The Hall of Mirrors

mirrors2221.jpgOf course — of course — writers get excited by mirrors. Mirrors are primally impressive; there’s something resonant about anything that shows you to yourself — even just the image of how you look.

Anyhow. So, add in the French aristocracy — whose decadence and opulence has never been topped, in the history of the world, possibly. And add in the way the aristocracy was deposed. And you have the greatest story imaginable, right? Rise and rise and rise and rise and — then — cataclysmic fall. Decapitation.

When I saw that the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles had re-opened today, after a restoration, I was a 13-year old kid again, traveling through Europe with my parents. In 1989, I stood at this exact place (like so many tourists) and thought: These mirrors are tarnished.

So: Good work on fixing that, France. I’d really be happy if this were my writing studio. Do you think the people of Paris would mind? I’d put a desk — a small desk — to one side of the hallway. You’d hardly even notice.

2 thoughts on “The Hall of Mirrors

  1. I was struck, once, by a Haitian man — sitting cramped and sweating in his tiny cell block, surrounded by a dozen others — who held a tiny fragment of a mirror up to his face. Was it to inspect a new haircut? Gaze at and admire his own reflection? Or was it simply to assure himself that he was, in fact, still here and that it was truly he committed to 5-10 years in that dingy, inhumane place? At the time, I could only think: What would he need to look at himself for… no one cares…

    I love your writing, Pauls — and I also hear a lot of good things about you from my friend. 😉

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