The Wanderess of Roman Payne (by Christina Nordstrom)

November 22nd, 2016

She was a wanderess a drop of free water.There is a new novel that is beginning to have a cult-like following among women with wanderlust.  It is “The Wanderess” by novelist, Roman Payne.  In the realm of writing, it is uncommon to find novels with title like this, and even though if a lady comes of age in a novel, she might be a partaker in the novel however not an adventuress. Female initiation stories in novels are substantially more uncommon, and when we do see them, they never get included in travelling alone. Up till now, it is a social taboo for a lady to travel alone. Apart from concerns for safety, the conviction is that ladies don’t simply don’t just have to travel alone. Luckily, times have changed.

 

“A young lady voyaging alone” is the subject and setting of Roman Payne’s novel “The Wanderess”. Payne coined the word “Wanderess” in 2013 which has not been found in Google or any Dictionary before the novel was released. Presently, a prevalent quote from the novel is found in more than 150,000 pages on google, yahoo, bing e.t.c The quote goes thus “she was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.

A wanderess as being defined by urban word dictionary means a female wanderer, a lady or young lady who travels the world or her nation in search of meaning, or else taking part in artistic pursuits. This quotes has surely lead to the awakening of numerous young ladies because of the envy they have towards men who travel alone. This awakening has been seen on numerous social media, blogs today etc. by naming their web journals “The Wanderess” furthermore posting of this quote on WordPress and Tumblr. A dying mother once told her little girl, “I never got the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat of my own life. I always did what another person needed me to do. I’ve always been another person’s girl or mom or spouse. I’ve never been truly me.” Later, in the wake of travelling the world, Hepola composed that it was “the best thing she had ever done.” Aside magazines and artistic cases supporting this sort of way of life, our way of life and society overall has changed in a way that urges ladies to go alone on the road. Sophie Reynolds once said that ladies have never encountered the flexibility they do today.

As marriage and menopause onset traditions have changed, ladies are no longer anticipated that would get hitched and have babies at a youthful age. And because of working environment globalization, workplace have started to put high esteem on world travel in possibility for positions within their organizations.” Women now have more financial freedom than they used to, plane charges are currently less expensive than any time in recent memory, and wellbeing attentiveness toward ladies voyaging alone have loose in light of the fact that there is more “emphasis” now on ladies’ quality of life than some time recently. As Roman Payne contends, “An expansion in safety risk is a small price to pay where it concerns depriving ladies of their entitlement to encounter an existence that is as wonderful and important as the lives we men experience.” Payne’s novel has been completely positive. One Amazon reviewer claimed it is “the best novel ever.”

“The Wanderess likewise contains extraordinary romance. It starts when then existence of the book’s courageous woman, Saskia gets tangled up with the life of a adventurer named Saul, whose quest for pleasure and fortune is relinquished to help Saskis’ quest for her missing companion and her own particular fortune. The two wind up on a picaresque way that leads them through Spain, France, and Italy and beyond; their adventures weaving them deeper and deeper into a web of envious passion, intrigue, selling out and lastly murder.

 

Some famous quotes from “The Wanderess”:

“Wandress, Wandress, weave us a storey of seduction and ruse, heroic be the wanderess, the world be her muse!”

 

“She was a free bird one minute: queen of the world and laughing. The next minute she would be in tears like a porcelain angel, about to teeter, fall and break. She never cried because she was afraid that something would happen; she would cry because she feared something that could render the world more beautiful, would not happen” – Roman Payne.

 

“She called herself an angel, and wandered the world from childhood till death. She lived every kind of life and dreamt every kind of dream. She was wild in her wandering, a drop of free water. She believed only in her life, and only in her dreams. She called herself an angel, and her god was Beauty.” – Roman Payne.

 

Conclusively, this novel “The Wanderess has been a source of inspirations for many young women, some said they take it along whenever they want to travel and read it over and over again.

 - Christana Nordstrom


 

Literary Word of the Week: “Wanderess”

November 12th, 2015

wanderess

n.- A female wanderer.  A woman or girl who travels the world or her country in search of meaning, or else engaging in artistic pursuits. Word first coined by Roman Payne in his 2013 novel, The Wanderess.

Quote from the Book:

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”

-Roman Payne, The Wanderess

More Wanderess Quotes

Click here for Instagram-style quotes from The Wanderess.
 

