In 1959, when Un Negre a Paris first appeared, the French still held West Africa under colonial rule. Dadié's subtle parodies draw on intimate knowledge obtained over decades spent observing the colonizers abroad and now, suddenly, on their own home terrain. His remarks on Parisian living conditions, wordplay, manners, and and morals are entertaining and poignant, charming yet profound.
This illustrated collection of annotated newspaper articles and memorials by Dorothea Dix provides a forum for the great mid-nineteenth-century humanitarian and reformer to speak for herself.
Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802–87) was perhaps the most famous and admired woman in America for much of the nineteenth century. Beginning in the early 1840s, she launched a personal crusade to persuade the various states to provide humane care and effective treatment for the mentally ill by funding specialized hospitals for that purpose. The appalling conditions endured by most mentally ill inmates in prisons, jails, and poorhouses led her to take an active interest also in prison reform and in efforts to ameliorate poverty.
In 1846–47 Dix brought her crusade to Illinois. She presented two lengthy memorials to the legislature, the first describing conditions at the state penitentiary at Alton and the second discussing the sufferings of the insane and urging the establishment of a state hospital for their care. She also wrote a series of newspaper articles detailing conditions in the jails and poorhouses of many Illinois communities.
These long-forgotten documents, which appear in unabridged form in this book, contain a wealth of information on the living conditions of some of the most unfortunate inhabitants of Illinois. In his preface, David L. Lightner describes some of the vivid images that emerge from Dorothea Dix's descriptions of social conditions in Illinois a century and a half ago: "A helpless maniac confined throughout the bitter cold of winter to a dark and filthy pit. Prison inmates chained in hallways and cellars because no more men can be squeezed into the dank and airless cells. Aged paupers auctioned off by county officers to whoever will maintain them at the lowest cost."
Lightner provides an introduction to every document, placing each memorial and newspaper article in its proper social and historical context. He also furnishes detailed notes, making these documents readily accessible to readers a century and a half later. In his final chapter, Lightner assesses both the immediate and the continuing impact of Dix's work.
“[A] spirited and deeply researched project…. [Benkemoun’s] affection for her subject is infectious. This book gives a satisfying treatment to a woman who has been conﬁned for decades to a Cubist’s limited interpretation.” — Joumana Khatib, The New York Times
Merging biography, memoir, and cultural history, this compelling book, a bestseller in France, traces the life of Dora Maar through a serendipitous encounter with the artist’s address book.
In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.
After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right—Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.
Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.
The rich and complex texture of working-class neighborhoods in eighteenth-century Paris comes vibrantly alive in this collage of the experiences of ordinary people—men and women, rich and poor, masters and servants, neighbors and colleagues. Exploring three arenas of conflict and solidarity—the home, the workplace, and the street—Arlette Farge offers the reader an intimate social history, bringing long-dead citizens and vanished social groups back to life with sensitivity and perception.Fragile Lives reconstructs the rhythms of this population's daily existence, the way they met, formed relationships and broke them off, conducted their affairs in the community, and raised their young. Farge follows them into the factory and describes the ways they organized to improve their working conditions, and how they were controlled by the authorities. She shows how these Parisians behaved in the context of collective events, from festive street spectacles to repressive displays of power by the police. As the author examines interwoven lives as revealed in judicial records, we come to know and understand the criminals and the underworld of the time; the situation of women as lovers, wives, or prostitutes; anxieties about food and drink, and the rules of conduct in a “fragile” society. Elegantly written and skillfully translated, Fragile Lives is a book for the curious general reader and for those interested in social and cultural history.
The American Civil War and the Paris Commune of 1871, Philip Katz argues, were part of the broader sweep of transatlantic development in the mid-nineteenth century--an age of democratic civil wars. Katz shows how American political culture in the period that followed the Paris Commune was shaped by that event.The telegraph, the new Atlantic cable, and the news-gathering experience gained in the Civil War transformed the Paris Commune into an American national event. News from Europe arrived in fragments, however, and was rarely cohesive and often contradictory. Americans were forced to assimilate the foreign events into familiar domestic patterns, most notably the Civil War. Two ways of Americanizing the Commune emerged: descriptive (recasting events in American terms in order to better understand them) and predictive (preoccupation with whether Parisian unrest might reproduce itself in the United States).By 1877, the Commune became a symbol for the domestic labor unrest that culminated in the Great Railroad Strike of that year. As more powerful local models of social unrest emerged, however, the Commune slowly disappeared as an active force in American culture.
