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Unmasking Monsieur Malraux

Richard Mayne, 25 June 1992

The Conquerors 
by André Malraux, translated by Stephen Becker.
Chicago, 198 pp., £8.75, December 1991, 0 226 50290 2
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The Temptation of the West 
by André Malraux, translated by Robert Hollander.
Chicago, 122 pp., £8.75, February 1992, 0 226 50291 0
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The Walnut Tree of Altenburg 
by André Malraux, translated by A.W. Fielding.
Chicago, 224 pp., £9.55, April 1992, 0 226 50289 9
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... by Napoleon Bonaparte that Malraux had made almost anonymously in 1930, and published as Vie de Napoléon par lui-même. The publishers obviously felt that ‘Malraux’ was a better-selling name than that of the Emperor himself. So, half a generation since his death in 1976 at the age of 75, André Malraux is still a celebrity. The University of ...

Fanning the Flames

Arun Kapil: Zemmour’s Obsessions, 24 February 2022

... final effort to rescue France in the mid 20th century, with the creation of the Fifth Republic by Charles deGaulle, his hero and model – another thing that sets him apart from the Le Pen dynasty and others on the French right, who see de Gaulle as the man who surrendered to ...


Ian Gilmour: The Terminal 5 Enquiry, 19 March 1998

... environmental consequences with due seriousness. In contrast, at the rival hubs at Schipol or Charles deGaulle, demand is to be met by well thought-out government decisions to build new airports to relieve the problems of congestion – an off-shore airport near Schipol and a third Paris airport towards ...


Stephen W. Smith: In Chad, 3 July 2014

... about how easy it is to get lost. The old centre, an encrustation either side of the avenue Charles deGaulle, is on its state-sponsored way to becoming a new, upstart part of town, pinned in place by a five-star Kempinski hotel (‘156 deluxe rooms’), which already functions as the guesthouse of the ...

Dr Love or Dr God?

Luc Sante: ‘The Man in the Red Coat’, 5 March 2020

The Man in the Red Coat 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 280 pp., £20, November 2019, 978 1 78733 216 4
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... world, as chronicled by Barnes; even among the loudest and most insistent personalities of fin-de-siècle Paris, the mild-mannered Dr Pozzi more than held his own. And he knew everybody, or at least that small segment of the population that considered itself to be everybody.And yet, unless you’ve seen the painting – which was for a long time held by ...

Dangerously Insane

Deyan Sudjic: Léon Krier, 7 October 2010

The Architecture of Community 
by Léon Krier.
Island, 459 pp., £12.99, February 2010, 978 1 59726 579 9
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... for example, and even, belatedly, airports – Krier approves of the new departure gates at Charles deGaulle, and César Pelli’s work at Washington. What he finds dangerous is innovation for the sake of innovation – although so did Mies van der Rohe, who always wanted to design good buildings rather than ...

The Rat Line

Christopher Driver, 6 December 1984

The Fourth Reich 
by Magnus Linklater, Isabel Hilton and Neal Ascherson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 340 34443 1
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I didn’t say goodbye 
by Claudine Vegh.
Caliban, 179 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 904573 93 1
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... Jean Moulin, the only politician and Resistance leader who might have disputed the primacy with Charles deGaulle as the war ended. Other countries, more easily destabilised by the time-bomb and the sub-machine-gun, and less certain where the loyalties of their policemen lie, will have other memories – some of them ...


Adam Shatz: Houellebecq submits, 9 April 2015

by Michel Houellebecq.
Flammarion, 300 pp., €21, January 2015, 978 2 08 135480 7
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... an Islamic France. In 1959, three years before he presided over the end of Algérie française, Charles deGaulle told his confidant Alain Peyrefitte that France would have to withdraw from Algeria, because the alternative – full French citizenship for the indigènes – would turn it into an Islamic state: Do you ...

