"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."  --William Shakespeare

Entries in Montaigne (5)


On Sadness, Joy, Writing, Hélène Cixous, Montaigne, Mothers and Myth

After the saddest year of my life (but was it, really? I ask myself, and answer, Yes, it was), I was surprised tonight to feel the joy returning. That old version of joy, of life as overflowing abundance. First, Richard and I went away for four days to Amsterdam. More on that in a later post. 

A leisurely break, a honeymoon of sorts, followed by fresh energy for each of us in our work. The day after we returned to Paris, I sent off a chapter of my novel to a literary magazine. It’s strange, the shift, a new kind of detachment from the results of submitting work, a new kind of unwavering resolve.

I’ve had many professions, U.C. Berkeley language lab, tutor for the blind, model, cook on a schooner, waitress, bookseller in Sausalito, Cambridge and NYC, real estate agent, on-the-road art dealer, teacher of Greek myth.


As an art dealer, I learned two things: finding the right gatekeeper is a simple matter of love—the artist’s sensibility resonating with that of the dealer/agent/buyer. And the value of the best art often takes people the longest to see.  

My favorite of the artists I carried was invisible for a full year to everyone to whom I showed paintings, until, one day in my suite at Los Angeles' Chateau Marmont Hotel, a couple of top collectors walked in and flipped over this artist’s work. A few minutes later, they were in the hallway conferring, and minutes later, writing a big fat check. No accident that they did not need my vote of confidence in their taste (as many collectors did).


The structure of my novel is unorthodox, but the characters will not allow me to change it. Last night, after two-and-a-half hours in my favorite café, doing final editing and finishing chapter nine, the young couple next to me and I struck up a conversation. They asked me what I was writing. I told them (very briefly), and added (since they were Greek) that its structure was based on Greek myth. And then the woman and I began to talk about what is so wonderful about Greek mythology. (After a couple of millennia of strict monotheism in Greece, I am always surprised—delighted!—to encounter a Greek person, an engineer, no less, who loves Greek myth.) We agreed on three things: it represents divinity that is both male and female; these gods and goddesses are like human characters, with all their strengths and flaws; and it is essentially stories. I left the café feeling I'd been given a message, a gift.

And then tonight! Yow. Hélène Cixous read from her latest book, Twists and Turns in the Heart’s Antarctic, at Shakespeare and Company bookstore. First, her translator, Beverley Bie Brahic, read an English translation; then Cixous followed with the original in French. The text was poetic fiction, an essay, an epic, a Greek myth, about a daughter named Hélène, a brother, O., with whom she has a murderous relationship, and their 100-year-old mother, Eve. The images were closely observed, intimate; the metaphor, of Euridice (the mother) following Orpheus (the daughter/writer) shakily down some stairs. Stunning writing.



And this was peculiar, an image that sounded wonderful in English, the mother’s recent bond with a teddy bear, sounded slightly sentimental in French. In addition to the gorgeous writing, I felt a longing to live closer to my mother, the pain of being far from home soil, a pang of admiration-envy of my two sisters and brother who live so close to her. (For everything, there is a price, and this is the price for me of living in Paris.)

I have loved Hélène Cixous’s work for years. I drew closer, standing in the doorway, as H. C. answered questions after the reading. A beautiful face, big ears, long nose, Algerian-French, German Ashkenazi Jewish on her mother’s side, Pied-Noir Sephardic Jewish on her father’s. A fez cap, gray-green cardigan and scarf over a black sweater. A relaxed and delicate face. Nefertiti eyeliner. She looked a bit like Nefertiti.

She could not “enter” France for years, found the French too bourgeois, “carpeted,” until she found the door. That door was the tower of the small castle that had once belonged to the great essayist, Montaigne, in the town of the same name. His writing room was about the size of the room in which we were gathered. A view from the small windows of vastness, reminding her of Goethe’s view in Strasbourg. She felt the imprint of the books that had once surrounded him, though they are long gone.



She now goes back to visit Montaigne’s tower once a year for inspiration. Of course, she says, you have to have read all of Montaigne’s essays for it to mean anything. Important things happened in this tower where he wrote. Kings visited the writer there, among them, King Henri IV, the first Protestant king of France. Henri IV, like Nelson Mandela, was a mediator, mediating between the Protestants and Catholics. 

