La Carte de Tendre: The Map of Love

I would like to say that I have spent the last week giggling blissfully about being engaged and starting to plan my wedding. Ok, so actually that would be true. Unfortunately, what I should have been doing ALL last weekend and this past week was writing and editing my final papers. And sadly, I did actually devote most of my past week to that, regretfully telling James that now that we were going to be together forever, I actually had to write papers. I think my professors would object to papers about my ring, dress options, decoration decisions, and photography comparisons. And so, a very exciting list of what has consumed my past week:

1. I spent a lot of time writing about this series of shots from Chronique d’un été, which I highly recommend if you want an artsy evening with beautiful cinematography and very little story.

2. My final paper for my class about female literary iniators in France led me to spend lots of time reading  and writing about these two books. Yes, one of them is a children’s book.  Grad school is about making the simple things very hard.

3. And finally, I have been spending considerable time with La Princesse de Clèves, which led me to this, La Carte de Tendre – The Map of Love, created in the 17th century to chart the path towards a woman’s heart.

Maybe it was because I had been writing all week and my brain was mush, or maybe it is just that I am giggly about anything having to do with love these days, but whatever the case, I could not stop laughing over this map and trying to plot the relationships of everyone I know on it.  You start in the city of New Friendship, and the travel up the River of Inclination, passing through the cities of Pretty Phrases, Love Letters, Feats to Impress, etc. before arriving at the City of Love (Tenderness, on the old French one).  Yet travel cautiously. If you go to fast you will shoot pass the city and tumble into the Dangerous Sea of passion, or you might get derailed on your course and sink into the Lake of Indifference. Even worse, you might be doomed from the beginning and drown in the Ocean of Hostility! Of course the French would think of this. I would also like to point out that I think there needs to be a Swamp of Depressing Endings and Suicide, because in my own French literature experience, this is indeed where most love stories end.

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