Flowers, an economy of legacies

Julia Kristeva in The Samurai translated by Barbara Bray rewards the reader who remembers to note the flowers. Observe first the father-in-law of a character named Olga:

Jean de Montlaur loved gardening after Gérard had done the heavy work: trimming the drooping rose bushes; watering the earth around the daisies in order to inhale the spicy scent they gave off when their thirst was slaked; cutting stems of mallows and hollyhocks for Olga to remove the blossoms and float them — like fishes suddenly set free — in the large porcelain bowls in the drawing room.

And pages and pages later, without floral description, is the description of the post-humous grandchild, Olga's son, at play in the Luxembourg gardens and oblivious to the statuary:

Alex saw nothing of this gallery of sovereigns, which intrigued only his mother: it was the smell of the petunias — an almost imperceptible mixture of milk and honey, with an afterthought of poppy — that intoxicated and enticed him. Suddenly he let go of the stroller he was pushing along all by himself and plunged across the grass toward the flower beds to pick some of the dark pink and purple trumpets.

"Come here, Alex — it's not allowed!"

Olga tried to catch him, but her son had already managed to grab a handful of what he wanted before starting back and falling down on the gravel. His knees were scraped, but his eye was triumphant.

Presiding over the antics of the child is the effigy of another Laure. The last statue to occupy the mother's attention before the son's dash for the petunias harkens of an overdetermination:

Nearby the royal series gives way to Laure de Noves, most mysterious of women, ancestress of the marquis de Sade, with the serene grace of a woman who knows she is loved, a page of Petrarch inevitably in her hand, a lyrical eye bent on the dead leaves.

Alex saw nothing of the gallery of sovereigns. Not just the royals but the sovereigns, the other subjects. He is his own person.

And so for day 205