“But it was here that I felt something rough and furry brushing against my face, and I opened my eyes to find my cat rubbing her whiskers against my own, in a feline form of morning’s greeting, while the uncertain light of dawn filtered through the bedroom curtains.  Thus I came to the end of my opium dream, which left me no other memento than a vague and persistent sense of melancholy.”

Théophile Gautier, upon awakening after a wild night smoking opium with friends and dreaming of his beloved, encountering the familiar “dude, are you still breathing?” morning-after cat stare.

@feuillyova, this made me think of your “kitten on the head” story – minus the opium of course.


okay I saw someone in my notes being sad that they never hear any positive Victor Hugo stories 
(honestly most Victor Hugo stories are just bizarre,  like how do you even rank the seance thing or the bat present, like at a certain point there just has to be a classification off the good/bad beam that’s just “Romantic” so everyone can get on with life , but I digress) 

Anyway I was reading Alexandre Dumas’ memoirs, and apparently early in his career, after a lag caused by multiple censor bans and refusals for all the usual show biz profit reaons,  he had put on a play for a sort of Society Preview to get assessed to see if it would keep going? As you do (oh gad French theater in the 20s-30s was so big and so complicated please don’t ask me to explain it all right here but anyway)

and it was a success! But he had to do multiple edits to get permission to make it an ongoing play! Which, okay, he could do that! Except he also had to have an opening night party and entertain the Right People to get this play to be successul! Like, really, had to.  So he wines and dines and schmoozes the necessary schmoozing all night and THEN has to go and look at his play and try to be creative and make necessary edits at Why O’Clock in the early morning–

and all the edits were already done.  Done really well, by someone really good  who totally knew the sort of thing Dumas would have written himself. And it was Why O’Clock in the morning, so he didn’t question the Magic Editing Elves too closely, he was just grateful and went to bed. 

But Dumas found out later from a mutual friend who’d been in on it that Hugo and another friend had snuck into the writing studio while the party was going on and done the edits without telling anyone 

because they were buddies and buddies do that

even in the memoirs years later Dumas is like YES HIGH FIVE THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY BACON PAL

so there you go, Victor Hugo, Study Buddy and Stealth Assistant Editor FOR FRIENDSHIP. 


@eirenical  correctly identified the important part of that post and asked about Piaff-Piaff

Piaff-Piaff was a present to a guy named Félix Harel, a sometimes theater manager who lived in an apartment building with an older actress named Mlle. Georges (in her 40s! But she was super famous, apparently) who used to hold open salons of a sort with people coming to visit her and tell her how awesome she was  

way to live seriously 

anyway she inspired everyone else in that apartment to keep things tidy because she basically dressed every day like she was getting a portrait done and kept everything looking Super Glamour as much as a person can in a small apartment 

but Harel (who was a friend of hers)  was a MESS and instead of cleaning up his ways everyone decided he should have a pig  

He liked this idea 

thus Piaff Piaff was born! 

Well, adopted. Whatever. Point being one of the more successful theater managers in Paris for a while shared an apartment building with one of the most successful ACTRESSES in Paris, and also a pig, courtesy in large part of one the most famous French writers of ever,  and this is definitely the best thing I have found out so far today.