Alias Olympia : a woman's search for Manet's notorious model by Lipton, Eunice; Manet, Édouard; Meurent, Victorine; Lipton,

By Lipton, Eunice; Manet, Édouard; Meurent, Victorine; Lipton, Eunice; Meurent, Victorine; Manet, Édouard

Eunice Lipton was once a fledging artwork historian whilst she first grew to become intrigued by way of Victorine Meurent, the nineteenth-century version who seemed in Edouard Manet's most famed work, in basic terms to fade from background in a haze of degrading rumour. yet had this daring and lively attractiveness rather descended into prostitution, drunkenness, and early death-or did her existence, hidden from heritage, take a distinct path altogether? Eunice Lipton's look for the reply combines the suspense of a detective tale with the revelatory energy of paintings, peeling off layers of lies to bare startling truths approximately Victorine Meurent-and approximately Lipton herself

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It made me uncomfortable, but I didn't know what to say. I had the feeling he knew exactly how 35 ALIAS OLYMPIA many visitors I had in my room, and what I did with them. One day, he invited me to have a drink in his apartment. I accepted. Trying to be cool, I sat down. He said, "Look, I want to help you. " Where, in God's name, did this animal come off asking me such a question? " "Well, I can help," he said. I'm sure you can, you beast. " "There are three things you can do. I can bring you to orgasm; I'll just do something mechanical to get you there-don't worry, nothing romantic.

With the piano, you either played the right notes, or you didn't. I stuck to words. If outright desire was hard to come by at City, we had our escapes. Movies, for example, and literature. I loved Dostoyevsky and Hardy. The completeness of their landscapes enthralled me-the everlasting snow and exhilarating cold in one, the yellow fields and bustling markets in the other. I also associated Dostoyevsky with 27 ALIAS OLYMPIA a girl I admired at City. She had large breasts and a melancholy boyfriend whom she was always with, and whom you just knew she slept with.

I was as smart as I was desperate, and I knew Trudy's desperation. I knew she longed for me. She couldn't comprehend my hatred, the venom that poured from my eyes, my heart. What had she done to deserve this? When she hit me, I kicked her; when she smacked, I cursed. Each time it escalated until I spit at her, and she pushed me away. That was our embrace, my mother's and mine. A hopeless emptying of our hearts. Never forgiving, always longing. It was 1970 when Victorine's face came into focus for the first time.

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