In response to a question about why she so often used the first person in her writing, Cixous said, the self is multiple, legion. (Yes! as are the forms of the divine, which is no longer entirely “out there,” or “up there,” but envisioned now as inside us, aspects of the collective unconscious.)

The translator discussed a French word haimé, a word Cixous invented by joining haïr, "to hate," to aimer, "to love." She struggled to find a graceful equivalent in English, and settled for "hateloved."

I asked Alex to save me a copy of Twists and Turns, and bolted out of Shakespeare and into the street, too happy to wait in line. I called our favorite restaurant to see if they had a table for one. “Oui, Karine!” said David. Had hareng with potatoes and carrots, and warm goat’s cheese on tiny pieces of toast. Then as the restaurant filled with no one but French-speaking diners who were spilling over with exuberance tonight, I left to walk to my (second-)fave café to write this letter to you.





Rub It For Luck

It is good to rub and polish your mind against that of others.—-Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)


Just around the corner from us, and a few blocks west down rue des Écoles (street of the schools), is a tiny public square, named for Paul Panlevé, a mathematician and physicist, and not terribly competent French prime minister, circa World War I.

The square is probably more famous for the life-sized statue of Michel de Montaigne, father of the essay, a rich and distinctive prose form which still enchants writers (and readers) to this day.  The statue of a seated, pensive Montaigne faces the front door of the Sorbonne, across the street, probably the most famous of French colleges, part of the University of Paris since 1257.  It was the Sorbonne and other schools of the early Middle Ages that taught in Latin until the French Revolution, giving our neighborhood its most common appellation, the Latin Quarter.

If you look closely at the Montaigne sculpture, you'll see that his connection to French education continues to this day, if not in the halls of the Sorbonne (we jest, of course he is taught there), at least in urban legend. The statue's bronze foot is worn to a golden patina because students believe it's good luck to rub his foot before an exam.

Are urban legends mere falsehoods, or real lies?

Who can say? But this tradition has crossed the Atlantic, too, at least as far as the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the second college in the American colonies.  There, students rub the shoe on the marble statue of the bewigged Lord Botetourt, the former English governor, also in the hope of good luck going into a big test or final.

And there's yet another French statue-rubbing tradition, this one in Paris' 20th arrondissement.

A couple of miles northeast of us (a brisk Sunday walk) is Père-Lachaise, Paris' largest cemetery, whose most famous tenant is probably the American singer Jim Morrison.  It also houses (among others) Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Alice B. Toklas, Colette, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret (side by side), Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan, Edith Piaf, Stéphane Grappelli, Guillaume Apollinaire, Honoré de Balzac, Eugene Delacroix, Gustave Doré, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, etc., etc.

And the writer Victor Noir.


To make a long story short, Noir (real name Yvan Salmon) was in 1869 a Paris journalist for a Corsican-language newspaper which, by insulting the long-dead Napoleon I, drew for its editor a challenge for a duel from the late emperor's grand-nephew, Prince Pierre Bonaparte, cousin of the then-ruling Emperor Napoleon III. The editor sent Noir and a buddy (both armed) to the prince's house in January, 1870, to work out the duel's terms, but, rather than acting as seconds (a sort of best man, or groomsmen at a duel) they mixed it up verbally with the prince, who, offended at the lack of proper custom, slapped Noir and shot him through the heart.

The prince was acquitted, of course, as he was rich and a Bonaparte, because Noir was armed, and because the prince testified that Noir slapped him first.

Noir was buried in another cemetery, but was later (1891, following the fall of the Third Republic and the Franco-Prussian war) disinterred and reburied in Père-Lachaise, honored with yet another life-sized statue (the French like life-sized statues).  The sculpture, by Jules Dalou, depicts Noir as he fell, flat on his back, top hat next to his right hand.  (And no weapon of any kind visible.)



Now, for some reason, perhaps because the statue is SO lifelike, and Noir was said to be something of a roué, the urban legend arose that rubbing Noir's rather prominent (but discreetly covered) private parts would cause the infertile to become fecund.  In addition, placing a flower in the top hat and kissing his lips would add to the mojo.

