The story finds its place in the history, in one of thousands
of romantic legends where power and politics speak directly. An everyday
story has been changed into drama. A man with all his power like Napoleon
does not have a code trough which he can speak about politics of love.
A woman with five names falls in love with Napoleon Bonaparte. He cannot
make their relationship socially alive , therefore she covers herself,
her existence, her real identitiy. She becomes his companion in battles,
dressed as a soldier. This relationship approves another stage of love,
it becomes what it seemed to be in the very beginning: politics. After
his death her company at the table are animals: dogs and birds. Hidden
words as a hidden history. The sicret always remains. You can never know
where the true love is located. This is inscribed into everyday big decisions,
into a pain imposed by the goverment, country, state imperatives versus
life. Like renouncements and abandonment of everyday life.
1. soap bubbles
Women enter the space, and walk, with eyes closed; repetitious, one over
other. Emilija narrates the story which is about to unfold.
Petra: Eve Lucie Cecilie Victoria Emilia Kraus. I am Emilija.
Mateja: He liked me.
Petra: Then he turned up.
Sanja: The only one in black. I didn't kneel down in front of him.
The only one.
Luèka: But I was always beside him. As his adjutant I followed him
on his glorious marches. Everywhere.
Mateja: It was so terrible cold in Russia.
Luèka: But I was always beside him. Everywhere.
Petra: I am Emilija.
Mateja: I liked dogs more than anything. With dogs I was never alone.
Bastille, The French Revolution. A visit in prison, and the announcement
of Robespierre's fall. A woman visits Joséphine. Being "locked up",
they guess the message in the wisper of charade (a play of words: pierre
- stone, robe - dress)
Main? Tambour? Couer? Tete?
Pierre - Robe - Pierre... Robespierre.
She nods and fals to the ground.
The message: Robespierre est MORT.
15. Lance in the snow
The cold; the soldiers are freezing. Snow begins to fall. Napoleon takes
off his boots and warms his feet in the bearskin. The soldiers huddle
together, they try to walk, but they are too stiff. Napoleon sees Joséphine
by his side for a moment; Emilija speaks to him, although she knows that
he doesn't talk to her.
Petra: Hide your hands hide them.
Mare: Joséphine..Do you remember?
Petra: How light it is, see, everithing around us is white. I'm not
cold any more.
Mare: Joséphine, listen to me. I wrote to you every day, so many letters...
so many pages I...
Petra (cuts him short): Please let me sleep.
Mare: Do you remember the letter... No, this is a dream. I take off
your shoes, I undress you, and I take you into my heart.
Petra: I'm so sleepy.
Petra: Emilija. How could I say it more quietly than that. Very quiet..
I'll write in the snow, into my footsteps.
Emilija. I'm so far from home...
See the lance in the snow, the lance. There is the lance. Oh, how
beautiful it is!
Emilija takes off her uniform and dances barefoot in the snow.
17. At the table
They make a table out of handcarts, and cover it with tablecloth
and silverware; bowls, chalices, glasses; they sit dogs on silky cushions...
There is an atmosphere of the court.
Petra: You have also come, Sir. I'm very much
You, Edmund..Ah, these garish colours of yours, we both stand out.
Don't you think this dress suits me well...
Lucka: Snow. I'll wrap you in the snow, Edmund, and you will
dream no more. You, you! Do you hear me? Don't lower your eyes..You exaggerate
again. I ordered your favourite dishes especially for you. Go on, eat.
Petra: I know, ..flowers. Napoleon adored them, I forgot to pin
Where did I put the flowers. They should be somewhere here. No..They are
in my handbag. I'm sure I put them there. YOU SEE. Do you See... Edmund?
I write LETTRE on your glass (she points at the letters with her finger),
and you understood. How much I love you. It wasn't me who wrote it. I
never wrote on glasses. It's silly. Ah, I forgot myself.
Quiet..I got so scared. It's not becoming, and it's nasty and cruel.
Lucka: Please leave these flowers. I don't know what we'll do
when they wither. I'm so very worried, you know. In August they're not
there any more. They wither and simply fade.
