Buckler, The Literary Lorgnette
: Attending Opera in Imperial Russia (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000); Boris Gasparov, Five Operas and a Symphony: Word and Music in Russian Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005); Simon A.
You only make out some indecipherable conversations and shuffling, or see tailcoats, lorgnettes
, bows, and chandeliers--so why do the salons irritate you so?
A French woman visiting Algiers in the raid 1860s wrote that the women of the city had used the terraces freely before the arrival of the French, but that subsequently "le jaloux mari n'autorise cette promenade qu'a la tombee de la nuit [...] on lui fait prendre cette precaution et bien d'autres, car il s'est apercu que nos officiers, du haut de la Kasbah, dominaient les terrasses, et y braquaient leurs lorgnettes
, et se permettaient des conversations telegraphiques de nature equivoque, et pas du tout conforme a la loi du prophete" (Lagrange 45-46).
The military title, "Communique," is a hint we might overlook; and that image of tulips bending like old crones with lorgnettes
is lovely enough, certainly, to relish in itself.
Contemporaries would have immediately recognized the implication of the monocle, an accessory worn almost exclusively by men, while women conventionally carried lorgnettes
William Rosenthal buys, sells and appraises items connected with vision, including spectacles, lorgnettes
and opera glasses.
Where are such things now, and where are the fans with diamond-studded lorgnettes
set in the handle, with leaves of painted silk?
They include superb evening wear from the 1850s, a wedding dress from the 1860s, silk tennis outfits from the 1920s, children's clothing, swimwear and accessories such as lorgnettes
, beaded handbags and tortoiseshell spectacles.
At the tea dances he blushed amid a giggling throng that sang: "Meine lieber Augustus, Augustus, Augustus..." The aunts sat by the wall in an uneasy silence, but they recognized a song that was older than themselves and one after another they dropped their lorgnettes
to take up the interrupted melody.
The hosting Lampe family is comprised of clumsy nouveau riches--he a former master baker, she a former cook--who make their money manufacturing noodles and who compensate for their lack of ease in their new, "elevated" settings by exaggerated snobbery and elegant props, from lorgnettes
Louis's or Natchitoches' token woman writer, then the mean-spirited passage introducing the journalist, a guest at Edna's bacchanalian banquet, becomes doubly ironic: Mayblunt is a woman "no longer in her teens, who looked at the world through lorgnettes
and with the keenest interest.
The opposite is true of what the English called prospect glasses and the French called lorgnettes
(from lorgner - to squint), the purpose of which was simply to spy on one''s companions without being observed doing so - the practice became so widespread it grew intrusive and distasteful.