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Well, there’s no explaining. The picture says it all. The web site is a combination of Bella and Marc Chagall’s names. You have your answer.

That explains the what, but not the why. 

During the course of writing True Lovers’ Knot, I had to do a lot of research. Even trivial things, like how paper is made because Mehran works at a paper company, had to be researched. It is quite amazing how much knowledge you gain even when writing fiction.

I knew that Mehran was going to be into the arts and that Kirsten would as well. For the chapter at the Art Institute of Chicago, I had to choose an artist. I had always admired Magritte’s works since I was a kid and browsed through my mothers’ collection of painting books. But I do not believe she had a book of Chagall’s works.

During my search process, I ran across Chagall and, even though I had seen some before in the Art Institute, the idea of a “theme” hadn’t occurred to me: the flying bride, accompanied usually by her groom. A search engine’s image search is a fabulous tool; it displays just what you’re looking for, 100 images on one screen. When I searched for Chagall, I was overwhelmed by the recurring theme and wanted to know more. The more and more I read about Chagall, the more I knew I had to have him in my story, thus the scene at Kirsten’s parents. 

Marc loved Bella. Let me take that back. He adored Bella. She was everything to him. There is a lot written about his love for her, but you don’t need to read words to understand this love. You only need to look at his paintings. The romance is right there in brush strokes. The theme of the bride in the sky tells you how high a pedestal he placed Bella on. It seems these started when he was in Paris and away from Bella before they had married. His love for her must have intensified during this away period because, when he returned to Vitebsk, he decided that he needed to marry Bella, a marriage Bella’s family wasn’t too keen on. Nevertheless, the two married and lived happily until Bella’s death. Even after her death, he didn’t let go of her. He didn’t touch the brush for 9 months. And his second marriage seems to have been at the behest of his daughter, who saw the loneliness in Marc’s life.

What I learned during my research, of his love for her, had me stunned and affected me so much that when I finally decided to dedicate True Lovers’ Knot, I included him in there along with Bach, whom I have adored for decades. Bach was actually in the same situation as Chagall in regard to his love for his first wife. She, too, died young and suddenly. Bach never got over his love for her, either, although he remarried only a couple of years later, I assume because he had many children, some very young, that needed to be cared for.

So there you have it, the why of I have to admit, wouldn’t have the same ring to it.

Ross Naheedy

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