Petra: But my dogs musn't have these leftovers. No, I don't permit
How dare you. I can't. No. I'm so sad. Don't worry, I won't let anything
happen to you. I won't let it Edmund. You are here,... very close... No
From the Catalogue
Eva Lucia Cecilia Victoria Kraus
On the fifteenth of December 1785 in Idrija in Carniola,
the firstborn to the family of Jo¾e Kraus, Keeper of the Emperor - King's
Mines, came crying into the world; they christened her Eva, Lucia Cecilia
Victoria. Her mother was the beautiful fair-hared teacher's daughter Rosalia
The girl blossomed into a very beautiful and charming young lady, who
inherited her father's southern expression and complexion and her mother's
luxurious blonde hair.
After one of Napoleon's greatest victories, at Slavkov in 1805, where
he routed the combined forces of Austria and Russia, fate decreed that
Filip Mainoni, the Emperor-King's court secretary at the artillery headquarters
in Vienna, would bring his foster child Victoria Kraus to the Schonbrunn
castle at Vienna, where the Emperor and great warrior first laid eyes
on her. The fair-haired beauty pleased him so much that from then on she
accompanied him on military campaigns throught Europe.
As slender as she was, she was abe to dress in man's array, and was thus
able to remain close to him during the campaigns, eventually becoming
his aide-de-camp. When Napoleon was wounded in the right leg in a battle
near Regensburg, Victoria cared for him as only a woman who truly loves
could. After one particularly harrowing battle she received a golden signet
ring with the inscription: "This answer soothes, but does not suffice".
Emilija, as Victoria called herself, did everything she could to be married
to Napoleon - this too was not impossible. She was always his confidante.
At Schönbrunn he commissioned a portrait of her despicted as Venus. She
was painted by the most famous portrait artist in Vienna, the knight Lampis
- a life size half length. The painting was later sold at auction and
is now probably in Vienna.
By the time of his last great battle at Waterloo in 1815, where he was
finally conquered and exiled to the island of St. Helena (where he died
on May 5th 1821), Napoleon had conferred to his Emilija the aristocratic
title Baroness Wolfsberg. He also established for her a special fund of
480,000 florins, which he deposited in an English bank. (How much this
was worth can be illustrated by the fact that the building of the public
school in Idrija cost about 120,00 florins.) All documents were given
to his former secretary Filip Mainoni, who had become the Emperor-King's
court advisor and arbiter at the war headquarters in Vienna. He was also
decorated with the Order of the French Legion for his former and future
(!) great service.
Emilija was therefore entitled to a pension of 24,000 florins, or the
"civil list" as she herself referred to it. Exactly when she
was married to Vienna court lawyer Dr. Ivan Schnauer is not known. She
received an official divorce from him on December 23rd 1820. She was obviously
unhappy in marriage; most likely she was unable to get over the loss of
her great warrior.
Later, Emilia lived alone with her mother and sister in Bregenz. After
Napoleon's death her custodian arbitrarily decided to lower her annual
income to 9,000 florins. He also confiscated most of her priceless jewellery
and in spite of numerous demands refused to give them up. Upon her mother's
death 1826 she errected a memorial - a life-size bust in white marble
with an epitaph: "A mother's devotion is the honour of your grave,
a child's love shall be your monument."
With her fourteen years younger but very young friend, a surgeon by the
name of Vincenc Brauner, she moved to Salzburg, where Vincenc found employment
as a county physician. He also taught obstetrics for some time at the
district medical institute.
All her savings were put towards the purchase and renovation of an estate.
She enjoyed carriage rides, horses, her countless dogs (so much that people
called her the Dog Countess - Hundsgräfin), parrots and monkeys. When
her animals passed away, she had them stuffed and mounted; the remains
were buried in the garden and commemorated with marble gravestones.
It appeared that Emila would live the rest of her life happily and carefree.
But at the age of 47 she received shattering news. The court adviser and
administrator of her finances, Filip Mainoni, has jumped onto the pavement
from his third floor appartment in Vienna upon learning that he had gone
bankrupt. In the last days of his life he burned all his papers, including
Emilia's pension contract. With this she lost her right to her pension
and her priceless jewellery also disappeared without a trace. She was
now totally without income. In order to keep her property, she was forced
deeper and deeper into dept. Beatiful silk dresses, jewellery, silver
tableware and other priceless objects found their way to the pawnshop.