Voila, Noir's endowment is burnished gold, just like Montaigne's foot.

Perhaps there is a real scientific study to be done someday by someone who has passed his or her finals at the Sorbonne.  Let them choose their local urban legend and have at it.  Falsehood, or real lie?

Whichever, the Noir-rubbing tradition, too, has crossed the Atlantic to New York.

There doesn't seem to be any reason for it, other than its size and prominence (his penis is about face-level on the average American), but the 12-foot-tall bronze Adam by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero in New York's Time Warner Center is also developing a distinct shade of Noir-gold, thanks to the rubs, pats, and who knows, maybe kisses, of New Yorkers and tourists alike.

Then there's Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois, where people touch the tip of the bronze nose of the former president's likeness, also allegedly for luck.  But that's too long a walk from our apartment to investigate.




Queen Margot

Henri IV and Margot de Valois, adapted from Wikipedia

I spent the weekend editing the memoir/novel of a friend named Margo, then met her Tuesday night for dinner to discuss the book. It’s called Vagrant, and it will be published soon. It’s the lusty version of Eat, Pray, Love. Do not buy it—I repeat—do not buy it, if you are a puritan. But if you are drawn to Paris, Hawaii, the quest for love and the quest for God, loneliness, beauty, poetry, sex, this is the book for you.

The sun and moon are in Taurus and that made me think of the goddess Aphrodite and lusty women. I’ve heard comments about how decadent the royal wedding of William and Kate was last week, but perhaps these commentators don’t know about the Renaissance Queen Margot, a truly lusty woman. (Again, you puritans can stop reading right now.)

Marguerite de Valois was born May 14, 1553. At the age of 19, she had an affair with Henri de Lorraine, Duc de Guise and wanted to marry him. But her mother, Catherine of Medici, had other plans for Margot.

This was an era of violent wars between Catholics and Protestants, and Catherine thought her daughter’s marriage ought to serve some practical political purpose, such as uniting the two warring religious factions.



On August 18, 1572, Margot was married off to Henri de Navarre, a Protestant Huguenot in Notre Dame Cathedral. Because Henri was not Catholic, he was kept out of the cathedral for most of the ceremony. (And so was his mother, Jeanne, who had just died, probably from putting on a pair of poisoned gloves that Catherine of Medici had given her as a wedding gift.)

Henri and Margot were both passionate people, just not about each other. Soon after their wedding, they took other lovers. But Margot protected Henri from being murdered six days later when Catherine of Medici called on her Catholic supporters to massacre the Huguenots gathered in Paris from all over France for the wedding. This is now known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Mothers-in-law can be difficult.



The two royals continued to protect and support each other, while enjoying busy love lives. But after some years, they grew apart, and Henri wanted to marry Marie de Medici. Queen Margot refused to divorce him, until the king gave her some money and allowed her to keep the title of Queen.

Reconciled to her former husband and his second wife, Marie de Medici, Queen Margaret became a patron of the arts and benefactress of the poor. She often helped plan events at court and nurtured the children of Henry IV and Marie. Rather like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore after their divorce.

Margot was known for her dazzling sense of style and fashion, and was a gifted poet and writer. Her memoir was published after her death in 1615. It was considered absolutely scandalous, and that is no easy thing to do, to scandalize the French.

Since I love outrageous people and lusty women (though you could say that Margot took it too far), some years ago, I wrote this persona poem, in her voice:


L'Hôtel de Sens, in the Marais




The French call me Chère Margot.

The doors of L'Hôtel de Sens


had grown too narrow

by the time they released me from prison.


Doorway, L'Hôtel de Sens

At 52, I’d grown stout

and bald, though it hardly mattered,


the declining power of skin balanced

by shapelier soul.


I had blond wigs fashioned

from the locks of my valets’ hair,


had the doors of the palace widened.

Though 18 years, it wasn’t so bad at Usson.


The jailer in my bed each night;

by day my memoir


about my lovers,

and prayers to Saint Jacob for release.         


I’d never had illusions about                        

fairness between women and men.


I “knew love” at age 11,

courtesy of my brother,


the very one who incited the king

to imprison me for “insatiable desire,”


my husband, Henri IV—that’s right,

the one with 52 mistresses.