 


 

Interview with Literary Author, Roman Payne on the Subject of His New Novel: “The Love of Europa”

April 11th, 2015

“To wander is to be alive.”

- Roman Payne

The wanderer stops to take respite as he roams about.

“Wandering is the major theme of both my life and my work – and they are the same thing.”

- Roman Payne

On April 10th, 2015, William Sheller at GreatNovels.org asks Roman Payne:

“Mr. Payne, your new novel, The Love of Europa, was just partially published – that is, the first 13 chapters were released to give readers a taste for what to expect.  Do you intend to serial publish more of the book?  Or will the next release be the entire book?”

Roman Payne:  It will be the entire book, it should come out this summer.  I have to finish writing it first, though.

William Sheller:  It is an amazing beginning, I have to say.  Personally, I enjoyed reading those first 70 or so pages more than anything you’ve ever written.  I like it even more than The Wanderess, which some people believed would be your masterpiece, and perhaps your final work.

RP:  Did they think I would drop dead?  Or just take up watercolours instead of writing? …No, but I see what you mean.  I hesitated to start a book after writing The Wanderess because I was worried that I couldn’t outdo The Wanderess.  I thought that was the best writing I was capable of, and I didn’t want to make a slipshod performance to follow it.

WS:  Well The Love of Europa is anything but slipshod!  It is a beautiful story, beautifully written, and it will find a large market because it speaks primarily to “young women who love to travel.”  And there are a lot of young women who love to travel, and those who love to travel tend to have the time to read a lot.

RP:  Yes, well like all my books, it is written for the wanderers of the world.

WS:  That is something I wanted to ask you… your thoughts on travel vs. wandering.  May I print the first paragraph of The Love of Europa so people reading this can see what I’m talking about?

RP:  Be my guest.

WS:  You wrote: “She called herself Europa, and wandered the world from girlhood till death. She lived every kind of life and dreamt every kind of dream. She was wild in her wandering, a drop of free water. She believed only in her life and in her dreams. She called herself Europa, and her god was Beauty.”

RP:  Do you like it?

WS:  It’s excellent.  You are like a classical composer who reuses bits of his own melodies in multiple symphonies.  You take one of your quotes – one of your “wanderess” quotes, for example – and spin it into a new phrase, into a new literary quote, into a new poem.

RP:  If you hit on something you like, why not create variations on that theme?

WS:  Exactly.  But my question here is about your use of the word “wandering” and “wandered” (“she was wild in her wandering”)… doesn’t wandering mean, sort of, walking about aimlessly!

RP:  Not at all!   (He punches the table)

RP:  You know, “wandering” is the major theme of both my life and my work – and they are the same thing.  Let me find something in my manuscript for The Love of Europa that I wrote to explain this.  Somebody else asked me what “wandering” really means, and why I don’t use the word “travelling” instead.  And I’ll tell you why.  I wrote this to explain to that person why I use “wander” and not travel”; and then I thought, you know, a lot of people reading The Love of Europa are going to have this question, so I decided to include this paragraph in the book:

The word “travel” comes from the Old French word “travail” (or “travailler”), which means “to work, to labor; a suffering or painful effort, an arduous journey, a tormenting experience.” (“Travel,” thus, is “a painful and laborious journey”). Whereas “to wander” comes from the West Germanic “wandran,” which simply means “to roam about.” There is no labor or torment in “wandering.” There is only “roaming.” Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both at one with and separate from the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries, Dear Reader, are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.

 

Get the first 13 chapters of The Love of Europa for Kindle right now… click here!
The “eternal wanderer,” Roman Payne, beneath the Parisian sky at the Jardin du Luxembourg (2014) | Photograph © Marta Szczesniak

 

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Will Facebook Win the Next Nobel Prize for Literature? Will Wine Intoxication Ever Become Mandatory for Shepherds? …An Afternoon with Authors Pietros Maneos and Roman Payne.

March 2nd, 2015

They are both Americans, both highly-literary: Payne is the author of five novels that take place in Europe and follow the lives of itinerant dreamers who wander the world in search of adventure, meaning, and the “poetic life.”  Like his characters, Payne, 38, is an itinerant dreamer who lives in Paris, wanders in Europe, and devotes his time to “living the Homeric life,” and “inventing the next novel.”  Payne and Maneos are both published by Aesthete Press.