As a writer, Glenway Wescott (1901–1987) left behind several novels, including The Grandmothers and The Pilgrim Hawk, noted for their remarkable lyricism. As a literary figure, Wescott also became a symbol of his times. Born on a Wisconsin farm in 1901, he associated as a young writer with Hemingway, Stein, and Fitzgerald in 1920s Paris and subsequently was a central figure in New York’s artistic and gay communities. Though he couldn’t finish a novel after the age of forty-five, he was just as famous as an arts impresario, as a diarist, and for the company he kept: W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Marianne Moore, Somerset Maugham, E. M. Forster, Joseph Campbell, and scores of other luminaries.
In Glenway Wescott Personally, Jerry Rosco chronicles Wescott’s long and colorful life, his early fame and later struggles to write, the uniquely privileged and sometimes tortured world of artistic creation. Rosco sensitively and insightfully reveals Wescott’s private life, his long relationship with Museum of Modern Art curator Monroe Wheeler, his work with sex researcher Alfred Kinsey that led to breakthrough findings on homosexuality, and his kinship with such influential artists as Jean Cocteau, George Platt-Lynes, and Paul Cadmus.
The Heroic City is a sparkling account of the fate of Paris’s public spaces in the years following Nazi occupation and joyful liberation. Countering the traditional narrative that Paris’s public landscape became sterile and dehumanized in the 1940s and ’50s, Rosemary Wakeman instead finds that the city’s streets overflowed with ritual, drama, and spectacle. With frequent strikes and protests, young people and students on parade, North Africans arriving in the capital of the French empire, and radio and television shows broadcast live from the streets, Paris continued to be vital terrain.
Wakeman analyzes the public life of the city from a variety of perspectives. A reemergence of traditional customs led to the return of festivals, street dances, and fun fairs, while violent protests and political marches, the housing crisis, and the struggle over decolonization signaled the political realities of postwar France. The work of urban planners and architects, the output of filmmakers and intellectuals, and the day-to-day experiences of residents from all walks of life come together in this vibrant portrait of a flamboyant and transformative moment in the life of the City of Light.
Winner of the Louis Gottschalk PrizeWinner of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize“Witty and full of fascinating details.”—Los Angeles TimesWhy are there restaurants? Why would anybody consider eating alongside perfect strangers in a loud and crowded room to be an enjoyable pastime? To find the answer, Rebecca Spang takes us back to France in the eighteenth century, when a restaurant was not a place to eat but a quasi-medicinal bouillon not unlike the bone broths of today.This is a book about the French revolution in taste—about how Parisians invented the modern culture of food, changing the social life of the world in the process. We see how over the course of the Revolution, restaurants that had begun as purveyors of health food became symbols of aristocratic greed. In the early nineteenth century, the new genre of gastronomic literature worked within the strictures of the Napoleonic state to transform restaurants yet again, this time conferring star status upon oysters and champagne.“An ambitious, thought-changing book…Rich in weird data, unsung heroes, and bizarre true stories.”—Adam Gopnik, New Yorker“[A] pleasingly spiced history of the restaurant.”—New York Times“A lively, engrossing, authoritative account of how the restaurant as we know it developed…Spang is…as generous in her helpings of historical detail as any glutton could wish.”—The Times
Drawing on memoirs, press accounts, and cultural criticism, Jackson uses the history of jazz in Paris to illuminate the challenges confounding French national identity during the interwar years. As he explains, many French people initially regarded jazz as alien because of its associations with America and Africa. Some reveled in its explosive energy and the exoticism of its racial connotations, while others saw it as a dangerous reversal of France’s most cherished notions of "civilization." At the same time, many French musicians, though not threatened by jazz as a musical style, feared their jobs would vanish with the arrival of American performers. By the 1930s, however, a core group of French fans, critics, and musicians had incorporated jazz into the French entertainment tradition. Today it is an integral part of Parisian musical performance. In showing how jazz became French, Jackson reveals some of the ways a musical form created in the United States became an international phenomenon and acquired new meanings unique to the places where it was heard and performed.
