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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Monday, 12 May 2014

Beautiful women

Thursday, May 12th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

I walked a good deal about Paris yesterday, arranging instalment 4 of "Hugo". I got down, via the quays, a far as the Luxembourg, and saw the temporary exhibition there of Manets, Monets, and that school. Manet's "Nana" was the chief thing. I thought how much more it had aged than the book. As a matter of fact I think Manet's conception of "Nana" rather narrow - the idea of a man who had not'knocked about' enough. The picture would be masterly had he not entitled it "Nana".

"Nana" is a painting by French painter Édouard Manet. It was completed in 1877 and was refused at the Salon of Paris the same year. The work is now at the Kunsthalle Hamburg art museum in Germany. Manet wanted to present the painting at the Salon of Paris but it was rejected because it was deemed to be contemptuous of the morality of the time. French society was not prepared for such frank depictions of prostitution, and the critics did not see the artistic qualities of the work and concentrated solely on the scene which was represented. One of the defenders of Manet was Émile Zola who in 1880 published a novel of the same name as the ninth volume of Les Rougon-Macquart series. However, there is no clear evidence of mutual inspiration in the choice of the theme and the title as the book was published three years later. Perhaps Manet found inspiration in L'Assommoir, Zola's previous book, in which the character of Nana appears for the first time.

Then I had tea, and a bad tea, on the Boul. St. Michel and came home on the omnibus having bought a reproduction of a fine sketch by some artist unknown to me for 5 sous.

At 10 p.m. I strolled down to the Folies Marigny. There is certainly only one tolerable music-hall in Paris and this is it.. The performance was rotten, of course, but the audience! Crammed, stylish; many women - some extremely beautiful; many toilettes. I only stayed an hour and walked home.

The Théâtre Marigny is a theatre in Paris, situated near the junction of the Champs-Élysées and the Avenue Marigny in the 8th arrondissement. It was originally built to designs of the architect Charles Garnier for the display of a panorama, which opened in 1883. The panorama was converted to the Théâtre Marigny in 1894 by the architect Édouard Niermans and became a home to operetta and other musical theatre.

Today I write out the sketch of instalment 4.

Additionally for May 12th., see 'Making and spending money'

I have been writing to Max Beaverbrook about what authors make from their work. We were talking about it recently. Shaw is now the most popular world-dramatist writing and even in a rotten year his income cannot be less than £20,000. As regards Oppenheim, I know that two years ago he made £20,000. There are films. I don't think Oppenheim's income is falling. It takes a long time for an established author's income to fall. Authors' incomes are as a rule grossly exaggerated. My own always is. I have a pretty extravagant lifestyle to maintain (wife, morganatic ditto, & yacht), yet I have never made more than £18,000 in a year, and I have made as low as £10,000. Until the last six or seven years Wells never made more than £12,000. Authors can only make a fair income if they have a great deal to say - like Shaw, Wells and me - and are incurably industrious as we are.

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