Thursday, June 10, 2010

Juliette and Miles

I'm reading Graham Robb's Parisians, thanks to Chris Lydon's podcast interview with Robb. One of its chapters, in the form of a screenplay, is about Juliette Gréco, the end of the war, St. Germain, existentialists, and her affair with Miles Davis. Searching for more information, I just found a poignant interview with Gréco about her remembrance of Miles on the occasion of what would have been his 80th birthday if he had lived that long.

I'd heard of people like Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir when I was 14 or 15, through my sister who was a student, but I couldn't ever have imagined that one day I'd be close to them. Sartre said to Miles, "Why don't you and Juliette get married?" Miles said, "Because I love her too much to make her unhappy." It wasn't a matter of him being unfaithful or behaving like a Don Juan; it was simply a question of colour. If he'd taken me back to America with him, I would have been called names.

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