Friday 4 March 2016

Researching Books

Researching a book is always fun because you're learning more about a topic in which you're interested. For Broken Faces I spent a week in Paris staying in my aunt's flat. We found the building where the studio was situated where Anna Coleman Ladd and other artisans made masks for the damaged faces of the young soldiers. Here's a picture of the stairs that those men would have made their way up towards the sunlit studio. No doubt nervous to, a) show their face to someone they didn't know, and b) have to endure the sometimes suffocating feeling that came with having your face covered in plaster of Paris while a mould was taken.

Another place that fascinated me was Père Lachaise Cemetery where many famous people are buried from Oscar Wilde, Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Marcel Proust and of course to, Jim Morrison from The Doors. The atmosphere of this cemetary is all encompassing. The heavy sadness brought about by the detail of the personal monuments that families built to remember their loved ones is unmistakeable. It's almost like visiting a scene from a film but one that envelopes you and takes your mind off in various tangents. As you meander down the cobbled walkways between the graves and come across
spectacles such as Oscar Wilde's lipstick covered tomb, which has been cleaned up since I visited, to Jim Morrison's small and unremarkable grave where on a nearby tree someone has written in marker pen, 'Show me the way to the next whisky bar', to graves where the abject heartbreak of those left behind is clearly evident, one with a zeppelin depicted across the top of the gravestone making you presume that the corpse enclosed in this grave was either a pilot of one of these aircrafts or killed by one. Whatever scenarios this peaceful and unique place conjours up for the visitor it is definitely somewhere I'd like to go to again.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

What atmospheric places, Debs, and how lovely you got to visit them. Broken faces is on my kindle but I just need to get around to reading it!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Thanks very much for buying Broken Faces, Rosemary, I hope you enjoy reading it. x