Life was full again. I built

a little chateau,


Henri remarried, left me alone

with my 20-year-old Count—


but then the 18-year-old carpenter’s son        

arrived from Usson.


I returned from church one day,

my head full of songs for Saint Jacob,


when the Count shot my carpenter                 

before my very eyes.               


Strangle him with my garters! I cried.

They removed his head. He’s the only dead lover          


whose bit of heart is missing from the girdle

strung with lockets round my waist.



I moved to the chateau, finished

the garden convent I’d promised Jacob,


hired 14 Augustine fathers to sing

his praises round the clock.                                        


I wrote all the lyrics and music myself. Jacob

was the only one who stayed with me to the end. 



Richard and I began spending time in Paris every spring after our honeymoon here in 1997. We usually stayed in the apartment of friends, an apartment we now own. From here, we often walked across the Pont des Tournelles to the Marais. And just as you emerge from the Île St. Louis onto the Right Bank, there was a little chateau that intrigued me. I didn’t know why, but I slowed down and lingered in front of it each time we passed it.

A few years later, I finally stopped to read the plaque in front of it. L'Hôtel de Sens, it said. This was the chateau that Henri had provided for Margot when she was released from prison in Usson. Isn’t that strange? A place has a fascination for you and you later discover its connection to someone you’ve written about.

Even later, I was doing research on family names. My father’s middle name was Farrand. I traced it back to the Auvergne region in southern France, Ferrand, which later became the town of Clermont-Ferrand. In the volcanic mountains close by was the chateau Usson, where Margot spent 18 years writing her memoir. Is it possible that places and historical figures have resonance for us because the thread has come down in our DNA from our own ancestors? I think I read that a Ferrand lived in this castle, but I’m not sure. I’ve been looking for this genealogical information today and cannot find it. It may not be much of a link at all.

But the connection keeps coming up. I’ve just read that my new literary paramour, essayist Michel de Montaigne, was friends with Henri IV and Queen Margot. What an intricate web connects us all to one another, all of us, through all time, through books, imagination, DNA, kindred spirits.

(You can learn more about Queen Margot by reading Alexandre Dumas, pere’s 1845 novel, La Reine Margot, or see the 1994 French film La Reine Margot. And Shakespeare’s comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594-5) dramatizes an attempt at reconciliation in 1578 between Margaret and Henri. And Margot is played by Constance Talmadge in D. W. Griffiths’ 1916 film, Intolerance.

 But you'll have to wait until 2012 to read Margo Berdeshevsky's Vagrant.) 





How to Live: A Vision Quest, Part Two


There were twelve voices. 

I listened to each, and I named them.

Each had his or her desires and concerns. All were important, but some were more important than others. They took the shape of sea creatures:

Sea horse, Whale, Hermit crab,

Flying fish, Electric eel, Octopus,

Sea turtle, Mermaid, Starfish,

Shark, Dolphin, Swordfish.

I recorded my dialogues with them in my journals for about ten years. By that time, their natures were distinct and I had heard very clearly what each one represented and what each wanted. Each seemed to represent one of the twelve realms of life.     

I began to draw a mandala every day, twelve petals around a circle, and colored each petal the color that I felt corresponded to the sea creature.



I wasn’t eager to discuss this process with anyone else, not after mentioning it to one boyfriend: “You talk to twelve fish? Maybe you should talk to a shrink.”

This work was eccentric, but I knew it wasn’t crazy. I knew because it was helping me find a sense of harmony and purpose.

After ten years I began to read mythology. All of C. G. Jung, Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths, and Joseph Campbell’s work. 

What irony. Campbell had taught at, was still teaching at Sarah Lawrence, the very college I’d dropped out of. But I hadn’t been ready for his work then. If I’d encountered his books ten years earlier, I might have approached myth from the outside, rather than, as I was doing, from the inside, from my own subconscious.



The electrifying thing I discovered was that these twelve inner creatures to whom I’d been talking for ten years, almost perfectly (with some minor variations) corresponded to the twelve gods and goddesses of ancient Greece. The only difference was that the Greeks saw these divinities as outside the human realm (though powerfully interacting with it and affecting it), and the modern variation I was discovering was a vision of them as twelve inner archetypes of the unconscious. (Because in symbolic terms, what else does the realm of water, and sea creatures, mean?)

