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11 November 1999
A Les Trósors Retrouvós de la ‘Revue des deux Mondes’ 
edited by Jeanne Causse and Bruno de Cessole.
Maisonneuve, 582 pp., frs 185, January 1999, 2 7068 1353 9
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La Guerre d’Algórie par les Documents. Vol. II: Les Portes de la Guerre, 10 Mars 1946 à 31 Dócembre 1954 
edited by Jean-Charles Jauffret.
Service Historique de l’Armóe de Terre, 1023 pp., September 1998, 2 86323 113 8
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De Gaulle et L’Algóerie: Mon Tómoinage 1960-62 
by Jean Morin.
Albin Michel, 387 pp., frs 140, January 1999, 2 226 10672 3
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... May 8th was the day on which that victory was celebrated, in Sétif as elsewhere. After 1945, however, the nationalists began to organise for a revolution – that anyway is the interpretation which Jean-Charles Jauffret has put on the documents he edited. These reveal in detail how the French military failed, on numerous occasions, to understand what was happening and how the various intelligence ...
8 February 1990
A New History of French Literature 
edited by Denis Hollier.
Harvard, 1280 pp., £39.95, October 1989, 0 674 61565 4
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... of the book’s close on two hundred chapters has for a headline some cultural event, urgently dated to the year, the month, if possible the day when it happened: as, ‘1538, 6 March. The printer JeanMorin is Jailed for Having Published the Anonymous Cymbalum Mundi,’ or ‘1925, November. At 56, André Gide publishes Les Faux-Monnayeurs, His First Novel.’ Then, by way of a temporal recap, at ...

Who does that for anyone?

Adam Shatz: Jean-Pierre Melville

20 June 2019
Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Solitaire 
by Bertrand Teissier.
Fayard, 272 pp., €22, October 2017, 978 2 213 70573 6
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Jean-Pierre Melville, une vie 
by Antoine de Baecque.
Seuil, 244 pp., €32, October 2017, 978 2 02 137107 9
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... In August​ 1943, Jean-Pierre Grumbach, a former soldier in the 71st artillery regiment in Fontainebleau, arrived in London. Grumbach, an Alsatian Jew from Paris, 25 years old, wanted to offer his services to the Forces ...

Riparian

Douglas Johnson

15 July 1982
The Left Bank: Writers in Paris, from Popular Front to Cold War 
by Herbert Lottman.
Heinemann, 319 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 434 42943 0
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... the Left Bank in the Rue du Bac. Is the Left Bank, then, a Gaullist stronghold? One has only to ask the question to see that it is ridiculous. Was it important that Gide lived in the Rue Vaneau, near Jean Schlumberger, who lived in the Rue d’Assas? They had, after all, lived in neighbouring châteaux in the Calvados department of Normandy. They shared Protestant origins. Why should their shared ...

Veni, Vidi, Vichy

Jean-Pierre Chapelas

9 March 1995
Une Jeunesse française: François Mitterrand 1934-1947 
by Pierre Péan.
Fayard, 615 pp., frs 160, September 1994, 2 213 59300 0
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... demonising propaganda: an unshakeable loyalty to Marshal Pétain, evident, seemingly, from his time as a prisoner, combined with an attitude of open hostility towards the German invaders. As Edgar Morin did well to point out recently, at that time patriotism was often the link between Vichy and the Resistance. After an umpteenth escape attempt, Mitterrand finally succeeded in giving the stalag and ...

When the beam of light has gone

Peter Wollen: Godard Turns Over

17 September 1998
The Films of Jean-Luc Godard 
by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
SUNY, 290 pp., £17.99, March 1997, 0 7914 3285 8
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Speaking about Godard 
by Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki.
New York, 256 pp., $55, July 1998, 0 8147 8066 0
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... I was living in Paris in 1959, the year of both Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless and Budd Boetticher’s The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, and I went to see both of these films the week they were released. In fact, I went back to see them a number of ...

Ciné, ma vérité

Emilie Bickerton: The films of Chris Marker

20 April 2006
Chris Marker: Memories of the Future 
by Catherine Lupton.
Reaktion, 256 pp., £14.95, October 2004, 1 86189 223 3
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... of 1959-61. Nor can Marker’s films be assimilated to the body of work that came to be known as cinéma vérité, despite the apparent similarities between his documentary Le Joli Mai (1962) and Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s sociological study of Paris, Chronique d’un été (1961). It is more instructive to trace Marker’s influences back to the 1930s and the tradition of Vigo, Buñuel and ...

Diary

Jeremy Harding: My ’68

19 July 2018
... sic]’ – and even a hint of revolutionary R&R for hippie fellow travellers: ‘Sorbonne/Continuous Music/Love Making.’ The June issue of OZ included an interview with the thirty-something poet, Jean-Jacques Lebel, apparently in jail in France at the time. Fifteen pages of educational material followed under the heading Agit-OZ, including a genealogy of world revolution that beginners could pull ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?

21 September 2006
... it would seem, are those who got it wrong initially. Such insouciance in spite of – indeed because of – your past misjudgments recalls a remark by the French ex-Stalinist Pierre Courtade to Edgar Morin, a dissenting Communist vindicated by events: ‘You and your kind were wrong to be right; we were right to be wrong.’ It is particularly ironic that the ‘Clinton generation’ of American ...

Fly in the Soup

Paul Henley: Anthropology and cinema

21 June 2001
Anthropologie et cinéma: Passage à l'image, passage par l'image 
by Marc Henri Piault.
Nathan, frs 139, April 2000, 2 09 190790 1
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Transcultural Cinema 
by David MacDougall.
Princeton, 328 pp., £11.95, December 1998, 0 691 01234 2
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... an investigation which is never complete and in which the Western I is involved in a continuous discovery of the Self in the Other. As a concrete example of this, Piault points to the work of Jean Rouch, his own mentor. For many, the octogenarian Rouch is the most accomplished ethnographic film-maker of his generation. He is certainly among the most prolific, having made more than a hundred ...

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