Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre
Photo by Laurie Sparham – © 2011 Focus Features
Dear diary, dear readers, dear friends,
I am feeling rather lonely today. Alfred, my old beautiful friend as well as the oldest jacket of our closet (Can you believe he was actually born between two wars ?) went yesterday night to The Clinic of Leather for his annual check-up. Anna has fallen down the bookcase between a jointed dictionnary (I have always thought the family dictionnary looked like a bumptious chicken) and The Clan of the Cave Bear. I do not know if you can imagine the scene nor if you remember how delicatly the poor Aya discovered sexuality among the clan which raised her but my dear Karenina is totally upside down. I would not be surprised if she did not let me slip into her pages anymore.
I have not been able to get in touch with the new dress of the yougn miss yet. Not a single time since her arrival she has been near the laundry basket. I suspect she will soon be able to walk by herself. How strong she must smell since all this time !
Have I ever said to you that a garment worn a long time without being washed ran the risk to find itself dressed by the soul of its master ? It is not that I want to scare you of course. Something tells me the clothes are more often washed in your wardrobes than ours.
I do remember some earlir love story at a time my mistress used to feed her soul (and her body by the same occasion) with ephemeral passions. A gentleman all dresssed in Habit Rouge had let on her sofa the pullover of their first night together (or was it an afternoon ?). My mistress kept it and wore it a long time without washing it, too scared of losing for ever the fleeting perfume of their vanilla-scented sexual crossing on an amber and leather bed. The poor pullover, abandoned by a modern-day Jay Gatsby, only had his lambswool left to cry. Between its slightly iodized tears on its dense and wet wool, the perfume of the italian sun in winter, the mixed scents of soap and the skin of a man who carefully prepared himself to please before betraying his true intentions and excitement under a few drops of perspiration, the stale smell of the two skins rubing against each other, a remnant of tobacco above amber, leather and soon the own smells of my mistress who wore it without shame, the poor jumper became mad. We could see it roaming the flat without really knowing whom he belonged to nor even which language was its. One day, he felt as a man. The other as a woman. Its lambswool was totally upset by the lost of its identity.
As I have not made his acquaintance before this tragic incident, I cannot tell you what kind of pullover he was normally in its everyday life before being abandoned by its master and worn to my mistress’ obsession. Anyway, he has been inhabited for a long time by their two souls which, I presume, only though of letting themselves go between its stitches only for a short time.
Hopefully, the obsessions of my mistress never last more than the tattoos you can find in boxes of melted cheese. As soon as she fall in love with another man, she washed the Italian lambswool and replaced it on her skin by the grey British lambswool of our latest Lord. The Italian pullover felt like its old self again, but was still unsettled and ashamed of the lost of its identity.
You see, detergent does not remove stains as much as splinters of soul in our stitches. The splinters of your souls, I mean. We already wear ours at the surface of our wool. I let you imagine what we suffer when we carry yours too.
But I feel so good in your neighbourhood hat I am wandering from the point, my friends. I am longing to meet this little dress in the washing machine so we can discuss her indiscretion.
Meanwhile, since we are talking about souls and since Anna seems to lose hers at he gate of prehistoric ages, I am going to meet Jane. Jane Eyre, republished by Folio this spring in France as long as The Waves from Virginia Woolf. Dominique Barbéris explains in the preface the reason of the success of Jane Eyre is a soul talking to other souls. Willima Thackeray, at the death of Charlotte Brontë, wrote » Which of her readers has not been her friend ? »
I am going to check right now if our mutual friendship is still lasting since my first read of the book a few… Oh, such a long time ago it does not need to be precised.
I wish you a lovely afternoon, my dear friends.
All the best,