M. Antoinette, by S. Zweig (2)

Proportionality of one’s personality to his fate

23 days ago in SoF book

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED your destiny relative to your given character? How much would you be able to sacrifice? Do you live a life to your maximum capabilities?  And after all, do you at all wish to live it to the max? 

This shocking biographical book shows the life of Marie Antoinette from a totally different perspective ― the proportionality of fate with the character of the person. It is a very innovative analytical perspective on life, one I have never seen applied as explicitly as in this book.

Author Stefan Zweig places great focus on the fact that Marie was simply a carefree girl without royal ambitions. Yet, in his opinion, the history does not need a heroic character of the main parties to form a touching drama. Historically tragic stories are always produced under conditions when a character cannot find harmony with the environment. In fact, successful business ideas are also born that way. Just think of Facebook, where the prime motive basically arose from an unhappy love story.


"All ingenious, creative, great characters, forcing the major challenges, fiery trials, and thereby themselves create chances of their own tragic destiny. A characteristic of the average character is that it does not feel curiosity to its own capabilities, the need to compete with itself. So in tragedy such a man pushes himself and becomes more than he could ever have expected to be.”

Marie Antoinette en chemise, portrait of the queen in a "muslin" dress, by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1783)

I can’t pass on toying with the idea of which brand Queen M., also known as the goddess of graces and taste, would favor today. To her graciousness would appeal Elie Saab or Givenchy. Karl Lagerfeld would surely bring her hand in hand through a defile and would name a bag after her. To top it all off, the tragic burden of her fate would be best embodied by the creations of Alexander McQueen. 

Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun, Marie Antoinette with rose, 1778, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Art works selected by art historian Sara Mueller.


See part 1 for more images.

to be continued…

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