Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Le Baiser de l'Hôtel de Ville, Paris, 1950

© Estate of Robert Doisneau

"I now think of it as a picture that should never really have existed," Françoise Bornet, the kisser, told the media. "That's why I'm getting rid of it." Her print, autographed by photographer Robert Doisneau, sold at auction for €155,000.

And so we discover that the kiss was not quite spontaneous, although the couple was a couple, fleetingly, practiced in modes of public affection--if not so daring as osculation, charming nonetheless--that would catch a photographer's eye, and, with light and magic and affectation, become symbolic of the mood of Paris after the Second World War. (Ah, yes, I remember it well.) And we learn that the deal between the photographer and his models was not quite fair, which is also symbolic of a certain postwar attitude. But who ever said that Life was fair?

Fido the Yak remains imperturbable in his romanticism, a veritable Gilbert Bécaud, or more likely Pepe le Pew. Naturally the photo was never meant to exist. C'est la vie. L'amour est mort? But of course. How else are we to revive it?

A caveat, dear readers: Fido the Yak has frequently identified with the chap in the beret--Now there are stories as yet untold, full of espionage, wagging tongues, double entendres, mistaken identities, white noirs, and Thelonious Monk playing "April in Paris"....Not all that melts into the background is lost, but if you call on Fido the Yak to retrieve what's dear to you, you're asking for trouble.

posted by Fido the Yak at 10:20 AM.


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