The insurrection of 31 May-2 June 1793 that overthrew the Girondins and brought the Montagnards to power was a decisive event in the history of the French Revolution. Morris Slavin's study is the first that discusses the background, the mechanisms, and the immediate results of the uprising, as well as the hidden forces that produced it and the contradictions that were inherent in it from the beginning.Slavin's approach to the controversy between the Gironde and the Mountain is from below (d'en bas), from the vantage point of the sections of Paris and their extralegal assembly, the Eveche assembly, and its Comite des Neuf. He shows how and why the Montagnards used the insurrectionary organs created by the sans-culottes for their own purposes, and how the Montagnards won them over against their Girondin enemies by granting the sans-culottes economic concessions, at the same time disarming them politically.This revelation of the profound differences between the sans-culottes and the Montagnards on the goals of the insurrection is a major contribution to understanding French revolutionary behavior. Slavin finds that the rank and file in the pro-Girondin sections were just as self-sacrificing and just as patriotic as the followers of the Mountain. The dispute between the Girondins and the Montagnards was an intraclass contest, not a class struggle.
The contributions of female artists to the development of literary and artistic modernism in early twentieth century France remain poorly understood. It was during this period that a so-called “modern woman” began occupying urban spaces associated with the development of modern art and modernism’s struggles to define subjectivities and sexualities. Whereas most studies of modernism’s formal innovations and its encouragement of artistic autonomy neglect or omit necessary discussions of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation, the contributors of The Modern Woman Revisited inject these perspectives into the discussion.
Between the two World Wars, Paris served as the setting for unparalleled freedom for expatriate as well as native-born French women, who enjoyed unprecedented access to education and opportunities to participate in public artistic and intellectual life. Many of these women made lasting contributions in art and literature. Some of the artists discussed include Colette, Tamara de Lempicka, Sonia Delaunay, Djuna Barnes, Augusta Savage, and Lee Miller.
Inthis book, an internationally recognized roster of art historians, literary critics, and other scholars offers a nuanced portrait of what it meant to be a modern woman during this decisive period of modernism’s development. Individual essays explore the challenges faced by women in the early decades of the twentieth century, as well as the strategies these women deployed to create their art and to build meaningful lives and careers. The introduction underscores the importance of the contributors’ efforts to engender larger questions about modernity, sexuality, race, and class.
As New York and Paris began to modernize, new modes of entertainment, such as panoramas, dioramas, and photography, seemed poised to take the place of the more complex forms of literary expression. Dioramas and photography were invented in Paris but soon spread to America, forming part of an increasingly universal idiom of the spectacle. This brave new world of technologically advanced but crudely mimetic spectacles haunts both Whitman's vision of New York and Baudelaire's view of Paris. In New York-Paris, Katsaros explores the images of the mid-nineteenth-century city in the poetry of both Whitman and Baudelaire and seeks to demonstrate that, by projecting an image of the other's city onto his own, each poet tried to resist the apparently irresistible forward momentum of modernity rather than create a paradigmatically happy mixture of "high" and "low" culture.
Drawing together episodes of rich atmosphere, this novel is as deep and brooding as the Paris nights that serve as its backdrop. Russian writer Gaito Gazdanov arrived in Paris, as so many did, between the wars and would go on, with this fourth novel, to give readers a crisp rendering of a living city changing beneath its people’s feet. Night Roads is loosely based on the author’s experiences as a cab driver in those disorienting, often brutal years, and the narrator moves from episode to episode, holding court with many but sharing his mind with only a few. His companions are drawn straight out of the Parisian past: the legendary courtesan Jeanne Raldi, now in her later days, and an alcoholic philosopher who goes by the name of Plato. Along the way, the driver picks up other characters, such as the dull thinker who takes on the question of the meaning of life only to be driven insane. The dark humor of that young man’s failure against the narrator’s authentic, personal explorations of the same subject is captured in this first English translation. With his trademark émigré eye, Gazdanov pairs humor with cruelty, sharpening the bite of both.
