French Tarot, Anyone? Historian Ronan Farrell Shares Insights

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French Tarot, Anyone? Historian Ronan Farrell Shares Insights
During these extraordinarily uncertain and anxiety-provoking times, who has not consulted some form of predictive practice? Maybe, for you, it’s the daily weather forecast. Or maybe something more “alternative.” Confess. Is it your daily horoscope online or your deck of Tarots? For those of you who are fans of or just curious about Tarot cards, here is an interview with a brilliant Tarot expert, Ronan Farrell, whose blog Traditional Tarot offers an enormous collection of texts on the subject, originally written in French and now available, thanks to Farrell’s extraordinary talents as a translator, in English. Ronan Farrell and I met through an email exchange. Farrell contacted my colleague Professor Jacqueline Gojard, University of Paris III (Sorbonne nouvelle), who is the leading André Salmon expert in the world. She forwarded his email to me. This introduction focused on a blog post about the poet, critic, journalist, and novelist André Salmon, whose poems about Tarot cards were published in Action, January 1921 (this is the 100th anniversary!). But before we get into all that, allow me to introduce the gifted and generous Mr. Farrell, who recently completed his Master’s degree in Buddhism in Taiwan. Grimaud Tarot de Marseille, c. 1930, courtesy of the BNF

Lead photo credit : B.P. Grimaud, Ancient Tarot de Marseille, c. 1930

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Beth S. Gersh-Nešić, Ph.D. is an art historian and the director of the New York Arts Exchange, an arts education service that offers tours and lectures in the New York tristate area. She specializes in the study of Cubism and has published on the art criticism of Apollinaire’s close friend, poet/art critic/journalist André Salmon. She teaches art history at Mercy College in Westchester, New York. She published a book with French poet/literary critic Jean-Luc Pouliquen called "Transatlantic Conversation: About Poetry and Art." Her most recent book is a translation and annotation of "Pablo Picasso, André Salmon and 'Young French Painting,'" with an introduction by Jacqueline Gojard.


  • Hazel Smith
    2021-11-26 02:51:07
    Hazel Smith
    Great minds Beth. Love all the detail. I've recently been down the rabbit-hole of the history of French playing cards too.


    • Beth Gersh-Nesic
      2021-11-26 05:13:17
      Beth Gersh-Nesic
      Thrilled and honored to share our passion for art and all things attached to this subject, Hazel. I love your article on dogs, published this week. Thankful on this Thanksgiving Weekend for your comment and your kindness.