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Diary

Perry Anderson: Forget about Paris, 23 January 2014

... France is fabled as the land of bureaucratic centralisation, the epitome of administrative reason, where once a year every adolescent takes the same exam on the same day across the country. The image is not just a foreign legend. It was Tocqueville who first supplied it, as the brand-mark of French Absolutism and the Revolution that followed it ...

Robespierre’s Chamber Pot

Julian Barnes: Loathed by Huysmans, 2 April 2020

Modern Art 
byJ.K. Huysmans, translated byBrendan King.
Dedalus, 313 pp., £10.99, February 2019, 978 1 910213 99 5
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... Nineteenth-century​ French art, and French artists, were fortunate to have the backing of some of the best writers of the day. Stendhal, Baudelaire, Gautier, Goncourt, Zola, Maupassant, Huysmans and Mallarmé all doubled up as art critics ...

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