The Nightinghouls of Paris is a thinly fictionalized memoir of the darker side of expatriate life in Paris. Beginning in 1928, the story follows the changes undergone by Canadian youths John Glassco and his friend Graeme Taylor during their (mis)adventures in Paris while trying to become writers. There they meet Robert McAlmon, who guides them through the city’s cafes, bistros, and nightclubs, where they find writers and artists including Kay Boyle (with whom Glassco has a fling), Bill Bird, Djuna Barnes, Claude McKay, Hilaire Hiler, Peggy Guggenheim, and Ernest Hemingway.
In an original and evocative journey through modern Paris from the mid-eighteenth century to World War II, Patrice Higonnet offers a delightful cultural portrait of a multifaceted, continually changing city. In examining the myths and countermyths of Paris that have been created and re-created over time, Higonnet reveals a magical urban alchemy in which each era absorbs the myths and perceptions of Paris past, adapts them to the cultural imperatives of its own time, and feeds them back into the city, creating a new environment.Paris was central to the modern world in ways internal and external, genuine and imagined, progressive and decadent. Higonnet explores Paris as the capital of revolution, science, empire, literature, and art, describing such incarnations as Belle Epoque Paris, the Commune, the surrealists' city, and Paris as viewed through American eyes. He also evokes the more visceral Paris of alienation, crime, material excess, and sensual pleasure.Insightful, informative, and gracefully written, Paris illuminates the intersection of collective and individual imaginations in a perpetually shifting urban dynamic. In describing his Paris of the real and of the imagination, Higonnet sheds brilliant new light on this endlessly intriguing city.
Paris at War chronicles the lives of ordinary Parisians during World War II, from September 1939 when France went to war with Nazi Germany to liberation in August 1944. Readers will relive the fearful exodus from the city as the German army neared the capital, the relief and disgust felt when the armistice was signed, and the hardships and deprivations under Occupation. David Drake contrasts the plight of working-class Parisians with the comparative comfort of the rich, exposes the activities of collaborationists, and traces the growth of the Resistance from producing leaflets to gunning down German soldiers. He details the intrigues and brutality of the occupying forces, and life in the notorious transit camp at nearby Drancy, along with three other less well known Jewish work camps within the city.The book gains its vitality from the diaries and reminiscences of people who endured these tumultuous years. Drake’s cast of characters comes from all walks of life and represents a diversity of political views and social attitudes. We hear from a retired schoolteacher, a celebrated economist, a Catholic teenager who wears a yellow star in solidarity with Parisian Jews, as well as Resistance fighters, collaborators, and many other witnesses.Drake enriches his account with details from police records, newspapers, radio broadcasts, and newsreels. From his chronology emerge the broad rhythms and shifting moods of the city. Above all, he explores the contingent lives of the people of Paris, who, unlike us, could not know how the story would end.
Paris is the most personal of cities. There is a Paris for the medievalist, and another for the modernist—a Paris for expatriates, philosophers, artists, romantics, and revolutionaries of every stripe. James H. S. McGregor brings these multiple perspectives into focus throughout this concise, unique history of the City of Light.His panorama begins with an ancient Gallic fortress on the Seine, burned to the ground by its own defenders in a vain effort to starve out Caesar’s legions. After ninth-century raids by the Vikings ended, Parisians expanded the walls of their tiny sanctuary on the Ile de la Cité, turning the river’s right bank into a thriving commercial district and the Rive Gauche into a college town. Gothic spires expressed a taste for architectural novelty, matched only by the palaces and pleasure gardens of successive monarchs whose ingenuity made Paris the epitome of everything French. The fires of Revolution threatened all that had come before, but Baron Haussmann saw opportunity in the wreckage. No planned city in the world is more famous than his.Paris from the Ground Up allows readers to trace the city’s evolution in its architecture and art—from the Roman arena to the Musée d’Orsay, from the Louvre’s defensive foundations to I. M. Pei’s transparent pyramids. Color maps, along with identifying illustrations, make the city accessible to visitors by foot, Metro, or riverboat.
