The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedJean Cocteau
Title QuotedGrand Ecart
Date (Year/Month/Day)1941/07/06
ImprintParis : Delemain. 1924
QuotationToday I reread the scene where Jacques and Germaine quarrel over the stupid lines from Victor Hugo, "Gall, amant de la reine, etc." in Cocteau's Grand Ecart. [Note 10: Le Grand Ecart was the title of a short novel published by Jean Cocteau in 1922. In French, the expression grand Ecart refers to a dance step, that is, "the split." Yet the original meaning of ecart is that of separation or distance between. In this novel of his adolescence, Cocteau has in mind the gap between a woman of the world (with whom he was in love) and an inexperienced young man.] It is one of the funniest scenes I have ever read anywhere. So is the character Stopwell funny-but especially this scene, with Germaine and her mother.
Quotation SourceRun to the mountain: The Story of a Vocation. The journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 1, 1939-1941.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1995, p. 378
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Link to Merton's Copy