Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chateau Lavigny: perfect writers' residence

Read all about the Chateau de Lavigny in the village of Lavigny, near Morges, in Suisse Romande. The Fondation Ledig-Rowohlt is a memorial to the extraordinary German publisher Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rohwohlt, established by his equally extraordinary wife Jane. Since 1996, their home has been a writers' residence each summer.

The reality? I'm in bliss as a guest writer in this idyllic spot right now. 'Idyllic' hints, I hope, at the fact that this is almost too good (pretty, congenial, tranquil) to be true. I certainly haven't been saintly enough in this life to deserve it. Must have had a previous life as a goddess.

Classic writers-around-the-table photo, 7 pm get-together. Meet Paul La Farge, Uche Umezurike, Maud Casey, Sunny Singh, and Tatania, Sophie Kandaouroff and Martin Eriksen. Sophie, actor and film director, is also our on-the-spot manager and hostess. (I'm there too, honestly.)

View from the garden, across the Lac Leman to France, Mont Blanc, and Geneva.

Speaking of goddesses, the Goddess of Books is secreted in a mirrored cubby-hole along with LP records, romantic blurred and fading pictures of the great Jane Ledig-Rohwohlt, and a state-of-the-art 1960s record player. The external aesthetic serenity of the chateau and the entire village is one thing. Inside, extreme artefacts erupt, reflecting imagination and feverish fertility. Figures, for the man who published Albert Camus, Henry Miller, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Gunther Grass, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Harold Pinter, Jean-Paul Sartre and the rest.

Since the theme of this blog is growing older, I hope you deduce that writers never stop writing. Perhaps we never die.


  1. Cor it must be hell for you. Good on you goddess. You rock! South Westerly cold wind today and Malcolm is off to the Wellington dentist so enjoy the temperature there!!

  2. Rachel, goodness; just stumbled on this. hmm, really poignantly captured certain montages of Lavigny

  3. I'm looking forward to your own piece on Lavigny now!