In 1910 John Merven Carrère, a Paris-trained American architect, wrote, “Learning from Paris made Washington outstanding among American cities.” The five essays in Paris on the Potomac explore aspects of this influence on the artistic and architectural environment of Washington, D.C., which continued long after the well-known contributions of Peter Charles L’Enfant, the transplanted French military officer who designed the city’s plan.
Isabelle Gournay’s introductory essay provides an overview and examines the context and issues involved in three distinct periods of French influence: the classical and Enlightenment principles that prevailed from the 1790s through the 1820s, the Second Empire style of the 1850s through the 1870s, and the Beaux-Arts movement of the early twentieth century. William C. Allen and Thomas P. Somma present two case studies: Allen on the influence of French architecture, especially the Halle aux Blés, on Thomas Jefferson’s vision of the U.S. Capitol; and Somma on David d’Angers’s busts of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. Liana Paredes offers a richly detailed examination of French-inspired interior decoration in the homes of Washington’s elite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cynthia R. Field concludes the volume with a consideration of the influence of Paris on city planning in Washington, D.C., including the efforts of the McMillan Commission and the later development of the Federal Triangle complex.
The essays in this collection, the latest addition to the series Perspectives on the Art and Architectural History of the United States Capitol, originated in a conference held by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society in 2002 at the French Embassy’s Maison Française.
Listen to "An Electronic Cabaret: Paris Street Songs, 1748–50" for songs from Poetry and the PoliceAudio recording copyright © 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.In spring 1749, François Bonis, a medical student in Paris, found himself unexpectedly hauled off to the Bastille for distributing an “abominable poem about the king.” So began the Affair of the Fourteen, a police crackdown on ordinary citizens for unauthorized poetry recitals. Why was the official response to these poems so intense?In this captivating book, Robert Darnton follows the poems as they passed through several media: copied on scraps of paper, dictated from one person to another, memorized and declaimed to an audience. But the most effective dispersal occurred through music, when poems were sung to familiar tunes. Lyrics often referred to current events or revealed popular attitudes toward the royal court. The songs provided a running commentary on public affairs, and Darnton brilliantly traces how the lyrics fit into song cycles that carried messages through the streets of Paris during a period of rising discontent. He uncovers a complex communication network, illuminating the way information circulated in a semi-literate society.This lucid and entertaining book reminds us of both the importance of oral exchanges in the history of communication and the power of “viral” networks long before our internet age.
The story of Paris in the 1930s seems straightforward enough, with the Popular Front movement leading toward the inspiring 1936 election of a leftist coalition government. The socialist victory, which resulted in fundamental improvements in the lives of workers, was then derailed in a precipitous descent that culminated in France's capitulation before the Nazis in June 1940. Yet no matter how minutely recounted, this "straight story" clarifies only the political activity behind which turbulent cultural currents brought about far-reaching changes in everyday life and the way it is represented.In this book, Dudley Andrew and Steven Ungar apply an evocative "poetics of culture" to capture the complex atmospherics of Paris in the 1930s. They highlight the new symbolic forces put in play by technologies of the illustrated press and the sound film—technologies that converged with efforts among writers (Gide, Malraux, Céline), artists (Renoir, Dalí), and other intellectuals (Mounier, de Rougemont, Leiris) to respond to the decade's crises.Their analysis takes them to expositions and music halls, to upscale architecture and fashion sites, to traditional neighborhoods, and to overseas territories, the latter portrayed in metropolitan exhibits and colonial cinema. Rather than a straight story of the Popular Front, they have produced something closer to the format of an illustrated newspaper whose multiple columns represent the breadth of urban life during this critical decade at the end of the Third French Republic.