Above, Left: Roman Payne (Photo, copyright 2014: Marta Szczesniak, Photography) | Above, Right: Pietros Maneos. NOTE: SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE FOR FULL-SIZED PHOTOS OF THE AUTHORS.

Maneos, 35, is no less a son of the divine Homer.  He seeks aesthetic perfection in all things: his life, his Ancient Greek body, and his literature, which, like Payne’s, marries Classicism and Romanticism.  Unlike other professional authors who seek the cliché in mid-life of some kind of professorship at a university, or a pay check in exchange for scholary pursuits in a library, Maneos chose a life that few have managed to live since the decline of the Ancient Roman aristocracy: he purchased 40-acres of Eden in North Carolina where he is constructing a vineyard to live his own version of a life like the one lived by one of his heroes: the Roman literary-patron Gaius Maecenas.  “Bramabella” is the name that Maneos chose for his vineyard—a construction of two Italian words that, assembled, mean “yearning for beauty.”

The two authors and the editor Jean Sitori are sitting in the office of the newspaper Literature Monthly in Paris.  Jean is entranced as he watches Maneos stand and demonstrate how to properly hurl the discus. After a moment, Jean turns his attention to Payne…

JEAN SITORI:  Roman, speaking of hurling the discus, you just got back from Greece where you were living for about four months…  Are you happy to be back in France?  Were you writing well in Greece?

PAYNE:  I am always happy to be back in France—that is why I almost never leave France to begin with.  When I get tricked into leaving France, I almost always regret it afterwards.  I initially went to Greece this trip to research my next novel at a place on the beach just outside of Athens.  But the weather got bad, the sea turned cold and violent—fault of Poseidon!  I can deal with nasty weather.  But when the inspiration to write disappears, I lose my mind.  Here I was in Greece: the birthplace of the muses, and they had abandoned me.  I tried all the tricks to get literary inspiration back: yoga, running, hard alcohol, nothing worked.  My thoughts were so black that I became convinced that writing was something that was no longer a part of me at all.  Now, back in France, I suddenly feel like writing again; and my work is going well.

JS:  Are you reading at present?

PAYNE:  No.  When I am writing well, I do not read.  Reading takes valuable time away, and it puts another man’s or woman’s style in your head to mar your own.  What are you reading at present, Jean?

Jean makes a wholehearted laugh at this and says, “Let’s see… what am I reading these days?”  With that, he begins leafing through a copy of the woman’s magazine Grazia, which he said, had “mysteriously” appeared in his briefcase that day.  After scanning a blonde woman smoking a cigar for a moment, his eyes light up.  He’d found an article worth commenting on to his guests. Jean summarized the article…

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg told Grazia that he made it his 2015 New Year’s resolution to, quote, “read more literature,” and to finish a book every two weeks.  This resolution, he said, inspired him to make reading “chic” (we didn’t know that Zuckerberg had a magic wand for making things chic, but why not?!), so he has created a Facebook page called “A Year of Books.”  It currently has just over 350,000 likes.

JS:  Pietros, what do you think of Zuckerberg’ public display of affection for reading?

MANEOS:  Well, I think that it is noble of Mr. Zuckerberg to do so, especially as the head of a technology company, since society seems to be awhirl over technological platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and others, which has perhaps led to a decline in the written word. Not that there aren’t a plethora of authors flooding the marketplace, but it seems that modern man has lost the ability to sit quietly with a book for an extended period of time without succumbing to the lure of online ephemera’

JS: Some of the books Zuckerberg said he is reading are excellent titles.  Perhaps his publicist thought them up to make the Facebook founder seem complex and interesting, or perhaps he really is interesting.  Anyway, many of the titles delve into the Baroque, others into Romanticism, others into Ornate Gothic Style… since your own books are complex and ornate, and explore Baroque Romanticism, do you foresee that pop-culture is going to lean more in your direction and away from current trends, like Philip Roth ?

MANEOS:  Well, I think popular culture and literary culture are two disparate entities. With regard to popular culture, I think that it is enamored with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and other such works, no?

