(Roughly) Daily

There’s no place like…

Life photographer John Olson sub-specialized in the private lives of rock stars in the 60s and early 70s.  Readers can peek at domestic shots like this (Elton John with his mother and step-father)…

or at this snap of the Jackson Five at home…

and at others, here.

As we revel in domestic bliss, we might recall that it was on this date in 1804 that   Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I of France, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris…. literally crowned himself:   Convention would have dictated that the pope do the honors, but the new emperor placed the crown on his own head, then crowned his wife, Josephine, as Empress.

(Beethoven, hearing the news of the Corsican corporal’s hubris, tore the dedication [to Napoleon] from his manuscript of his Symphony No. 3 [Op.55, Eroica], and [re]dedicated it instead to one of the composer’s most loyal patrons, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz.)

Liberté! Fraternité! Témérité!

Exactly a decade-to-a-day later, in a kind of ceremonial coda, the Marquis de Sade died in Charenton, just outside Paris.  At Napoleon’s accession, in the run-up to Austerlitz, de Sade asked, “Are wars anything but the means whereby a nation is nourished, whereby it is strengthened, whereby it is buttressed?”

Liberté! Fraternité! Stupidité!

David’s portrait of Napoleon

Written by LW

December 2, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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