A pathbreaking work of scholarship that will reshape our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, The Practice of Diaspora revisits black transnational culture in the 1920s and 1930s, paying particular attention to links between intellectuals in New York and their Francophone counterparts in Paris. Brent Edwards suggests that diaspora is less a historical condition than a set of practices: the claims, correspondences, and collaborations through which black intellectuals pursue a variety of international alliances.Edwards elucidates the workings of diaspora by tracking the wealth of black transnational print culture between the world wars, exploring the connections and exchanges among New York–based publications (such as Opportunity, The Negro World, and The Crisis) and newspapers in Paris (such as Les Continents, La Voix des Nègres, and L'Etudiant noir). In reading a remarkably diverse archive--the works of writers and editors from Langston Hughes, René Maran, and Claude McKay to Paulette Nardal, Alain Locke, W. E. B. Du Bois, George Padmore, and Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté--The Practice of Diaspora takes account of the highly divergent ways of imagining race beyond the barriers of nation and language. In doing so, it reveals the importance of translation, arguing that the politics of diaspora are legible above all in efforts at negotiating difference among populations of African descent throughout the world.
In the 1800s, urban development efforts modernized Paris and encouraged the creation of brothels, boulevards, cafés, dancehalls, and even public urinals. However, complaints also arose regarding an apparent increase in public sexual activity, and the appearance of “individuals of both sexes with depraved morals” in these spaces. Andrew Israel Ross’s illuminating study, Public City/Public Sex, chronicles the tension between the embourgeoisement and democratization of urban culture in nineteenth-century Paris and the commercialization and commodification of a public sexual culture, the emergence of new sex districts, as well as the development of gay and lesbian subcultures.
Public City/Public Sex examines how the notion that male sexual desire required suitable outlets shaped urban policing and development. Ross traces the struggle to control sex in public and argues that it was the very effort to police the city that created new opportunities for women who sold sex and men who sought sex with other men. Placing public sex at the center of urban history, Ross shows how those who used public spaces played a central role in defining the way the city was understood.
In 1871 Paris was a city in crisis. Besieged during the Franco-Prussian War, its buildings and boulevards were damaged, its finances mired in debt, and its new government untested. But if Parisian authorities balked at the challenges facing them, entrepreneurs and businessmen did not. Selling Paris chronicles the people, practices, and politics that spurred the largest building boom of the nineteenth century, turning city-making into big business in the French capital.Alexia Yates traces the emergence of a commercial Parisian housing market, as private property owners, architects, speculative developers, and credit-lending institutions combined to finance, build, and sell apartments and buildings. Real estate agents and their innovative advertising strategies fed these new residential spaces into a burgeoning marketplace. Corporations built empires with tens of thousands of apartments under management for the benefit of shareholders. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Parisian housing market caught the attention of the wider public as newspapers began reporting its ups and downs.The forces that underwrote Paris’s creation as the quintessentially modern metropolis were not only state-centered or state-directed but also grew out of the uncoordinated efforts of private actors and networks. Revealing the ways housing and property became commodities during a crucial period of urbanization, Selling Paris is an urban history of business and a business history of a city that transforms our understanding of both.
A fresh and vivid translation of Flaubert’s influential bildungsroman
Gustave Flaubert conceived Sentimental Education, his final complete novel, as the history of his own generation, one that failed to fulfill the promise of the Revolution of 1848. Published a few months before the start of the 1870 Franco–Prussian War, it offers both a sweeping panorama of French society over three decades and an intimate bildungsroman of a young man from a small town who arrives in Paris when protests against the monarchy are increasing.
The novel’s protagonist, Frédéric Moreau, alternates between aimlessness and ambition as he searches for a meaningful life through love affairs and republican politics. Flaubert’s narrative includes scenes of high drama, as scattered protests across Paris swell into revolution, and quiet moments of self-aware romanticism, crafting a story that possesses the sweep and scope of a historical novel combined with deep emotion and scandalous intimacy. Suffused with tragedy and the poignancy of lost chances and wasted lives, Sentimental Education is sharpened by satirical observations of what Flaubert condemned as the Second Empire’s endemic hypocrisy and willful blindness.
