COMMUNICATION FROM THE CALM (PART 2) – Feb. 14 th 2013, 10:41

Inline image 1






Feb. 14 th
2013, 10 : 41 Paris Time

The Janina Prize

We put a challenge out to our readership to guess which ‘literary
phrase’ inspired the title of the pamphlet “We hear from Tehran”. The three
winners are three French people, which does not surprise us because this title
was inspired by a French novel.

The winners are:

, who knew it right away as she was born into
Gallimard Publishers like Argus came into Earth and Aphrodite into the Ecumene.

, who googled the expression, astutely, which nobody had thought of,
particularly me.

And finally Jean-Marie Pierson,
Head of the cabinet of the Dean of Valdes, Belize. Pierson, as well as being an
amateur connoisseur of German and military literature, also has good and solid
knowledge of French popular songs and literature of the 19th and 20th

Pierson had me telephoned by his wife, our colleague Lilia Mahjoub.
Catherine told me in person of her find, when she came to my office to put me
in contact by phone with the adjunct secretary of the United Nations Philippe

As to Nathalie, she had sent me an email that escaped my attention and
it is thanks to Jean-Pierre Klotz that I leant that she had known right away. I
will copy the text of her email here:

confused was father of Albert de Morcef, for having betrayed Haydée, which was
written from Janina to Edmond Dantès, Count of Monte Christo [sic], with a
‘we’, which decided college girls certainly indicated before me, who wishes
them to keep alive this epic still so full of reconciliations with our world
more constant than it appears, maybe…. The phrase of love to come, against the
background of the death of a father by betrayal and feminine slavery – what
anticipation of the purloined letter….”.

No Nathalie, not Christo, but Cristo. Not to be confused, like Mitra
with Mithra. The ‘h’ in French is the purloined letter par excellence. It
exists most often in written form and does generally not exist at the sonoric
level, apart from the couple ‘ch’ or ‘ph’, for example. “You said Mitra or
Mithra?” Mitra is a heroine of psychoanalysis, whereas Mithra is another
matter! “We hear from Janina” is the
title of a chapter in the Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. The first
title I thought of was “You’ve Got Mail
From Tehran”
, inspired by the slogan of AOL and the film. I copy here the
article from Wikipedia USA.

You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora
starring Tom

and Meg Ryan. It was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the play Parfumerie by Miklós László. The film is about two e-mailing lovers who are completely unaware that their
sweetheart is, in fact, a person with whom they share a degree of animosity. An
adaptation of Parfumerie was
previously made as The Shop Around the
, a 1940 film by Ernst

and also a 1949 musical remake, In the Good Old
by Robert Z. Leonard starring Judy
You've Got Mail updates that concept
with the use of e-mail. Influences from Jane
Pride and Prejudice can also be seen in the relationship
between Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly — a reference pointed out by these
characters actually discussing Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet in the film. Ephron
insists that You've Got Mail was as
much about the Upper West Side itself as the characters, highlighting
the "small town community" feel that pervades the Upper West Side. The
name of the film is an example of product placement, based on the trademark greeting that AOL users hear when they receive new e-mail."

The film by Lubitsch is a masterpiece I’ve seen several times, always
with the same pleasure.

“The film is about two emailing lovers who are completely unaware that
their sweetheart is in fact a person with whom they share a degree of
animosity.” That is exactly Mitra and me! We adore each other, but, it is clear
that she cannot bear the yoke of Man, and that I often find her a real pain in
the arse. Which means that I am not without affinity with the good doctor
Ghadiri who will be breathing a sigh of relief when she finally shoves off.
This morning, I hope.

I cannot tell you the number of the chapter because I don’t have the
book I had in my youth anymore, which I gave to my son for his 13th
birthday, the age for the Bar Mitzvah that he did not do. Enough on that
subject. The world is waiting for Mitra’s release.

And good Dr.
Ghadiri will be at ease. Mitra, I served with [sic] Ava Gardner, I knew Ava
Gardner, Ava Gardner was a friend of mine. Mitra, you are no Ava Gardner!
[English in original]

The first three to find what is my reference here win a prize on the
condition that they do not use search engines to find it!

 Translated by Natalie Wulfing

Back to list