In spite of it all she could have lived well, as the cost of living was
not high and she did not have to pay a rent. But without her animals she
was unable to live. Her dogs were fed the finest meat and eggs; she gave
the last of her money to feed her animals. Her creditors became hard and
inflexible, and she was forced to sell her horses. Afterwards she drove
about with a donkey and only on hidden paths. She had to move out of her
magnificent house into a small hut.
She lost her strong, beautiful hair and her teeth. Her estate was repossessed
in 1843 owing to her depts. Her property was sold at public auction at
an inn called the "Seven Krauts". She was left with her bed,
a table, a few chairs, her most essential clothes and a few household
tools. Her animals had also been put up for sale at the auction, but only
a monkey and a magpie were sold. Thus her menagerie consisted of five
parrots, eight songbirds, two mourning doves, eight peacocks, twelve dogs
and countless cats - which she called a reflection of her former wealth.
While Emilia was enduring the most awful pressures, Vincenc Brauner, her
loyal friend of twelve years, fell ill and passed away. He died of dropsy
in 1838, in St. Johann's hospital in Salzburg, at the age of 39. Thus
Emilia was without the help of any man. She eased her misfortunes somewhat
by writing to the Emperor's family and the competent authorities with
stacks of requests and complaints. But she only managed to secure the
yearly income of 400 florins.
Of Napoleon she always spoke with the greatest respect. Any more than
that, that he had taken her with him on his campaign and where they had
met, she let on to no one.
Despite her abject powerty, her pride prevented her taking as a gift 6
blouses and 4 sheets; she would rather lie in bed for weeks on end without
clothes. No one was able to convince her to clean her flat which was still
inhabited by twelve dogs, five parrots, twelve songbirds, cats and monkeys.
In spite of all these a doctor confirmed she was not insane. He advised
her to go to an institution where her physical and spiritual well-being
would be cared for.
After the passing of her ex-huspand, Dr. Schönauer, in 1843 she received
three hundred florins from the court widow's fund. With both, her body
and her spirit broken, she died on the 16th of April 1945. She left behind
a debt of 10,675 florins and 2 kreutzers. She was buried in the cementery
at St. Gilden, to the right side of the entrance to the church, between
the graves of a Maria Zellbeck and a carpenter named Damian.
Darko Viler is the curator of the Idria Town Museum
Translated by Borut Cajnko
A black square on a Map
In Egyptian epigraphy the cartouche is an extended elliptical
tablet with a flat base, bearing an inscription of the Pharaoh's name.
From the time of the 5th dynasty onwards it was obligatory to use two
tablets: one bears the title "The Ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt"
and an inscription of the name given to the Pharaoh at his coronation,
and the other is inscribed with the title "The Son of ra" and
the name which was given to him at his birth.
In fine art the cartouche is a sculptural or pictoral ornamental motif
in the form of an oval medallion (occasionally square shaped and framed
with volutes). It is used as a basis for inscriptions, coats of arms,
emblems or for purely decorative purposes. The cartouche form developed
from medieval form of the shield and the Renaissance tablet for inscriptions.
In Baroque architecture it was a frequent decoration, shaped as a frame
and usually placed over the portal. In copperplate engraving it appears
as a frame around the title at the front pages of books. The name of the
depicted region, the key and the scale on a topographical map are usually
inscribed in a cartouche.
In military circles is a pasteboard or metal cylindrical case for powder
or bullets; a cartridge. The cartouche appears either as a sheet of paper
which bends backwards, or in the form of an oval medallion which moves
away from the surface, aeches like shield, while its edges twirl outwards.
The sheet resists straightening and reading; it becomes dog-eared. The
form is not incidental. The cartouche seduces: the car-touche is a place
of touching which does not calm down; it is the place which invariably
escapes the touch.
The cartouche, pushes to the edge, into the corner of the topographical
map, proffes an alegorically condensed narration of the map. Its form,
image and role weighs down and heads towards the hierarchy of values,
which provides an ideal political framework within the space. We are enraptured
by the intimate, and it is than the ideology starts to function. Mirabeau
knows that: "To take hold of imagination, people do not follow common
rules which demand education and reflection, but imressive images, grand
spectacles, deep emotions..." The cartouche which bears a calligraphical
inscription of the name of the religion (which must sound familiar in
advance), with a key (which provides meanings for the sign in the map)
and a scale (which is constant) suggests appropriation. It celebrates
control and order. Assiduty and harmony.
