What my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?
Is it possible disdain should die while she hath
such meet food to feed it as Signoir Benedick?"
This exchange is from my favorite Shakespeare play, 'Much Ado About Nothing'. When sarcasm and insults are elevated to such lofty heights, well, there is much to enjoy and much to learn.
These lines come to me when I look at this postcard. Caroline Otero was one of the 'Grande Horizontals' of late 19th century France. Oh, OK, she was a dancer too, but she got the funds to clothe herself in jewels (sometimes that was all) from, shall we say, closer work.
I love this card. Otero was not a beauty. Her nose was a little long, her eyes – though dark and magnificant – were a bit too close together But even though she was not a great beauty, or a sophisticated intellect…the photo exudes pride and attitude. I won't attempt to define a 'diva' – that would take weeks – but this is how one looks. Knowing that you will attract attention as soon as you walk into a room, even without any of these assets, knowing that the party starts only when you arrive; that's a diva.
Demanding, commanding, feared, revered – her profile says that much.
All this from a woman who also said: "Any man is a gentleman who can afford an account at Cartier." Quite.