Saturday, February 25, 2012
SECRETS OF A COURTESAN
This book is about Alexandra Ward, a 20-something American girl studying in Paris who, by coincidence, becomes a high-class courtesan to one of the most powerful men in Paris. It's about the thrill of seeing what really goes on behind the rich and famous, glamour, opulence and decadence, and about the power of sex and the redemption of true romance.
I, personally love this book. It opens up a new world to me. It is interesting, light, entertaining, charming, funny, and slightly naughty :) The book has beautiful quotes in it, stories about modern day Paris, history about past courtesans, different ways of seeing things. It also includes sex tips and advices on how to be a great courtesan. lol. What I like about this book is her thoughts about Money vs Love, how do you choose between luxury and innocent love?
I read alot of bad reviews from people in the internet, saying how this book is stupid and bla-bla. Well this is not a classic literature or some award winning novels. People who bought this book should have expected that this book is a light-read chick-lit and since how the storyline is about the love story of a courtesan, it's probably not everyone's cup of tea. You have to be open-minded, be able to see things from someone else's point of view and open to humour and the idea of it all.
It is trashy, and some people will hate it, but I love it.
Some of my favourite reads from the book :
page 145, as said by Marie-Helene
" Three. It's the magic number. I am of the complete believe that it takes three men to fulfill all the needs of one woman. One must be heniously wealthy and madly in love with you. He is the one who offers you the moon and the stars, trips, and jewels, and that you retain at all costs.
You need another that is staggeringly beautiful, the one you really want to have sex with. He's ultimately disposable but really satisfies you. With him you can experiment and hone your skills in the bedroom. Generally, he's the young one, takes it all too seriously and ends up proposing.
The third man should be the tender lover, the sensitive, caring soul. He is the one you sneak off to when you need to be taken care of. As a rule, they are the ones that offer rare books and objets d'art instead of bank accounts and jewels. This man is the one you have to protect yourself from falling in love with."
"I think there are many kinds of love, and each has its own unique appeal and hold on the people involved. Sometimes what we call 'love' is truly an appreciation or respect for what once was, when physical passion has gradually died down and become tender devotion. People often keep relationships going based not on the current dynamic between them but on either memories or dreams for the future. I could be all wrong, but it seems--and I can only speak from experience about young couples and their naive choices, as I've fallen into the same well-meaning place--I, like many people, have chosen men based on their potential. What I want or think he can one day become. Over time, I've learned not to wish for someone to be anything but what they are in that moment. And to never assume someone can change, or even wants to, just because you wish it for them.
" Oui, c'est ca. It's quite true, love is a meeting of illusion, fantasy, and a hint of reality, tha distinct and unique mixture that each person conjures up in their mind. Then, if they are fortunate enough to happen upon a person who possesses the same mentality, it clicks like lightning and locks you to each other with passion. "
I tell Louis-Philippe that I'm starting to keep a journal, an idea he responds to with an energetic, "_______________" Meaning -in Latin- "Spoken words fly away but writing remains."
Somerset Maugham said exactly what I mean : "She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit." Right? When one has real wit and clever opinions, one shouldn't fall back on the genius of others.
Sometimes sex with good men is disastrous and sex with bad men is great. And that's why it really is best to sow your oats when you're young, so that when you meet the right man you feel nothing but complete self-assurance in bed.
Anyway I launched this to soothe his fears. " I know you may fear that I will miss or even dash back to the life I just left. Sure, all the luxuries were wonderful fun, but they were never things I sought passionately, never anything that can replace the real joys of life."
Everything tastes, smells, and looks better when you're in love. Money can't do that -- it can on occasion, come close, but it has no staying power, and the fleeting happiness it gives disappears when the last drop of Cristal Champagne has been drunk and that great Dior dress goes out of style.
Quotes from the book which I love :
" When suddenly time stands still and one's existence blends int the unmoving fullness of the unverse. "
--Simone de Beauvoir, The Prime Of Life
" The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man. "
--Madame de Stael
" By giving oneself to everyone, one gives oneself, first to oneself. "
" You will do foolish things but do them with enthusiasm. "
" Boldness rewards those who know how to seize their opportunities. "
" The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. "