Unknown Worlds

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Paris Fountain

“On this narrow planet, we have only the choice between two unknown worlds. One of them tempts us – ah! what a dream, to live in that! – the other stifles us at the first breath.”

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Colette’s writing career spanned five decades, from her early 20s to her mid-70s. Her themes were joy, love, and being a woman in a male-dominated world.  This theme was present in La Vagabonde, published in 1910, which presents a narrative about an actress who rejects a man she loves for a life of independence.

In 1912, Colette married Henri de Jouvenel des Ursins, the editor of the newspaper Le Matin, and had their daughter Colette de Jouvenel, in 1913.  During WWI, Colette transformed her husband’s St. Malo estate into a hospital for the wounded.  She was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

The 1920’s were kind to Colette.  By 1927, she was often celebrated as France’s greatest woman writer. Much of her success could be attributed to the sympathetic responses from readers to her insights into the behaviour of women in love. One thing is certain; she was on a mission to live gloriously.  And she chose her unknown world.

 “I believe there are more urgent and honourable occupations than the incomparable waste of time we call suffering.”

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette