10 June 2017

Marie-Rose Carias and Auguste Saurel, Eyguières and Grans, Bouches-du-Rhône (13)

1896 ––– 1911'

Marie-Rose Carias died at the age of fifteen. She was the inspiration behind the poet Auguste Saurel's work. Saurel (four years older than Marie) had been injured in a glider incident, and the two had met in Grans, where Saurel was living. In his poems Saurel (who died in 1977) changed the name of his muse to Mary, and in 1919 the mayor of Grans renamed the village fountain the 'Fontaine Marie-Rose'. This fountain, where there are two plaques to the couple, has been sealed off for a considerable time. In Grans, two women sitting on a bench by the river – whom I asked the reason for the closure – said it was due to 'des normes de sécurité', shrugged their shoulders and announced with begrudging acceptance tinged with a hint of defeatism: 'C'est la France !'. Yes indeed.

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