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PROVENCE: GEOGRAPHY MATTERS
“Provence” has more efficacy as a "brand" than as a place. One rarely if ever hears any residents of the Vaucluse say that they live in "Provence." The word is heard frequently in its adjectival form: provençal.
As geography, the term "Provence" suffers abuse. The French consider contemporary 'Provence' to take in three administrative department:
Confusion pops up due to the administrative region PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
When "Provence" is employed for the department of the Var (Toulon, St, Tropez) or the department of the Alpes-Maritime (Côte d'Azur) or even the five departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is the "brand" asserting itself.
This is a regional distinction that Peter Mayle buys into 100% in his book Provence A-Z. In fact, if Mayle had been 'geographically-correct,' his iconic best seller would have been titled "A Year in the Luberon."
The Luberon and the Comtat Venaissin, referred to as the “Comtat,” are the two large regions within the Vaulcuse,
Category Archives: Reportage
“La Coste is a château that looks like a fortress, without the slightest regularity. The approaches are quite steep and unpleasant because of the rockslides and the height of the mountain. There is no shelter anywhere near the château, a … Continue reading
Nos Petites Opinions: New York Times Flops “Little Black Dress” Saga of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany”
Audrey Hepburn in the Opening Shot of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in LBD Made by Edith Head In lurching through the world of fashion one is visited with the vague fatigue of brand hysteria, and to be mildly distrustful of it. … Continue reading
St. Rémy de Provence: Compositions as Body Art by Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi at the Outrageously Trendy Mas de l’Amarine
A virtuoso of raw force, the composer Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi has a quick hand – one with great élan for applying musical scores to the bare skins of those willing to model the music which he composed for an evening of … Continue reading
Lumières: John Malkovich Serves Up His Singular Fashions to the Luberon Smart Set Along With Pizza in a Box
Pierre Cardin in sneakers, and Chantal Thomass making a voguish splash It’s a balmy Saturday evening in Provence, July 20: at 6:00 p.m. outside the green iron gates of the Château de l’Ange in the hameau of Lumières where fashionable … Continue reading
Volets: count the colors splashed on shutters that animate the landscape of Provence. Patches of bright spots abound. Some villages or neighborhoods color-coordinate their shutters, And some shutters age naturally, taking on a faded worn patina. How could Peter Mayle … Continue reading
SCAD In Paris: “Little Black Dress” Exhibit Curated by Vogue’s André Leon Talley at Mona Bismarck American Center Until Sept. 22
Audrey Hepburn in the Opening Shot of Breakfast at Tiffany’s An apocryphal tale: Dressed in fashionable black, Gabrielle Chanel encountered fellow designer Paul Poiret who was compelled by her dark habit to inquire for whom she was in mourning for. … Continue reading
“Among the many strange things that have befallen Venice, she has had the good fortune to become the object of a passion to a man of splendid genius, who has made her his own, and in doing so has made … Continue reading
“Sophie and I heard about Venasque, which is thirty miles from Avignon, from a writer friend who spoke about that perched village with all the vividness that fills her fiction. When we arrived in Venasque in the fall of 1980, … Continue reading
Roussillon: Samuel Beckett House in the Luberon Where He Engaged in His Craft and Aided French Resistance
“Pourtant nous avons été ensemble dans le Vaucluse, j’en mettrais ma main au feu. Nous avons fait les vendanges, tiens, chez un nommé Bonnelly, à Roussillon.” En attendant Godot, Samuel Beckett In addressing Estragon, Vladimir is channeling the author’s days … Continue reading
Lacoste: The Phantom Bank in the Novel “At Last” by Edward St. Aubyn; Cash, Gas and Bread in the Luberon
Lacoste: No banks here In “At Last,” the British novelist Edward St Aubyn winds down in acrid ironic prose drenched with dark humor the lacerating saga of Patrick Melrose, born into the high tone world of the upper crust and … Continue reading