Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NATALIE CLIFFORD BARNEY and COURTESAN LIANE DE POUGY

Much of my  knowledge about this coupling comes from reading around the Internet.  Some of the text I read was referenced and some was not.  Consider this to be a big paraphrase!

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It is said that in about 1899, after seeking Liane in a Paris dance hall, Natalie showed up where Liane was then living, wearing a royal page costume, and said she had been sent by Sappho, a famous ancient Greek lesbian who also wrote poetry.  Liane was bisexual and accepted Natalie as a lover and patron, and though it was a brief affair, she eventually wrote a memoir about it called "Idylle Saphique."

HERE IS WHAT GOOGLE BOOKS HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK: "In spring 1899, Liane Pougy, friend of the writer Jean Lorrain and sworn enemy of Caroline Otero, meeting an American twenty-three, Natalie Clifford Barney. C'est aussitôt le coup de foudre. It was immediately hooked. Pendant l'été qui suit, les deux femmes vont vivre une véritable passion. During the summer following, the two women will experience a true passion. C'est cette passion que Liane écrit au fur et à mesure qu'elle la vit. It is this passion that Liane written as she saw her. Idylle Saphique, paru en 1901, est un brillant témoignage de cette époque " fin de siècle ", tellement décadente et tellement tumultueuse, où le plaisir et son assouvissement règnent en maître à Paris. Sapphic romance, published in 1901, is a shining symbol of that era "fin de siècle", so decadent and so tumultuous, where pleasure and satisfaction reign supreme in Paris."

GOOGLE BOOKS/TRANSLATE Idylle Saphique by Liane De Pougy

According to Wikipedia, this book became the talk of Paris and was reprinted at least 69 times in its first year.

SUITE 101 PAGE ON LIANE DE POUGY - Quoting Souhami, Diana. Wild Girls: Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. London 2004

"She became quite wealthy. According to The New York Times, Liane ‘acquired a handsome house with magnificent furniture’ in Paris. She also owned houses in Brittany and St.Germain. ... She fell very much in love with the notorious lesbian, Natalie Barney, who was an American heiress. When Natalie’s father found out about the affair he threatened to disinherit her and ordered her to return to America. She refused. However Natalie was eventually unfaithful to her so the affair ended badly..."


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