towards America, —9. USA: the late neo-classical works, — The proto-serial works, —9. Final years, — Posthumous reputation and legacy. Chopin E. Grieg M.
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In , Morand was posted in the French legation in Bangkok , Thailand. He used this posting as a jumping off point for extensive travel. He documented his perceptions, filtered through a mindset of the privileged European who lived to the fullest a life of entitlement. He disparaged the cultures of countries through which his travels took him. He had strong theories on race, decrying that the world was becoming a "foul age of the half-caste". He derided democracy, bemoaning that Europe had become impotent, in his eyes, "egotistical, democratic, divided.
Morand had a brief stint in the French cinema. Herbert L. Pabst and its lead player Chaliapin. It was a time when many were fleeing Nazi Germany, with a proportion of those in the arts, many of them Jewish, taking refuge in France. Morand saw these exiles as unwanted interlopers. He penned a veiled, anti-Semitic, "xenophobic diatribe" titled " France la Doulce ", replete with quaint, antique vocabulary.
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He demonized these emigrants i. Morand alerted the French populace to the peril that was forthcoming:. In August , Morand was sent to London, assigned to a responsible post at the French embassy. In a prime position to ally himself with Charles de Gaulle and the Free French Forces , Morand instead deserted his post. He relocated to Vichy and swore allegiance to the Vichy government. He divided his time between Paris and Vichy, moving freely between the occupied and collaborationist sections of France.
In , he rallied against the hedonism of the French, championing the virtues of patriotism, vitality, and the [Nietzschean] "feeling of life" demonstrated by the Nazis. In , the Vichy government appointed Morand ambassador to Romania. His tenure in Bucharest earned him no diplomatic distinction. He spent his time using his stature to benefit his own interests, and plunder the embassy.
Grain de musc
He was subsequently transferred to Bern , Switzerland, where he and his wife remained after the war. At war's end he was charged with collaboration with the enemy, yet other than having his government pension revoked, he suffered no further penalty. Morand became an inspirational figure for a literary group who espoused their views in the anti- existentialist journal The Hussards , founded by his friend Roger Nimier. He attempted to achieve this prestigious distinction again in This third attempt illuminated the record of his wartime activities and generated an organized opposition to his membership.
Charles de Gaulle vetoed his admission. It is believed that Morand never reassessed his elitist worldview and political ideology, resolutely retaining his mindset until the end of his life. In interviews he consistently contrived to evade any references to World War II. It is further posited that he and his wife had used their position to make some attempts to aid Jewish friends, but that this was done to dramatize the influence and power they held in the Nazi regime, rather than a demonstration of their humanity. He never came to recognize the suffering which millions endured under totalitarianism.
Ezra Pound , who was then living in Paris, translated his first volume of short stories, titled Tendre Stocks , into English. Marcel Proust supplied the preface. His output was prolific in the interwar period of the s and s, and tapered off during World War II. Morand made four trips to New York City between and In , Morand published his observations of the Manhattan scene in New York.
Morand explains that he wrote strictly from the viewpoint of the foreign visitor for the foreign reader; he "followed no other method of telling about New York than to show what pleased me. Italians hardly can be assimilated. In spite of his eccentric summations on New York culture, Morand expressed his appreciation for the city — concurrently disclosing his admiration for the fascist leadership of Benito Mussolini :.
Morand was considered a writer of cosmopolitan sensibility who created vivid scenarios of life amid the dislocations — and what some saw as the moral disintegration — of post-World War I Europe. The writing was fast-paced, noteworthy for its wit and mastery of descriptive style. The stories reflected an urban ennui and disillusionment felt by those leading lives fueled by intense emotions and hedonistic self-indulgence.
His defects and merits, are they not the defects and merits of the world today In , Morand traveled to St. Moritz at the request of Coco Chanel who had enlisted him to write her memoirs. The result was The Allure of Chanel , a slim volume promoted as a conversation between the author and his subject. Morand's post-World War II literary output concentrated on historical novellas.
He devised exotic locales and historical events as metaphors for contemporary politics — "decoding the past as a link to the present. In these works Morand was making a case for himself; his fictional characters serving as proxies for an apologist justification of his own wartime activity. Many of Morand's historical figures La Folle amoureuse , Montociel: le rajah aux grandes Indes , were published in Not all critics were laudatory.
While acknowledging his masterful use of language, they cited the lack of substance in his observations and tendency towards generalizations. It was said his characters were not fully realized portraits but presented to the reader as exaggerated personages, crafted for effect.
Over time, critical appraisal of Morand's work has undergone revision. While recognized for his technique, the content of his work has been faulted for its lack of insightful analysis of a people in cultural context, instead relying on generalizations and stereotype. His work speaks to the.
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