Sunday, 7 April 2013

French Without Tears

An age ago, I read a listing on Ebay for a 78 of Duke Ellington’s Chloe. The vendor mentioned the French writer Boris Vian, a name then new to me. The reference began a literary trail which led to Paris on the eve of the Second World War and the works of a singer, trumpet player and writer who was a great admirer of jazz in general and Duke Ellington in particular.

So enraptured by Ellington’s music was the writer that  the heroine of his most famousnovel, L'écume des jours is named for Ellington’s recording.

Michelle Léglise-Vian, Boris Vian and Duke Ellington
Released on 24 April, 2013 is a new film version of L'écume des jours, directed by Michel Gondry. In the USA, the novel was re-titled Mood Indigo and with Take the 'A' Train featuring on the soundtrack in the promotional trailer posted here, we can hope for many Ducal references in the movie.

For more on Boris Vian, his official site can be found here. For a superb blog run by the publishers of Vian’s work in English, check out the references to Ellington in the postings here.

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