Two Nice Girls: The Psychogeography of Renée Vivien and Romaine Brooks
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© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article uses the somewhat unconventional approach of psychogeography (understanding mental landscapes through the lived experience of geographic ones) to retrace the experiences in Nice of two women artists, the writer Renée Vivien (Pauline Tarn, 1877–1909) and the painter Romaine Brooks (1874–1970). While both women spent significant amounts of time in Nice, and therefore would appear to have something in common, a streetlevel recreation of their living choices reveals profound incompatibilities. Vivien enjoyed the distractions of Belle Epoque Nice (the carnival, the casinos), while Brooks lived a more reclusive existence in the more ‘Italian’ part of Nice. These insights help explain why their affair in the first decade of the twentieth century was doomed and they failed to appreciate each other’s artistic gifts.
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