But then there is the opposite compulsion TO BE RESPECTABLE FOR MINA’S SAKE, substituting any name in place of Mina’s as & when appropriate. Don’t you see, I am just TRYING TO FEEL SOMETHING. The crimes I commit are precisely the things I am proudest of. They showed courage, freedom, provocation, flaunting. It is the supreme moment of Nana on the stage of the Théatre de Variétés, inviting the whole of Paris to worship her sovereign nudity. It is one of my paradoxes that someone so shy in private relationships should be so reckless in public. One always yearns to break out of one’s jewelled cage, and when one does so it is usually in spectacular fashion.