"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


The Woman Who Loved Marivaux

The Woman Who Loved Marivaux

“Oh, ce que je veux! j’attends qu’on me le dise;
j’en suis encore plus ignorante que vous.”

- Pierre de Marivaux,
La Double Inconstance

“J’aime les rengaines d’amour,” she sang, explaining
that meant she loved love’s same old, same old stories.
Which was true: she wept at happy endings,
sad endings, French farce, French fries, whatever.
In fact, what had first lured him to Dolores
was her actress spark, her whole-souled pretending,
her startled angst when someone said, “It’s raining.”
They’d fight like mutts, snarl, “You know where the door is!”
Then plead, then sulk, then fuck, almost not feigning.
But once she said, “I love Marivaux: those clever,
bored, manipulative lovers, the rending
cruelty when love turns real from wilderness.”
She left him for a short, shy man named Trevor,
with small imagination but great tenderness.


Derek Kannemeyer was born in Cape Town, raised in London, and has lived most of his adult life in Richmond, VA. His writing has appeared in scores of publications, from Fiction International to Rolling Stone.

Cover photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

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