Life and Writings of Maurice Maeterlinck
Jethro Bithell. Life and Writings of Maurice Maeterlinck
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"Maurice Maeterlinck. – Il débuta … dans La Pléiade par un chef-d'œuvre: Le Massacre des Innocents. Albert Mockel devint plus tard son patient et infatigable apôtre à Paris. C'est lui qui nous fit connaître Les Serres Chaudes et surtout cette Princesse Maleine qui formula définitivement l'idéal des Symbolistes au théâtre."
So much for the tone of the book; there are difficulties, too, when the lion is alive, in setting up a true record of his movements. If the lion is a raging lion, how easy it is to write a tale of adventure; but if the lion is a tame specimen of his kind, you have either to imagine exploits, making mountains out of molehills, or you have to give a page or so of facts, and for the rest occupy yourself with what is really essential.
Maeterlinck in this story has simply turned an old picture, or perhaps several pictures, into words. The cruelty of the massacre does not affect us in the least; the style is such that anyone who has seen the Breughels' paintings understands at once that a series of fantastic pictures, which have no relation whatever to fact, or logic, or history, are being drawn; not dream-pictures, but scenes drawn with the greatest clearness, and figures standing out boldly in flesh and blood:
(You are to see the woman hanging in the willow-trees, the deep green and any other colours you like… Never mind about the pain the little girls must be suffering.)