But now transitioning to literary culture, I don’t think that there has been much cultural shift from the irony, cynicism, and anti-aestheticism of the previous epoch. I still think that many writers and artists are busy declaiming ‘Isn’t it pretty to think so?’, while writing in short, spare, suburban sentences. I, of course, have rejected this trend for a Baroque aestheticism that one finds in personages like D’Annunzio and Kazantzakis. I embrace epithet, adjective, apposition and heightened musicality, which are despised by many moderns. So, I certainly consider myself part of a burgeoning counter-culture of To Kalon in modernity along with such movements in the visual arts such as Post-Contemporary.

JS: Pietros, just what is it about “Baroque aestheticism” that you embrace? And can you explain the term a little for our readers who have turned a blind eye to that phrase up until now?

MANEOS:   An example of Baroque aestheticism might be, ‘The light, soft and sensuous, brushed across the crest of the Brushy Mountain,’ where spare, suburban 20th century minimalism would simply say, ‘The light hit the Brushy Mountain.’

The great Matthew Arnold once noted, ”The instinct for beauty is served by Greek literature and art as it is served by no other literature and art,’ and I am striving to continue this Hellenic sensibility in the 21st century.

JS:  Pietros, when one reads your work; or talks to you personally, and listens to your music playlists, one feels that you are more Greek than any full-blood Greek currently alive in Athens, or in Sparta, or Macedonia… How come you didn’t start Bramabella in Greece instead of America? Or at least, why don’t you live six months of the year in North Carolina, and six months of the year in Greece?

MANEOS:   Well, although I am Greek by descent and sensibility as an ardent student of classical antiquity, I do not speak demotic Greek, so that alone would be a challenge. Additionally, Greece is suffering under dire economic conditions, so if I ventured there, I might end up starving to death, ha!

Also, similarly to the orator/philosopher Isocrates, I have always believed that Greece or rather Hellenism is not so much of a language, or a land-mass as it is a world-view, a philosophy, if you will. Figures like Oscar Wilde, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Paul Cartledge, John Boardman and many other Artist/Scholars are as Hellenic as any Greek whose last name happens to end in ‘os’ by happenstance. You too, my friend, are Hellenic even though you were born in America, and have elected to reside abroad.

Though, I must make a final confession to you – Traveling to Greece to raise a classicizing army to battle ISIL in Syria-Iraq does intrigue me, as it is perfumed with both Herakleanism and Byronism.

JS:  Pietros, our poor friend Roman is starting to daydream over there in his chair—one can tell because his eyes look like Lucy in the Heavens with Rhinestones—maybe he is bored because we are so interested in your work right now.   To ask you a question about Roman’s work… His first novel was a Parisian thriller in the Dostoevsky style. His second, Cities and Countries, was a Bildungsroman set in an imaginary world.  His third was a tragic love story.  His fourth was a diary of seducing women in Paris—everyone from impoverished seamstresses without breeding and a ripe age that can be counted on three hands, to blue-blooded countesses cheating on their husbands.  Then his fifth novel, “The Wanderess,” well that is more hard to define.  The question is… you, Pietros, are a literary scholar and, if I may flatter you by saying: a literary visionary.  What do you think Roman’s sixth novel will be about?  What do you think it “should” be about?

MANEOS:  Roman is a great genius, and I think that for Rooftop Soliloquy and The Wanderess he should be considered for the Nobel Prize, but to speak of your question, I think that he should continue in the Heroic and Aesthetic vein. Perhaps, since he is descended from the ‘Chian Nightingale’ – Homer – in such a pronounced way, he could write a Modern Odyssey akin to what Kazantzakis attempted.

JS: You make the distinction between two phrases: ‘The light hit the Brushy Mountain,’ and one that I believe you appreciate more: ‘The light, soft and sensuous, brushed across the crest of the Brushy Mountain.’ …Mark Zuckerberg would probably claim to agree with your tastes. Do you think this is an anomaly—the preference of a well-educated billionaire matching the preference of a Homeric poet who is most likely a descendant of the immortal poet Sappho ? Or do you think that we may be entering a new literary age—a time when people are, frankly, sick and tired of “spare, suburban, 20th Century minimalism?”

