la voix humaine

because it has been mentioned in the book – and also on the record – of the previous post and because i not too long ago found the recording of simone signoret: jean cocteau’s la voix humaine.


a play for one actor – a phone call of a break up. yes, the telephone as a weapon. I guess at the time it must have been scandalous in its intimacy – and it is all in there: the misunderstandings, the jealousy, the anger, the begging, the not wanting tto believe, the blackmail, the attempts at normality, the cruelty and also the banality of it all – hm, the french were never afraid to also explore the less romantic sides of love, i guess…

listening to it it occured to me also (again) how much technology shapes our lives – and how it changed our understanding of the intimate. i did witness such a phonecall – with all the same stages – even with the same technical diffculties: as in cocteau’s play, the woman i heard got disconnected a couple of times, since we were traveling in a train… so yes, it is interesting to witness how these days, partly made possible through technology, how our private life did change…

so, for all those who are ready for some gritty-ness – or are into some drama, here it is. simone signoret – la voix humaine de jean cocteau. and yes, it is in french…

in the liner notes to the above record cocteau mentions that he wrote the piece for poulenc_cocteauan actrice – or a cantatrice (singer). and yes, his fellow homosexual, the composer francis poulenc composed the music to the words. how that sounds? well, it sounds like this – sung by julia migenes with the orchestre nationla de france, conducted by george prêtre.

4 Responses to “la voix humaine”

  1. Dr Faustroll Says:

    Quel plaisir, oui quel plaisir, que de trouver ce disque chez vous…
    Merci mille fois

  2. sunbathinglizard Says:

    je vous en prie – c’est un plaisir de le voir apprecié.

  3. tom appleton Says:

    i was looking to find the somewhat underdone ingrid bergman version in swedish/american. i had the signoret version too, once upon a time. if i’d been an actor i would have liked to have done “the human voice” as a ONE MAN play, i.e., as a homosexual transvestite — which i think what the play really is — a farcical comedy/tragedy. somebody should do it that way, it could even be brought up to the present, with the cell cutting out and such. it would be fun, a great laugh. the point would be to wring the tears from the listeners as well. anyway, i’ll settle for signoret in the meantime, she’s great in her own way — maybe this was always understood to be a lesbian version anyway? i never gave it a thought…!

  4. sunbathinglizard Says:

    so i will have to look out for that ingmar bergman version… there is a hildegard knef version, too…
    i was thinking of the gay sub-text actually, but not in the way that i should be played as one-tranvestite-play – but it does make sense…
    i am just reminded of an angry article (actually don’t remeber by whom…) where the influence of gays shaping the image of women / feminity was critisized by the example of “desperate housewives”… something like the intelectual version of the idea that all the gay fashion designers are out to make look women ridicoulous… am i loosing track here? well, will have to think about it some more… and try to find that article…

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