Now, here in Paris, I still create my daily mandala, listening to the voices of each god and goddess, following their leads, and noting each day what I accomplish in each realm. That other Greek term that intrigued Montaigne, prosoche, means mindfulness, attending to the inner world, and in that way to the outer world as well, since uncontrolled emotion, chaos, warps one’s view of reality. My continuing dialogue with the gods and goddesses, and the creation of a daily mandala, is my method of prosoche.

The major four effects of this vision quest were:

* The sense of the sacred had been restored to me, not in the form of religion, somebody else’s rules, but in an individual vision of meaning. With a sense of the sacredness of daily life, comes imperturbability, freedom from anxiety, what the Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics called ataraxia.

* I discovered my purpose as a writer: the god Daedalus, the craftsman, was at the center of my personal mandala.

* I felt a growing sense of harmony in daily life. When you are clear about your central purpose, and have control over your emotions, you are free to live in the present, and that brings joy, what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia.

* My compulsive eating completely disappeared.



Any compulsive addiction: alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, addiction to eating or not eating, is a sickness of the soul, a symptom of chaos, confusion, lack of clarity at the core. A spiritual symptom. And “symptom” is the key word: you cannot cure the behavior unless you cure the underlying sickness, which is always spiritual.

Okay, Kaaren, what do you mean by “spiritual,” anyway?

I answer, Invisible forces or archetypes or “spirits” inside you. And what is inside you is inside everyone, therefore, all around you. And these spirits are within birds, mammals, fish, plants, the earth itself, even her weather.

After thousands of years of a patriarchal vision that imagines the divine as a Single Dominant Male with a Human-like Visage, we’re returning to the vision of a more balanced force animating the world. Anima mundi, the ancients called it. Animism, as most so-called “primitive” peoples see the world.



I grew up in the desert of Arizona, galloping around on a donkey among mountains and saguaro and abundant desert creatures, pygmy owls and jackrabbits, roadrunners and rattlesnakes, in a state where Papago, Hopi and Navajo lived.

Many of the kids in my elementary school were Native American. My Navajo friend, Nellie, lived in a hogan, one school bus stop beyond ours in Paradise Valley, before it was as populated as it is now. I encountered kachinas, carved and painted wooden dolls that represented the various spirits the Hopi saw all around them.

That the world was alive with spirits seemed obvious to me. Cat spirits had a particular hold on me. I remember (after our cat gave birth on my stomach in the middle of the night) cradling the newborn kittens and feeling such intense love I was afraid I’d squeeze them to death.

Animism: a world alive, animated everywhere by spirit.

Every spiritual vision leads to a way of treating other people, and of treating the world.

How differently would we choose to treat a world that we see as wholly alive, rather than the world viewed by our late industrial society as dead matter, as “resources” to be plundered?



It seems to me that there are really four essential spiritual approaches: 

* atheism

* agnosticism

* religion

* individual vision quest

The first two, atheism and agnosticism, were never a possibility for me. The third, religion, was compelling to me as a child, but then I grew up. An effective moral police force for much of the world, it relies on an image of external authority; 3.6 billion people who live under Christianity or Islam subscribe to a monotheistic, dominating male God who passes down laws that we humans, like children with their parents, must obey.

All along, traditional cultures that much of the ‘modernized” world treats condescendingly, like arrogant parents with naïve children, have had an animistic vision that I think may be the only one that can save our planet. Because if we do not return to en-souling all living things, if we continue to behave as if only man is alive (and more deserving than woman, animals, the earth) and as if all else is dead, we will realize that vision across the planet, the natural systems that support the planet will die, and we will, too.





How to Live: A Vision Quest, Part One

I just finished reading a magnificent book by Sarah Bakewell about Michel de Montaigne: “How to Live; A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer.” The book just won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography in the United States, and the Duff Cooper Prize for Non-Fiction in the U. K., and rightfully so.