MANEOS:  Well, I am not sure about a new literary age, but one can only hope! I think that my kinship with figures like Roman Payne, Tomasz Rut, Michael Newberry, Sabin Howard, Graydon Parrish, Michael Imber and others is indicative of a cultural paradigm shift. I am always hesitant to use the term ‘movement’ – but – there is certainly a shared sense of aesthetic values.  And one of my aims is to have Bramabella stand as an expression of this aesthetic.

JS to PAYNE: Pietros Maneos is a poet, novella scribe, and satirist… he is a writer of many styles, many genres. What is your favorite genre of his at present?

PAYNE:   Maneos has arrived at a sacred mastery of certain literary forms (I am not fond of the word “genre”).  I would say, these “sacred forms” are my favorites of his, since no one does them better than he does.  The forms that come to my mind first is what I would call his “Bramabella Pastorales.”  In these poems, Maneos is able paint a landscape like Renoir or Monet, construct a exquisite virgin like John Williams Waterhouse, sing of the youthful love of a troubadour, or the old man’s lament of a Cavafy poem.  He can prepare the body to fight like a Homeric hero, fall to tears like a Nocturne of Chopin.  They are all that is life: his Bramabella poems are the laments of a poet intoxicated with wine, and the joys of a madman sipping the sweet fumes of the poppy.

JS:  And what is the literary style that you would like to see Maneos work on next?

PAYNE:   I would love to see him write a 200 page “roman d’amour” in the French tradition… an old style novel about a couple’s first love, and their last.

JS:  (To the readers)… This concludes our all-too-short interview, but we at Literature Monthly hope to have Maneos and Payne with us again soon!

Author, Pietros Maneos

Find out more about Pietros Maneos at www.pietrosmaneos.com

Author, Roman Payne (Photo copyright: Marta Szczesniak)

 

Find out more about Roman Payne at www.romanpayne.com

 

(Thank you to Literature Monthly for letting us print this interview!)


 

New Book Encourages Young Women to Travel Alone: Exploring the “Girl’s” Coming-of-Age Novel

November 19th, 2013
Author, Roman Payne in Paris
Roman Payne in Paris, a week after the publication of “The Wanderess.” PHOTO COPYRIGHT © 2013, Mimi Bildstein Photography

It is a cold November morning in Paris, and a new and very interesting novel just came out.  Very few novels are published with titles like: The Portrait of an Artist as a Young ‘Woman.’  And even if a woman comes of age in a novel, she may as an artist, but never an adventuress.  Writers of coming-of-age novels about young adventurous men have a well-worn, established path to follow in the centuries-old genre of the: “Bildungsroman.”  This German word, made popular by writers such as Goethe, refers to a “tale of initiation” where a boy, through worldly experience—usually involving solitary travel—becomes a mature man who is successful in the world.  Female initiation tales in novels are much more rare, and when we do see them, they almost never involve solitary travel.  A girl who has traveled alone has always risked experiencing social taboos—and still does, even in our “enlightened” 21st Century.

But a “girl travelling alone” is the subject and setting of the story in Roman Payne’s new novel, The Wanderess, which was published this month (November 2013) chez Aesthete PressThe Wanderess—Payne coined the word “wanderess” as the feminine form of “wanderer”—tells the story of “Saskia,” who begins the novel as a girl, and finishes as a young woman.  Upon the death of her family, she inherits an income which allows her complete independence throughout her teenage years.  This income far from consoles her.  As she doesn’t need to work, nor aspire to the ambitions her—no longer living—family expects of her, she must ask herself: “what we are alive for?”…  Her temporary answer is to search for the best friend she had while at boarding school in London, who now could be anywhere in Europe.

Like any great novel, there is a great romance.  It begins when Saskia’s life gets tangled with the life of an adventurer (Saul), whose pursuit of pleasure and fortune gets tangled with the quest of this “Wanderess” for her long-lost friend and her own fortune.  From the back cover description:  “The two find themselves on a picaresque path that leads them through Spain, France, Italy and beyond; their adventures weaving them deeper and deeper into a web of jealous passion, intrigue, betrayal, and finally, murder.”

Payne admits that writing this, his fifth novel, wasn’t easy: “I already wrote a novel of initiation [Cities and Countries] about a young man’s solitary travels, adventures, and his coming-of-age; but The Wanderess is my first book where the hero is female.  I obviously have no life experience in that role, yet the women who have read the advanced copies are unanimously positive.  They expressed their delight and say that Saskia is lovable, convincing, and a highly-successful character.