This vibrant, new translation by Raymond N. MacKenzie includes an extensive critical introduction and annotations to help the modern reader appreciate Flaubert’s achievement. Sentimental Education intertwines the personal, the intimate, and the subjective with the political, social, and cultural, embedding Frédéric’s story in the larger arc of what Flaubert saw as France’s decline into mediocrity and imbecility in its politics and manners.
Although the Paris Commune of 1871 has been the subject of voluminous writing, especially on the place of the uprising in the development of socialist thought and practice, little was previously done on provincial communal movements.First published in 1971, this book offers an exploration of the insurrection as part of the nationwide struggle for municipal and departmental liberties, bringing to the fore the Commune's relationship to the broader historical problem of the consolidation and future character of the Third Republic, especially in the provinces. Greenberg thus sees the event as part of a long developing effort to decentralize political power in France.
Now available in a durable paperback edition, Shari Benstock's critically acclaimed, best-selling Women of the Left Bank is a fascinating exploration of the lives and works of some two dozen American, English, and French women whose talent shaped the Paris expatriate experience in the century's early years.
This ambitious historical, biographical, and critical study has taken its place among the foremost works of literary criticism. Maurice Beebe calls it "a distinguished contribution to modern literary history." Jane Marcus hails it as "the first serious literary history of the period and its women writers, making along the way no small contribution to our understanding of the relationships between women artists and their male counterparts, from Henry James to Hemingway, Joyce, Picasso, and Pound."
What does it mean to look like a lesbian? Though it remains impossible to conjure a definitive image that captures the breadth of this highly nuanced term, today at least we are able to consider an array of visual representations that have been put into circulation by lesbians themselves over the last six or seven decades. In the early twentieth century, though, no notion of lesbianism as a coherent social or cultural identity yet existed.
In Women Together/Women Apart, Tirza True Latimer explores the revolutionary period between World War I and World War II when lesbian artists working in Paris began to shape the first visual models that gave lesbians a collective sense of identity and allowed them to recognize each other. Flocking to Paris from around the world, artists and performers such as Romaine Brooks, Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and Suzy Solidor used portraiture to theorize and visualize a "new breed" of feminine subject. The book focuses on problems of feminine and lesbian self-representation at a time and place where the rights of women to political, professional, economic, domestic, and sexual autonomy had yet to be acknowledged by the law. Under such circumstances, same-sex solidarity and relative independence from men held important political implications.
Combining gender theory with visual, cultural, and historical analysis, Latimer draws a vivid picture of the impact of sexual politics on the cultural life of Paris during this key period. The book also illuminates the far-reaching consequences of lesbian portraiture on contemporary constructions of lesbian identity.
Much has been made of the image of writers in Paris—romanticized and idealized in fiction and on screen, these émigré artists in sidewalk cafés spark our imagination with unusual force. But rarely do the real-life figures speak to us directly to comment on their work, their lives, and their reasons for choosing to live and work in Paris.
In these striking interviews, E. M. Cioran, Julio Cortázar, Brion Gysin, Eugène Ionesco, Carlos Fuentes, Jean-Claude Carrière, Milan Kundera, Nathalie Sarraute, and Edmund Jabès do just this as they speak out on the risks they've taken, on their struggles and discoveries, on tradition, challenge, and their near-unanimous status as émigrés. A consummate interviewer, Jason Weiss spoke in depth with these pathbreaking artists regarding their lives, their craft, and their very special relationship to Paris. Their writings were naturally the main focus of investigation, but Weiss' concern was always to build on previous interviews, to deepen certain lines of inquiry and open new ones, to contribute fresh material to the ongoing record. The result is a series of invigorating, detailed portraits that go beyond personality, habits, and pleasures to examine some of the causes and effects in the unique relationship of place and temperament.
Writing at Risk suggests that there is more than we suspect binding writers of such disparate cultures and genres…perhaps their attitudes toward writing, perhaps their common attraction to risk. Readers will relish the immediacy of these interviews and will want to (re)discover the work of these exceptional artists.
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