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Ardens Puella: Pars I

Updated: Sep 8

By Séverine Clément-Tarantino

Primum propositum fuit mihi brevem textum scribere de Portrait de la jeune fille en feu, pellicula cinematographica a Céline Sciamma confecta. Quam Latine scribere in mente habui quia hoc ipso argumento tractando Circulum quem in Francogallia duco aliquot mensibus abhinc coepi. Dein memini discipulam quam praeterito anno docui, Josephinam, perbelle de hac pellicula in scholis dixisse et amicam meam Oceanam explicationes et opiniones quae studium moverent inter colloquendum prodidisse. Magno autem gaudio meo consenserunt ei novo incepto ut nos tres feminae quasi de tribus feminis quae in pellicula illa partes maximi momenti agunt colloqueremur, textibus opinionibusque nostris coniunctis. 


Originally I wanted to offer some lines about Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu), the movie directed by Céline Sciamma; it would be in Latin because I worked on it in Latin for one of the first sessions of the Circulus Latinus Insulensis, a Latin circle I founded in Lille (France) several months ago. But then I remembered that Josephina, who was one of my students at Lille University last year, expressed very nice ideas about this film, and also remembered that my dear friend Océane and I talked about it several times, with her making fine observations and thought-provoking hypotheses. They both agreed to join their voices to mine in what has then become a trio of women reflecting and commenting upon – in particular – the trio of women who in the film itself comment upon the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Thus what we propose here is not exactly a colloquium inter nos tres, but three different and complementary points of view about Céline Sciamma’s movie and its recollection of Orpheus and Eurydice’s myth. 


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Séverine Clément-Tarantino is Assistant Professor of Latin language and literature at the Uni- versity of Lille in France. Her friends know her as an enthusiastic person who often gets pas- sionate about new projects especially when they involve Latin (and / or Vergil and his com- mentators, or, in another field, tap dancing). Now spoken Latin and participation in Lupercal are more than just new projects to her, as the two of them have changed how she thought about her work, even about the world, and her 30-years-old relationship with what she was taught (and taught herself) as a dead language. 


For more information, please see the appendix here.

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