Saturday, October 06, 2012

Olympe de Gouges

Saw a fascinating play, "Olympe de Gouges, Porteuse d'espoir" at Theatre le Guichet in Paris Had never heard of her, but anyone who can say, to his face: Robespierre! You say you are the only author of the Revolution, you were not, you are not, and you will be, eternally, only its execration and opprobrium. I am going to list your characteristics: your breath poisons the pure air that we breathe; your vacillating eyelid expresses, despite yourself, all the ignominy of your soul; each hair on your head carries a crime. What do you want? What do you demand? What are you avenging? What do you want to fight, and whose blood are you still thirsting for? That of the people! You would soil this nation through a coalition of crime. You proclaim peace to all but you declare war on the human race. You ridicule the sensibility and humanity of our philosophers. The lives of thousands of men are worth nothing in your eyes. You want to slash your path through heaps of corpses and use murder and assassination as rungs to rise to the highest rank! I, I will admit, am a miser when it comes to the blood of my fellow citizens. Gross and vile conspirator! Mend your ways while there is still time. I throw down the gauntlet of civic duty: have you the courage to pick it up? (to quote the helpful translation) and face, calmly, the inevitable guillotine, get my admiration. Lots of good stuff on gender equality, too. A good evening.


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