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Pierre Loti à Rochefort

Olivier Delahaye

On this his centenial year,there will surely be a lot of talk around Pierre Loti (1850-1923). But not for the right reasons. Indeed the author condoned Turkey’s policy after the massacre of the Armenians in 1915. Though he mentions it in the epilogue, the author would not want this mistake to cover Loti’s work, and in particular his most personal, his home. A world traveler, great lover, Loti, whose real name was Julien Viaud set up in his family home at Rochefort, the perfect reflection of his adventure filled existence and his passions. What about beautiful Aziyadé, bewitched him at Salonica in 1878? She is the muse of the Oriental Fair with its materials, its rugs and even its mosque. The young woman from Nagasaki, the daughter of a temple’s gardian? She orders the Japanese pagoda. And things go on in the same manner, in the Renaissance room whether with its ceiling with and its tapestries, the blue room, the Gothic dining room or even the Chinese rooom, a part of its contents sold by Loti’s son at an auction back in 1928. More than the house’s topography, this is a very personal walk through Loti’s imagination. 

Pierre Loti à Rochefort, by Olivier Delahaye, Belin, 2014, 112 p., €12

Pierre Loti à Rochefort - Olivier Delahaye

Review published in the newsletter #375 - from 12 February 2015 to 18 February 2015

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