Nero himself, highly annoyed to recognize himself, having been recognized

From Jean Cocteau’s Dentelles d’éternité – Appoggiatures, translated as Grace Notes. One of those random browsing finds that adds a small, unexpected delight to the day.

Starting with the fantasy of people claiming past lives but recollecting only the famous, we suspected the coachman of the carriage taking us around Rome, given certain clues and that his route always seemed to direct his horse toward the Domus Aurea, we suspected him, as I say, trained as we are in the school of dreams where nothing is extraordinary, and, I repeat, because of certain clues and a combination of discomfitures: that of a painful discovery and that of being discovered, in brief, while the horse’s hooves and the wheels made their hearse-sounds down narrow streets full of scarlet cassocks, and because Rome took on that orangey color that distinguishes it from all other capitals, we suspected, we were certain – so certain we almost got out of the carriage – that this coachman was Nero himself, highly annoyed to recognize himself, having been recognized


Partant de ce phantasme des personnes qui pretendent avoir deja vecu d’autres vies et ne so souviennent que d’illustres, nous soupconnames le cocher du fiacre qui nous promenait dans Rome, a certains indices et a une pente qui dirigeait toujours son cheval vers la Maison Doree, nous le soupconnames, dis-je dresses per l’ecole du songe ou l’extraordinaire cesse de l’etre et, je le repete, a certains indices et a un melange de genes reciproques, celle qui accompagne une decourverte penible et celle d’etre faisaient leur bruit de corbillard dans des ruelles pleines de soutanes ecarlates et que Rome prenait cette couleur orangee par quoi elle se distingue de toute autre capitale, nous soupconnames, nous eumes la certitude – certitude so forte que nous faillimes descendre du fiacre – que ce cocher etait Neron, extremement ennuye de se reconnaitre, a force d’avoir ete reconnu

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