ACTION COMMITTEE FOR THE LIBERATION OF MITRA
COMMUNICATION FROM THE CALM (PART 2)
Feb. 14 th 2013, 10 : 41 Paris Time
The Janina Prize
We put a challenge out to our readership to guess which ‘literary phrase’ inspired the title of the pamphlet “We hear from Tehran”. The three winners are three French people, which does not surprise us because this title was inspired by a French novel.
The winners are:
Nathalie Georges-Lambrichs, who knew it right away as she was born into Gallimard Publishers like Argus came into Earth and Aphrodite into the Ecumene.
Catherine Lacaze-Paule, who googled the expression, astutely, which nobody had thought of, particularly me.
And finally Jean-Marie Pierson, Head of the cabinet of the Dean of Valdes, Belize. Pierson, as well as being an amateur connoisseur of German and military literature, also has good and solid knowledge of French popular songs and literature of the 19th and 20th century.
Pierson had me telephoned by his wife, our colleague Lilia Mahjoub. Catherine told me in person of her find, when she came to my office to put me in contact by phone with the adjunct secretary of the United Nations Philippe Douste-Blazy.
As to Nathalie, she had sent me an email that escaped my attention and it is thanks to Jean-Pierre Klotz that I leant that she had known right away. I will copy the text of her email here:
“How confused was father of Albert de Morcef, for having betrayed Haydée, which was written from Janina to Edmond Dantès, Count of Monte Christo [sic], with a ‘we’, which decided college girls certainly indicated before me, who wishes them to keep alive this epic still so full of reconciliations with our world more constant than it appears, maybe…. The phrase of love to come, against the background of the death of a father by betrayal and feminine slavery - what anticipation of the purloined letter….”.
No Nathalie, not Christo, but Cristo. Not to be confused, like Mitra with Mithra. The ‘h’ in French is the purloined letter par excellence. It exists most often in written form and does generally not exist at the sonoric level, apart from the couple ‘ch’ or ‘ph’, for example. “You said Mitra or Mithra?” Mitra is a heroine of psychoanalysis, whereas Mithra is another matter! “We hear from Janina” is the title of a chapter in the Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. The first title I thought of was “You’ve Got Mail From Tehran”, inspired by the slogan of AOL and the film. I copy here the article from Wikipedia USA.
You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the play Parfumerie by Miklós László. The film is about two e-mailing lovers who are completely unaware that their sweetheart is, in fact, a person with whom they share a degree of animosity. An adaptation of Parfumerie was previously made as The Shop Around the Corner, a 1940 film by Ernst Lubitsch and also a 1949 musical remake, In the Good Old Summertime by Robert Z. Leonard starring Judy Garland. You've Got Mail updates that concept with the use of e-mail. Influences from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice can also be seen in the relationship between Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly — a reference pointed out by these characters actually discussing Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet in the film. Ephron insists that You've Got Mail was as much about the Upper West Side itself as the characters, highlighting the "small town community" feel that pervades the Upper West Side. The name of the film is an example of product placement, based on the trademark greeting that AOL users hear when they receive new e-mail."
The film by Lubitsch is a masterpiece I’ve seen several times, always with the same pleasure.
“The film is about two emailing lovers who are completely unaware that their sweetheart is in fact a person with whom they share a degree of animosity.” That is exactly Mitra and me! We adore each other, but, it is clear that she cannot bear the yoke of Man, and that I often find her a real pain in the arse. Which means that I am not without affinity with the good doctor Ghadiri who will be breathing a sigh of relief when she finally shoves off. This morning, I hope.
I cannot tell you the number of the chapter because I don’t have the book I had in my youth anymore, which I gave to my son for his 13th birthday, the age for the Bar Mitzvah that he did not do. Enough on that subject. The world is waiting for Mitra’s release.
And good Dr. Ghadiri will be at ease. Mitra, I served with [sic] Ava Gardner, I knew Ava Gardner, Ava Gardner was a friend of mine. Mitra, you are no Ava Gardner! [English in original]
The first three to find what is my reference here win a prize on the condition that they do not use search engines to find it!
Translated by Natalie Wulfing