I’m not interested in doing a book review here; I’ll just urge you to read the book, which set me to musing about certain key Greek terms—eudaimonia and ataraxia and prosoche—that engaged Montaigne. The Renaissance writer, who first coined the term essays—Essais, or “Attempts”—was not interested in abstract philosophy. He was interested in the pragmatic philosophies of the ancient Greek Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics. All had the same aim: to achieve a way of life the Greeks called eudaimonia: joy, happiness, human flourishing. As Bakewell puts it, “This meant living well in every sense; thriving, relishing life, being a good person.”

The ancient Greeks felt that the best path to eudaimonia was ataraxia, or imperturbability, freedom from anxiety. In order to attain this equilibrium, you needed to have control over your emotions.



Both Stoics and Epicureans believed that two things, especially, prevented the enjoyment of life: lacking control over your emotions and not paying attention to the present. If people could get those two things right, most other things would fall into place. But getting these right is so difficult that we need to trick ourselves into achieving them.

So the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers spent a good deal of time thinking up tricks to achieve this equanimity.

But this is not a book review. Bakewell prompted a remembrance of my own process of finding a practical philosophy of life. My personal history can only be of interest to you if you can use it yourself, so if you’re that reader, here goes:

Philosophy, even pragmatic philosophy, is intimately linked to one’s spiritual vision.

For some reason, I was born needing a spiritual vision. My parents were atheists, atheists who led an exemplary life of good sense and generosity towards others. I clearly loved and emulated them, but I needed something more. As a young girl, I looked around me to find some spiritual vision that made sense. I adopted the closest one in my community: Christianity. I begged my parents to take me to various churches, Protestant, Episcopalian, Catholic. I wanted to try them all and find one that fit. My parents scratched their heads at this strange child, but my father obliged and dropped me off at one church or another on his way to play tennis every Sunday morning.

I was confirmed in a Presbyterian church. Then, at thirteen, I persuaded them to let me go to an all-girls Episcopalian boarding school by the sea in La Jolla, California. It appealed to several parts of me: the adventurer (the ocean!), the book lover (a rigorous education!) and the spiritual seeker (chapel every day!). Within one year at this school, two of those parts of me were sorely disappointed: there was little adventure in a school so strict that we could only go down to the sea in a group with a chaperone; and by the end of the first year, by age fourteen, I’d lost my religious faith. Religion seemed to be merely a system for controlling behavior.



In the middle of my freshman year, the headmistress called me into her office, and said, “We thought you would be a leader, but I’m afraid you turned out to be a leader of rebellion.” (Was that the year a group of us ran down the hall in high heels, naked except for pearl necklaces, singing an aria from some opera (it might have been the "Violetta Aria" from La Traviata), and the dorm mother, peeking out of her room, screamed in horror and reported us? I’ll have to check with my classmates.) A certain group of us boarders were wild ones, and continued to be for our full four years at the school.



The one sterling aspect of the school was the education. We studied Latin, French, English literature, history and more, in depth, and spent hours every evening in study hall. I edited the school literary magazine, and got in early to the college of my choice.

Sarah Lawrence was a breeze compared to The Bishop’s School for Girls. I had only three courses, French literature, anthropology and psychology. But halfway through the first year, something happened. I froze. I stopped studying. Stopped turning in papers. Simply jumped the rails.

I didn’t know it then, but I was going on strike. If I had no sense of why I was in school, I couldn’t continue. I didn’t know it then, but this was a spiritual crisis.

I dropped out of that college, then spent the next year in Oxford, England studying English literature—a whole year reading Shakespeare!



Then, back at home, I spent a year at Arizona State University studying anthropology, philosophy and German. And an eating disorder blossomed.

Then to the University of California at Berkeley for summer school courses in philosophy, Ethics. I read some fascinating stories in Plato, but none of them were relevant to my quest.

Swept up in the radical movement in Berkeley, I began to experiment in alternative ways to live, what we called the counterculture. I lived in a commune, demonstrated for civil rights and student rights and against the war in Vietnam. My friends and I created performance art for one person at a time, whose purpose was to change that person’s life. And it did.



But in my core, I was lost. Luckily, I had my journals, where the real work was going on. I was drilling down to ground zero, trying to sort out all the conflicting desires in me—to find out exactly what/who they were and how they could all live in harmony. For they were all at war, all tugging in different directions, each speaking with his/her own voice.

(End of Part One. Saturday, Part Two.)