Marquis Chateauneuf du Pape

From Gruppenfuhrer Louis XVI in Stanislaw Lem’s A Perfect Vacuum – a collection of reviews of non-existent books:

Nota bene: the abundance of French names in the novel, which bear a striking similarity to the names of cognacs and wines – take, for example, the “Marquis Chateauneuf du Pape,” the master of ceremonies! – undoubtedly derives from the fact (though nowhere does the author say it) that in the brain of Taudlitz there clamor, for readily understandable reasons, far more names of liquors and liqueurs than those of the French aristocracy.

Funny by itself of course but it also reminded me of a story Ian Mckellen told in his one man show last year – of some actor or other playing Henry V without having memorized the list of French dead and instead relying on the list handed him by stage direction.  Unfortunately one evening the list was a blank prop and he fell to fumbling through in the exact fashion, fashioning wines and liqueurs into ad-hoc noblemen.

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