The cartouche emphasises and exaggerates; wild imagination.
Partie du Téatre de la Guerre des Chouans - the inscription found at the
top of Collin's map from 1793. Theatrum, Speculum - famous Dutch cartographers
named their atlases with these words. To look. A mirror. Zemlje-vid. At
the cartouche is a point where Napoleon stands. "You can imagine
that in the whole empire there is no work which would escape control,
that no crime, no offence, no violation should evade persecution, and
that the eye of a genius, which can enlighten everything, encompasses
the entire machine, but not even the tinest detail can escape it."
(J.B. Treilhard, 1808) The cartouche is a seal of authority which claims
proprietorship of everything. Although the cartographer's eye, which is
the focus of a map, slowely becomes blind: "With the emperor, the
disciplined society which has just been hatched assumes the old image
of spectacular authority. As a monarch who is both the usurper of the
old throne and the organiser of the new state, he piled up in a single
symbolic and ultimate figure the entire long process in which the wealth
of sovereignty (the inevitably spectacular manifestations od f power)
have vanished one after another into the daily control, the panoptic in
which both the eagle and the sun will soon become redundant because of
the vigilance of interwoven looks: "(M.Foucault) Space-time push
the cartouche from the elevated fringe field of representation into the
abstract field of pure sensation, into the earth of consummated anonymous
A line is the only form of inscription which can delineate the shape of
new country. Blut und Boden. Without the drawn boundaries there would
be no patie. The arrangement of space is determined in advance. The spinning,
measuring and cutting of thread at the birth of the nation. In the time
of bloodshed, the clasicist image colours the figures of the past, but
it does not let itself be seen beside them. It does not challenge, or
celebrate, or despise; it softly effaces itself, and smiles indeterminately.
Irony. India. Columbus' fault is due to Ptolemy..
A map is sensitive. Vulnerable. A map is a letter. Rivers and traces od
writing. Words never spoken and covered with a network of erring paths,
denied historical travels, journeys with beginnings and ends, the interweaving
of paths which fail to meet or to path. To step on a sheet of paper, on
a letter, or dreams. To step on a map, a chart. In the midde ages they
used to measure space with corpus and domus, with the body and the home,
and the territories depicted by the maps were shaped into the form of
letters: T, when the sea cut through the land, or O when it surround it...
The iconography was hidden, inscribed in the lines. The word was a movement.
The word was a figure. Through writing Lo Scrittore lived the map of his
body, he lived in a letter, a word, a story. There was no cartouche, for
the cartouche was the map itself, the map which arranges, crumbles, attaches,
connects, entangels and interweaves.
Emilia. A transparent inert system of representation is obsessed by order;
it is full of ruptures, stammers, repeats, empty spaces and sutures. A
map is a representation of space and the space of representation. A space
cut through by surface of the black square. Curves, all these path-lines
supplant the place-image. This is the end of the age of innocence, the
denying, "revealing" inclination. The black square in the map
is a flattened cartouche. A place where touch is thwarted, the thwarted
reading of the legend. It is a place of lack which creates an illusion
of the wealth of signification. The subordinated place of the name Emilija,
which Eva Lucia Cecilia Victoria Kraus takes of her own volition. When
the map of the heart covers a hidden emotion, life runs exactely and instantly
in the direction of visions and absences. The place-image falls. The square.
The place. The frost of meaning which dictates the direction, the disintegration
in it. All around, life is being arranged. Threaded with a path. With
A book by J.G. Lavater, The Art of Judging Characters According to Features
of the Human Face, was among Napoleon's favourite reading. He never sought
a letter in Emilia's face. Lines are wrinkles and boundaries. Places are
stains. And the heterogeneous space of the square is the Name. The wish
which lingers in a clear line of Ingre's portraits. A letter. To walk
every path. To visit every place. To venerate, to love. Dreams inhabited
by journeys. How can movement be so simple and so infinite?
Translated by Borut Cajnko