Rosemonde Gérard

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Rosemonde Gérard

Louise-Rose-Étiennette Gérard, known as Rosemonde Gérard (April 5, 1871, Paris – July 8, 1953, Paris) was a French poet and playwright. She was the wife of Edmond Rostand (1868–1918, author of Cyrano de Bergerac), and was a granddaughter of Étienne Maurice Gérard, who was a Marshal and a Prime Minister of France.[1]

Gérard is perhaps best known today as the author of the lines:

Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je t’aime davantage,
Aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain.

(For, you see, each day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.)[2]

A "+ qu'hier − que demain" pendant from about 1930. "A.Augis" is visible on the left edge of the central area.

This couplet is taken from a poem, variously known as "L'éternelle chanson" ("The Eternal Song") or "Les Vieux" ("The Old Ones"), that she wrote to Rostand in 1889.[3] The poem was published in 1890, but did not enjoy immediate success. The phrase became celebrated as an expression of ever-growing love when, in 1907 (17 years after its publication), a Lyons jeweler, Alphonse Augis, had the idea of making a medallion with the core portion of the verse engraved on it.[4] The medallions became quite popular, and led to the production of other, similarly-decorated jewelry items, such as earrings and matchboxes; many older examples include Augis' name. A very common variation on the design presents the line with the words "plus" and "moins" replaced by the mathematical + and − signs, respectively. The mathematical signs are frequently rendered in tiny gemstones, often in contrasting colors.[5]

Among Gérard's other works is the play “A Good Little Devil” (1913), co-written with Maurice Rostand.[6] It was made into a movie of the same name in 1914. Mary Pickford starred in both the play and the movie; she later opined that the movie was one of the worst—if not the worst—she had ever made.[7]

Gérard and Rostand were married on April 8, 1890;[8] they had two sons, Maurice (1891–1968) and Jean Rostand (1894–1977). In later years, Gérard and Maurice Rostand frequented an intellectual circle that included Jean-Paul Sartre and Gilbert Martineau.

It has been said that Gérard "doubtless would have been famous had not her husband's star so far eclipsed her own."[9] After 35 years of widowhood, she died in 1953 and is buried at Cimetiere de Passy, in Paris, as is her son Maurice.[10]

Works[edit]

  • Les Pipeaux (The Reed Pipes), poems, 1889/90
  • Les Vieux, interpreted by Sarah Bernhard in 1903
  • Un bon petit Diable (A Good Little Devil), with Maurice Rostand, 1912
  • La Marchande d'allumettes (The Candle Seller), with Maurice Rostand (lyrics) and Tiarko Richepin (music), comic opera, 1914
  • La Robe d'un soir, 1925
  • La Vie amoureuse de Madame de Genlis, 1926
  • L'Arc-en-ciel (The Rainbow), poems, 1926
  • Mes souvenirs: Cyrano de Bergerac, with a design from Edmond Rostand, 1927
  • Le Féminisme (Feminism), with her son Maurice Rostand, conference, 1930
  • La Forêt enchantée (The Enchanted Forest), with Maurice Rostand, theater piece, 1931
  • Les Papillotes (wrapped candies), one-act in verse, 1931
  • Féeries (Fairies), 1933
  • Les Masques de l'amour, theater in verse, 1928
  • La Tour Saint-Jacques (St. James Tower), theater in verse, 1928
  • Les Papillotes, theater in verse, 1928
  • À quoi rêvent les vieilles filles (What Do Old Girls Dream Of), theater in verse, 1928
  • La Tour Saint-Jacques, one-act in verse, 1934
  • Edmond Rostand, 1935
  • Rien que des chansons (Nothing But Songs), 1939
  • Les Muses françaises (The French Muses), poems, 1943
  • Méditations poétiques et harmonies poétiques de Victor Hugo, sonnet, preface by Rosemonde Gérard, 1930
  • Histoire d'amour et Lettre de rupture, two songs by Rosemonde Gérard and Tiarko Richepin, registered by Jeanne Aubert in 1942

References[edit]

  1. ^ French Wikipedia: Rosemond Gérard; Edmond Rostand.
  2. ^ Rosemonde Gérard, “L’éternelle chanson,” IX, Les Pipeaux. 1890. —P. Dupré, Encyclopédie des Citations, p. 176 (1959); Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989. The entire poem appears here.
  3. ^ See, for example, Iloveyou365.
  4. ^ L’Internaute: Aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain.
  5. ^ Adin antique jewelry: Plus qu'hier et moins que demain.
  6. ^ IBDB: Rosemonde Gerard.
  7. ^ IMDB: A Good Little Devil.
  8. ^ Edmond Rostand.
  9. ^ Theatrehistory.com: Edmond Rostand.
  10. ^ Find A Grave: Rosemonde Gerard.