today's inspiration: the vagabond by colette


"Vagabond, maybe, but one who is resigned to revolving on the same spot like my companions and brethren. It is true that departures sadden and exhilarate me, and whatever I pass through – new countries, skies pure or cloudy, seas under rain the colour of a grey pearl – something of myself catches on it and clings so passionately that I feel as though I were leaving behind me a thousand little phantoms in my image, rocked on the waves, cradled in the leaves, scattered among the clouds. But does not a last little phantom, more like me than any of the others, remain sitting in my chimney corner, lost in a dream and as good as gold as it bends over a book which it forgets to open?" -- Renee, from The Vagabond

Few writers can touch me to the core the way Colette can. Especially in The Vagabond. How she described the internal struggles of being a woman, that paradox of wanting to be independent and yet bound to someone at the same time, that longing for solitude versus togetherness, she captured those with such poetic precision and sincerity that takes my breath away.

The book's heroine, Renee, is probably the one literary character that I can relate the most, as I'm sure a lot of women, not because of her personality or experiences, but because of the way Colette had written her with such understanding and patience of a woman's heart. Its a truly enchanting piece, one that continues to inspire me (and make me want to move to Paris!) even more than the first time I read it. 

Have you read this book,or any of Colette's work? And if so, what did you think?

P.S. You can read more on The Vagabond and Colette here.

(Photo by Ann He)


  1. your description of the book makes me want to run out and buy it. thanks for posting this.

    stumbled on your blog somehow... cheers! :)

  2. hi marisa!

    welcome to my little blog. glad you enjoyed this post. and yes, Collette is definitely a must-read. cheers! :)

  3. "catches on and clings so passionately"--yes, yes. I felt this strongest ever when I was flying away from Sydney.