Roman Payne was born on January 31 in 1977, in Seattle.  He is a literary-fiction novelist based in Paris, France; and, besides The Wanderess, he is the author of four other novels: Crepuscule, Cities and Countries, Hope and Despair, and Rooftop Soliloquy.  Payne is also the founder of the literary social network: CulturalBook, and the co-founder of the cultural publication: CityRoom.

Payne’s publisher is Aesthete Press, a boutique literary publishing house devoted to the cultivation of literature, literary criticism, literary studies, travel writing, and cultural studies.

The Wanderess has been out less than a week, and most bookstores have not yet received their shipments of the novel.  The best place to buy a copy is probably on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Wanderess-Roman-Payne/dp/098522813X .  For more information about The Wanderess, visit the official site: www.wanderess.com.

 


 

Manon Lescaut : an old French novel that deserves international modern praise.

September 10th, 2010
Manon Lescaut

L'Histoire du chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut

Manon Lescaut is a novel where the hero is a scoundrel, and the heroine is a whore. But this realization comes slowly.  And it is a difficult realization for the reader, like when we begin a relationship with someone we greatly respect, only to discover their bad qualities later.  The disappointment that comes from losing respect for them is much like the disappointment the reader feels for the characters of this 18th century novel by Antoine François Prévost (or Abbé Prevost); although  our discovery only makes the characters more multi-dimensional and compelling.  While we first meet the teenage Manon as the “innocent,” “angelic” and “most beautiful of all the world’s creatures” who is awaiting her entrance into a nunnery, we slowly find out through the account narrated to us by her boyfriend, Le Chevalier Des Grieux, that she is little more than an angel-faced harlot who cannot restrain herself from sleeping with older men for the money, gifts and affection they provide.  The couple’s adventures take a  picaresque ride from Paris to the provinces, to colonial New Orleans as the couple lies, cheats and steals their way to fortune, to poverty, back to fortune, back to poverty, to prison, as so forth…

Des Grieux begins the story in seminary school, and leaves the holy life to become a cheat and a gambler, in hopes of earning the fortune that his expensive girlfriend would require to be faithful.  The fatal flaw of Manon that leads to tragedy is this: she loves pleasure, and if her young boyfriend doesn’t obtain it for her, she will find a sponsor who will.  The fatal flaw of Des Grieux is that he loves Manon and will do anything to keep her faithful.  The events in the novel resemble the scandalous adventures of their author.

Abbé Prevost lived a life of travel.  He was religious novice who abandoned the church several times, for one reason or another (to become a professional soldier, to work in publishing, to get thrown in jail, etc.).  He had a relationship with a courtesan in Holland, which may have been the model for this story.  He wrote this book called “L’Histoire du chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut” and tried to smuggle copies into France, but it was caught at customs and refused entry.  The book has since had an enormous influence on French literature, and the literature of the Western world.

Most critics put forth that Manon doesn’t want to cheat, but that her love of pleasure forces her to, when  her young boyfriend cannot afford to give her what she desires.  I would put forth that Manon actually wants to cheat on Des Grieux, or at least, she has opposing wills within herself. First of all, she never asked for the relationship with Des Grieux.  He came to her rescue when she was waiting to be condemned to a nunnery and he literally saved her.  Then he astounded her with his perfect, unconditional, Christ-like love.  Women, however, often fall for the bad boy, leaving the meek nice-guy behind.  What Manon is uniting with in her affairs with wealthy, lecherous older men, is the corrupt masculine figure—while she leaves her weaker caregiver at home.  The relationship is doomed from the beginning as Manon’s nature doesn’t correspond to her lover’s vision of her. Des Grieux believes the face of an angel must possess the soul of an angel.  We are reminded of Myshkin and Nastasia Fillipovna in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. Alexander Dumas Fils works Manon Lescaut into the plot his novel La Dame aux Camelias, which tells the story of another innocent-looking courtesan.

The ending is powerful, so I won’t give it away, and reading the book, you will form your own idea of how much Manon loves Des Grieux.  If you like Manon Lescaut, you will probably also be interested in Atala, by Chateaubriand; Paul et Virginie, by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and Carmen, by Prosper Mérimée.

- Julie Sevigny

Editor