Renowned French singer Juliette Greco, ‘the muse of existentialism,’ has died

In America most Americans fixate on America.

No wonder a Nobody shyster like Trump could become President and select a clone from The Handmaid’s Tale to the Supreme Court. 

Here’s a bit of iconic culture from across the Pond. I venture to guess 99 percent of America has never heard of Juliette Greco.

As the following DW piece points out America was not ready in the 1950’s for the mixed race relationship between Juliette Greco and Miles Davis. A lot of Americans aren’t ready in 2020.

Deustche Welle 9.23.2020.

French singer, actress and poet Juliette Greco has died at the age of 93. A darling of the bohemian scene in Paris, she was friends with Jean-Paul Sartre and more than friends with Albert Camus and Miles Davis.

Greco was well known within philosophical and writing circles, befriending Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Jacques Prevert and Boris Vian.

She also dated jazz trumpeter Miles Davis when both of them were becoming international stars. Davis called her his “greatest love,” once telling Sartre in an interview that he would have sought to marry her if he had thought that 1950s America was ready for a high-profile mixed race marriage. The pair’s personal experiences later in New York suggested it was not. They remained close for decades.

Juliette Greco I I 9.28.2020.jpg

The statement to French news agency AFP said she was “surrounded by her family in the house she loved so much. Her life was one like no other.”

She became famous in the 1950’s and 1960’s with “L’accordeon” and “La Javanaise.” She interpreted songs from some of the most famous chansonniers such as Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens and became one of the first French women to perform in Germany after World War II.

Sartre once said Greco “has millions of poems in her voice that are not yet written.” He based a character on her in his “The Roads to Freedom” novel series.

Her closeness to Sartre, Camus and the French post-war bohemian scene earned her the nickname “the muse of the existentialists.”

She also acted in several movies, including a 1957 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

During World War II, her parents were active in the local resistance. Juliette was only spared being forced into a concentration camp with her mother and sister thanks to her age. Both of her family members survived their internment.

Her wartime experiences emboldened her to stay in the political left.

Greco kept performing until she had a stroke in 2016. Her only child died that same year.

In 2016, she was awarded France’s top cultural medal, the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, the last in a string of major national awards.