A Twisty Maze of Little Molieres
By darcy on May 16, 2008
Described as the French "Shakespeare in Love," I watched the film "Molière" about the famous but new-to-me 17th century French playwright and one verbal exchange stuck with me. The exchange is described in the wikipedia article about Molière:
In Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, the title character, M. Jourdain, composes a love note as follows: "Beautiful marchioness, your beautiful eyes make me die from love" ("Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux me font mourir d'amour"). He then asks his philosophy teacher to rephrase the sentence which he does by shuffling the words in nearly every single way ("Beautiful marchioness, from love," etc.). M. Jourdain then asks which phrasing is best and the teacher promptly replies that the first is best. The phrase "Belle marquise..." is now used to indicate that two different sentences mean the same thing.
I was immediately reminded of the Adventure game's many variants of "A twisty maze of little passages, all different." Exploring the space of combinatorial permutations has had recognized literary value for longer than I thought!