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5 April 2012
The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir 
by Claude Lanzmann, translated by Frank Wynne.
Atlantic, 528 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 1 84887 360 5
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... The life of ClaudeLanzmann, ClaudeLanzmann declares at the beginning of his memoir, has been ‘a rich, multifaceted and unique story’. Self-flattery is characteristically Lanzmannian, but its truth in this case can hardly be denied. He has ...


David Lan: On Jim Allen’s Perdition

2 April 1987
... as a ‘myth’. This was interpreted by columns of letter-writers to imply that he did not believe that the killing of the Jews actually took place. How ludicrous this is is made clear when ClaudeLanzmann, director of Shoah, perhaps the most widely-acclaimed record of this particular genocide yet produced, refers to the killings in precisely the same terms. In the Jewish Quarterly he is quoted as ...

One day I’ll tell you what I think

Adam Shatz: Sartre in Cairo

22 November 2018
No Exit: Arab Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre and Decolonisation 
by Yoav Di-Capua.
Chicago, 355 pp., £26, March 2018, 978 0 226 50350 9
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The Stillborn: Notebooks of a Woman from the Student-Movement Generation in Egypt 
by Arwa Salih, translated by Samah Selim.
Seagull, 163 pp., £20, April 2018, 978 0 85742 483 9
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... a champion of the Palestinians whose lands had been confiscated by Zionist settlers? Another hypothesis was that his views were coloured by those of his young Jewish colleague at Les Temps modernes, ClaudeLanzmann, a fervent Zionist. Sartre’s Arab admirers reasoned that if only they could show Sartre the revolution unfolding in Egypt, and the Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, he would ...

Big Daddy

Linda Nochlin

30 October 1997
American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America 
by Robert Hughes.
Harvill, 635 pp., £35, October 1997, 9781860463723
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... reluctance on the part of the Jewish artist to represent the unrepresentable, whether it be the camps or Christ’s Passion. One might, on the same ill-taken grounds, criticise the film-maker ClaudeLanzmann for not showing actual, suffering Jewish bodies in Shoah. But Hughes never deals with the larger reasons behind his choices: they are simply relegated to the realm of ‘personal taste’ and as such ...

All in the Family

Sylvia Lawson

3 December 1992
Letters to Sartre 
by Simone de Beauvoir and Quintin Hoare.
Radius, 531 pp., £20, December 1991, 0 09 174774 0
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Witness to My Life: The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvior, 1926-1939 
edited by Simone de Beauvior, translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee.
Hamish Hamilton, 448 pp., £20, November 1992, 9780241133361
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... spreadsheet jigsaw, mapping the stories from the Sartre biographies (Annie Cohen-Solal, John Gerassi, Ronald Hayman) over those from the Beauvoir biographies (Deirdre Bair – very much the best; Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier, Margaret Crosland). Check those against the crucial four volumes of Beauvoir’s memoirs, those translated as The Prime of Life, Force of Circumstance, All Said and Done ...

More than ever, and for ever

Michael Rogin: Beauvoir and Nelson Algren

17 September 1998
Beloved Chicago Man: Letters to Nelson Algren 1947-64 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gollancz, 624 pp., £25, August 1998, 0 575 06590 7
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America Day by Day 
by Simone de Beauvoir, translated by Carol Cosman.
California, 355 pp., $27.50, January 1999, 0 520 20979 6
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... is fair did not prevent it to be hard.’ Hard for Beauvoir, worse for Algren. Although convinced she was too old for love and that her body was dead, within a year Beauvoir had begun a liaison with ClaudeLanzmann. This ‘incestuous’ love for a man 17 years younger than she was could never replace him, she told Algren: his failure to replace her was far more devastating. Algren already had evidence ...


Colin Richmond: Love of Killing

13 February 1992
... had wives, sweethearts or friends with whom they shared confidences. And we haven’t mentioned those who made these things happen: the bureaucrats and clerks. Raul Hilberg, Christopher Browning and ClaudeLanzmann (among others) have laid their contribution bare: such men did not care to know what they were doing; nevertheless they knew what they had to do and did it – with a dedicated efficiency ...


Jenny Diski: Rape-Rape

5 November 2009
... has now said that she doesn’t want the matter pursued. Then I got twitchy when I read the petition written by Bernard-Henri Lévy, and signed by Paul Auster, Milan Kundera, William Shawcross, ClaudeLanzmann, Salman Rushdie, Mike Nichols, Neil Jordan, and, to bring up the female numbers, Diane von Furstenberg, the Isabelles Adjani and Huppert, Yamani Benguigui, Danièle Thompson and Arielle ...

In New York

Hal Foster: Plans for Ground Zero

20 March 2003
... will also house a garage for tourist buses, and the wedge will be a kind of mall. The real pessimists glimpse a Trauma Theme Park in the making, with Libeskind a contemporary cross between ClaudeLanzmann and Walt Disney, the perfect maestro for an age when historical tragedy can become urban spectacle. While the faceted towers of the design evoke the glass buildings celebrated in modern architecture ...


Elaine Showalter

14 June 1990
Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography 
by Deirdre Bair.
Cape, 718 pp., £19.95, June 1990, 9780224020480
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Lettres à Sartre. Vol I: 1930-1939 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gallimard, 400 pp., frs 120, February 1990, 2 07 071829 8
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Lettres à Sartre. Vol II: 1940-1963 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gallimard, 443 pp., frs 120, February 1990, 2 07 071864 6
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Journal de Guerre, Septembre 1939-Janvier 1941 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gallimard, 371 pp., February 1990, 2 07 071809 3
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In the Shadow of Sartre 
by Liliane Siegel, translated by Barbara Wright.
182 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 9780002153362
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... fond, hovered nearby’, it seemed like a perfect life. This was a scene of purposeful tranquillity which she tried to re-create, first with Sartre and then, more successfully, with a younger lover, ClaudeLanzmann. They started living together in 1950. ‘On the first morning,’ Lanzmann recalls, I thought to lie in bed, but she got up, dressed, and went to her work table. ‘You work there,’ she ...

‘I am my own foundation’

Megan Vaughan: Fanon and Third Worldism

18 October 2001
Frantz Fanon: A Life 
by David Macey.
Granta, 640 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 1 86207 458 5
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... eye of the CIA. Macey argues against conspiracy theories, but accounts of his death make clear the anger and frustration Fanon felt at being subject to American medicine in his last weeks. His friend ClaudeLanzmann reported that ‘Fanon had lived his death minute by minute and had resisted it savagely . . . he hated those American racists, and distrusted all the hospital staff. When he woke up on his ...
20 August 1998
... a sequence of events. When Mary Bell starts to live the scene in the present tense, Sereny has to intervene to break the hallucination which she herself has provoked. There is a comparable moment in ClaudeLanzmann’s Shoah. Lanzmann is interviewing the Treblinka survivor Abraham Bomba, whose job it was to cut the hair of the victims as they were about to enter the gas chamber. Bomba is cutting hair ...

Where Life Is Seized

Adam Shatz: Frantz Fanon’s Revolution

19 January 2017
Écrits sur l’aliénation et la liberté 
by Frantz Fanon, edited by Robert Young and Jean Khalfa.
La Découverte, 688 pp., £22, October 2015, 978 2 7071 8638 6
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... were born of a growing desperation. This desperation was not only political, but physical. He had lost weight in Mali, and when he returned to Tunis in December he was diagnosed with leukaemia. ClaudeLanzmann, who met him shortly afterwards in Tunis, remembers him as ‘already so suffused with death that it gave his every word the power both of prophecy and of the last words of a dying man ...

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