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Abstract

Pascal Quignard's novel All the World's Mornings is the fictional biography of a seventeenth-century musician, Jean de Sainte Colombe. The famous violist lives a life of recluse and devotion to music. A young violinist, Marin Marais, asks him to help him perfect his art, but the teacher and the disciple share opposite views about music. Marin Marais discovers the glory in Versailles while Sainte Colombe sinks more and more into solitude. However, the two men end up being reunited when the disciple finally discovers the true meaning of the music. Through his writings, Quignard represents two Baroque arts; music and painting. The novel is adapted into film by Alain Corneau with the collaboration of Pascal Quignard for the screenplay and that of Jordi Savall, a Spanish violinist who rediscovered Sainte Colombe in the twentieth century, for music. The film brings the novel to life through the power of image and sound. The novel and its film adaptation project a meditation on the power and function of music and the symbolism of paintings described as "vanities" or "still lifes" during the Baroque period.

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