Sunday, 3 September 2017

Moliere, Corneille and especially Racine - Beyond Coincidence.

'There are no secrets that time does not reveal'  
- Jean Racine 

In February 2006 I was riding a tram into the centre of Vienna. 

To pass the time I was reading a paperback book by Nietzsche. A friend who was sitting across the aisle was engrossed in one of the free magazines which are often available in the trams. 

She suddenly turned to me and drew my attention to a photo: 

   Look! In this magazine there's a photo of that play we went to see last month, 'Moliere, Corneille and Racine' 

I glanced at the photo and saw that it was indeed a photo of the recent production 'Moliere, Corneille and Racine'. 

I then turned my attention back to my book, picking up at the spot where I had left off. 

With some amusement and surprise I saw that the sentence I was about to read when my companion showed me her magazine article contained the phrase:

. . . my artist taste defends the names Moliere, Corneille and Racine . . . 

   I read the full sentence aloud to my companion. What a strange coincidence, we agreed. 

That was in the morning. 

At lunchtime we went to a restaurant in the centre of Vienna. The waiter showed us to a table in the corner. 

Ten minutes afterwards a man walked in and sat down at the table next to us.


We couldn't believe what we were seeing.

The man now sitting next to us was the actor who had played the role of the poet Jean Racine in the production 'Moliere, Corneille and Racine'!

Naturally, after composing ourselves, we spoke to the actor and related the events of the morning. 

   How strange it is that we should now be sitting next to each other, I said. 

   The actor said: It's the first time I've been in this restaurant. 

   I said: It's also the first time my friend and I have been in this restaurant.

   The actor suggested we should attend his next performance: 'The Sorrows of Young Werther' by Goethe. 

   In the circumstances, I replied, we will have to! 


I'm currently reading a book about Goethe which is described on the cover as being illuminating.

But that's another story.


  1. This sort of coincidence is stunning isn't it Gwil> It doesn't happen very often but when it does it pulls you up short.

    1. Pat, this sort of thing is as you say "stunning" and I believe it does happen more frequently than people imagine.

      For example, somebody I know was queuing patiently to go in a pyramid in Egypt when a voice behind said 'Hello'. It was an old flame. Now they are back together again. Just one small example.

      Think how many times paths cross in the most unlikely places: "Excuse me, it isn't is it ... oh yes it is. Well that's a surprise. So, how are you? What are you doing here anyway, so far from home?"

  2. Replies
    1. Me too. We shall come to more in due course. But before that I have to write a post about J B Priestly. It fits to the theme.