I have finally been persuaded to visit the Moulin Rouge 2015 style. I had always had my reservations about this as it could never recapture the magic of the Jane Avril heyday of the 1890s but I have finally been broken. I don’t expect too much in terms of food and entertainment but I’ll no doubt report my feelings once I’ve returned.
This year I’ve been reading “Modigliani A Life” by Jeffrey Meyers about the underrated Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani 1884 – 1920 who came to my attention after reading about one of his friends Maurice Utrillo in the book “Man of Montmartre” by Stephen and Ethel Longstreet. Modi (as he was affectionately named) never truly fell into the school of any of his peers and tended to exist outside their circles in terms of his style. Modi also possessed a self destructive streak which ultimately led to his premature death at the age of 35. Not really recognised in life nor a big seller he became much more appreciated (as is often the case) after his death. He eventually succumbed to Tuberculosis and sadly did nothing to nurse his affliction during his life.
If you know anything about his life, death and the events that followed his death you can fully understand how he became a mythic and legendary figure that stands to this day.
It seems fitting to seek out his work while in Paris and also visit his final resting place in Pere Lachaise Cemetery to pay my respects.
Naturally, I’ll be making my usual pilgrimage to Jane to lay flowers at her graveside
I will also be meeting up with author friend Mark Pryor the writer of 5 Hugo Marston Murder Mysteries that I have previously referred to in previous blog entries. Mark is undertaking research for book 6 and finally after 5 years of correspondence we are to meet as we suspected we always would in Paris the backdrop for his novels. I suspect great food and fine wine will be the order of the day!
Mark’s second novel “The Crypt Thief” (which I get a kind acknowledgement) features Jane Avril albeit from beyond the grave but I’ll always be appreciative of his efforts in bringing Jane to the attention of the modern reader.
As for the rest of the trip who knows? I’m sure there will be a surprise or 2 along the way as there always is and I’ll report back on my return.