George Sand's Paris Apartment. 1832.
A famous botanist once described the color of germander as dirty
yellow. I wrote in the margin of his book in big letters, YOU HAVE DIRTY
EYES! Those who find perversity in my writing are perverts themselves. Those who see
suffering, weakness, doubts and above all, impotence, see only what I see myself. I'm able
to move my readers, and emotion leads to reflection and soul-searching. That's all I
want--to make people question the accepted lies and call out for the forgotten truths.
My ambition has reason enough to be satisfied, but I
aspire to more than the acclaim of the crowd. When I was a child, I believed that outside
the limits of my life, there was an enlightened society where human beings of great worth
met to exchange exalted feelings and ideas. Oh, how I believed that. Now I know that
beautiful and noble people do not group themselves. But celebrities all want to be chiefs,
to compete with one another for the attention of liars and beggars. It is the worst of all
I've made my life. I'm George Sand. I'm a writer. I write what I know,
what I feel. I write the truth, and the truth supports me. I earn my living from it.
The clothes I wear are mine by choice.
They fit the life of an artist. I can't afford elegant dresses. My provincial clothes were
ruined in the muddy streets. Well, I don't need them anymore. I refuse the limitations put
on women. In these clothes I can go to the theatre every night and sit in the cheap seats.
I can fly from one end of Paris to the other. These clothes mean freedom. I live with
Jules Sandeau. He's an artist like myself. We wrote a book together, Rose et Blanche--our
first attempt--and got it published! It's true the book contains many parts I feel are
distasteful, but we did those to satisfy our publisher. He wanted the book to be spicy.
But we didn't embarrass our families. We signed the book J. Sand. When I wrote Indiana on
my own, Jules and I decided that J. Sand should have a brother, and I became George. The
critics are raving about my book. They have said that Indiana produces more tragedies than
Shakespeare and called my style superior to Stendhal. Latouche says Balzac and Merimee are
crushed and buried beneath Indiana. I've been named queen of the new literary generation.
A few self-righteous critics have called my book immoral--filth and
Well, wait until Lelia is finished-[they]'ll be able to fill ten
scrapbooks with phony moral indignation.