Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Artistic Temperament

“They talked of Yves’ aestheticism and his constant search for visual perfection, which led Bianca to ask, ‘Aren’t there qualities you look for in people?’ Yves’ reply is perhaps the most revealing public statement he has ever made about himself. ‘No’, he said, ‘because ultimately the qualities I see in people are what I perceive them to be. It is my vision of people that counts. It’s all projection. If I am deceived it’s my own doing. What interests me is my vision of others’.

‘Like all creators he has an appalling ego and so others don’t really count much for him because of that’, admits Pierre Berge now. ‘I am someone generous. Yves is not. I do not mean he is miserly. I mean he is someone who can only live wrapped up in himself. The outside world does not interest him. Voila! You know it is like every artist, every creator; they invent their own solar system just as he has done and the whole world turns around this sun and the sun is him. Voila! And the sun is not there to ask how the satellites are doing. He could not care less. But I do not mean that as a criticism.’”

From The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

I wanted badly to add an "Yves Saint Laurent" cocktail as an addendum to this post, but couldn't find one.  Then I thought "why not find a "Marcel Proust" cocktail, since Saint Laurent was, for reasons I can't totally understand, obsessed with Proust.  Although I determined that such a cocktail did exist and was served at Le Grand Cabourg Hotel in Cabourg, Normandy, a former Proust haunt, I couldn't track down the recipe.  Therefore, I decided to include the Serendipity cocktail, as prepared by Colin, the bartender at the Ritz in Paris, apparently another place Proust liked to patronize.  It looks beautiful and delicious and it does include Calvados, which seems to be in right spirit:

Serendipity, the cocktail

Fresh mint
Ritz Champagne, ½ glass
Calvados 1/10th
Apple Juice

"Colin breaks off a handful of mint leaves and puts them in the bottom of the glass, using tongs to gently release the flavour, but taking care not to muddle them, which he says is very important: if you muddle them you crush and bruise the leaves, which is not good. He pours in the Calvados and then half a glass of Champagne, and then tops it up with clarified apple juice from Normandy. The finishing touch is a white orchid, or a red rose if it’s for a lady.

Serendipity is sublime. It’s a little bubbly, it’s light, it’s refreshing, and it goes down very easily. It’s a perfect drink if you’re in Paris in the spring."


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