Doing Well out of War

Jonathan Steele: Chechnya, 21 October 2004

... would be solved if Chechnya were given its independence. But Chechnya’s two chaotic years of de facto independence between 1997 and 1999 had put paid to that. Chechnya now seemed to be a launch pad for terrorism throughout Russia. The anarchy of 1997-99 far exceeded the troubles of Chechnya’s first spell of independence between 1991 and 1994. Those ...

Disaffiliate, Reaffiliate, Kill Again

Jeremy Harding: Régis Debray, 7 February 2008

Praised Be Our Lords: The Autobiography 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 328 pp., £19.99, April 2007, 978 1 84467 140 3
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... sheer persistence then. The list of people who’d worked on Debray’s case since 1967 included De Gaulle’s secretary when De Gaulle was president, De Gaulle’s successor, Georges Pompidou, the staff at the French Embassy in La Paz, the minister of foreign affairs and ...

Politicians in a Fix

David Runciman: The uses of referendums, 10 July 2003

... against some recalcitrant minority either within or outside parliament. It doesn’t always work. Charles deGaulle was the master of this kind of politics until he called one plebiscite too many in 1969 and was finished. It is also easy to forget that the first referendum held in the British Isles took place in ...

The Frowniest Spot on Earth

Will Self: Life in the Aerotropolis, 28 April 2011

Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next 
by John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay.
Allen Lane, 480 pp., £14.99, March 2011, 978 1 84614 100 3
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... early period Star Trek – it does have this virtue: it perfectly exemplifies the way in which Fin de Siècle scientific romances, while overtly furnished with future technologies, were responding to a contemporary social impasse. Marxist critics such as Ernst Bloch, Fredric Jameson and, more recently, Matthew Beaumont in his excellent survey Utopia ...

Hons and Wets

D.A.N. Jones, 6 December 1984

The House of Mitford 
by Jonathan Guinness and Catherine Guinness.
Hutchinson, 604 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 0 09 155560 4
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... to women’s clothes, and she may have been a bit too soft on our awkward but admirable ally, Charles deGaulle. This peccadillo cannot fairly be compared with Unity addressing two hundred thousand Nazis at Hesselberg, alongside Streicher, and telling them: ‘I want everyone to know that I am a Jew-hater.’ No ...

For Want of a Dinner Jacket

Christopher Tayler: Becoming O’Brian, 6 May 2021

Patrick O’Brian: A Very Private Life 
by Nikolai Tolstoy.
William Collins, 608 pp., £10.99, October 2020, 978 0 00 835062 8
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... praised by Delmore Schwartz, and he was an elegant, speedy translator, most recently of Simone de Beauvoir. Further information was in short supply, and he was unhelpful when publicists tried to elicit more of it, but he seemed to have some sort of Anglo-Irish background. Though he spoke with an upper-class English accent, he hadn’t issued a correction ...


Michael Wood, 17 December 1992

The Art of Cinema 
by Jean Cocteau, André Bernard and Claude Gauteur, translated by Robin Buss.
Marion Boyars, 224 pp., £19.95, May 1992, 0 7145 2947 8
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Jean Renoir: A Life in Pictures 
by Célia Bertin, translated by Mireille Muellner and Leonard Muellner.
Johns Hopkins, 403 pp., £20.50, August 1991, 0 8018 4184 4
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Jean Renoir: Projections of Paradise 
by Ronald Bergan.
Bloomsbury, 378 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 7475 0837 2
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Malle on Malle 
edited by Philip French.
Faber, 236 pp., £14.99, January 1993, 0 571 16237 1
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Republic of Images: A History of French Film-Making 
by Alan Williams.
Harvard, 458 pp., £39.95, April 1992, 0 674 76267 3
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... from Les Quatre Cents Coups into Cocteau’s Le Testament d’ Orphée. The synopsis is called Pas de chance, and was first published in Brussels in 1950. A young man comes out of gaol, quarrels with his girlfriend, and kills her by accident. The next day, he feels rather proud of his deed, and wishing to acknowledge it, tries to give himself up. No one ...

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