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Proust and the Pet Goat

Michael Wood: The Proustian Grail, 7 October 2021

Les Soixante-Quinze Feuillets: Et autres manuscrits inédits 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Nathalie Mauriac Dyer.
Gallimard, 384 pp., €21, April, 978 2 07 293171 0
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... and a complete scorn for other people – and they are a ‘bande à part’, as both Proust and Jean-Luc Godard call such a gang. But the girls’ role in the novel is not now to trigger a scene in which the narrator plays a socialite clown. They are instead a sort of magical species whose very existence fascinates him, so that, however much time he ...

Train Loads of Ammunition

Philip Horne, 1 August 1985

Immoral Memories 
by Sergei Eisenstein, translated by Herbert Marshall.
Peter Owen, 292 pp., £20, June 1985, 0 7206 0650 0
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A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema: 1930-1980 
by Robert Ray.
Princeton, 409 pp., £48.50, June 1985, 0 691 04727 8
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Suspects 
by David Thomson.
Secker, 274 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 436 52014 1
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Cahiers du Cinéma. Vol. I: The 1950s. Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge with the British Film Institute, 312 pp., £16.95, March 1985, 0 7100 9620 8
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... main interest for many readers: their having gone on to make the films of François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer. Their polemical stance as critics (with the exception of their brilliant mentor, the metaphysically-inclined André Bazin) was an attempt, ultimately successful, to create the taste by which ...

Burning Witches

Michael Rogin, 4 September 1997

Raymond Chandler: A Biography 
by Tom Hiney.
Chatto, 310 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 7011 6310 0
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Raymond Chandler Speaking 
edited by Dorothy Gardiner and Kathrine Sorley Walker.
California, 288 pp., £10.95, May 1997, 0 520 20835 8
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... Georges Simenon in the Série Noire that gave film noir its name. French homages to noir – the Jean-Luc Godard/Jean-Paul Belmondo Breathless, made the year Chandler died, and the François Truffaut/Charles Aznavour Shoot the Pianist – fulfilled the form as tragedy and initiated the New ...

Watch your tongue

Marina Warner, 20 August 1992

Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love 
by Howard Bloch.
Chicago, 308 pp., £14.95, February 1992, 0 226 05973 1
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Women of the Renaissance 
by Margaret King.
Chicago, 328 pp., £13.50, December 1991, 0 226 43618 7
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The Lady as Saint: A Collection of French Hagiographical Romances of the 13th Century 
by Brigitte Cazelles.
Pennsylvania, 320 pp., £35, November 1991, 9780812230994
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Heavenly Supper: The Story of Maria Janis 
by Fulvio Tomizza, translated by Anne Jacobson Shutte.
Chicago, 184 pp., £19.95, December 1991, 0 226 80789 4
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Oppositional Voices: Women as Writers and Translators of Literature in the English Renaissance 
by Tina Krontiris.
Routledge, 192 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 415 06329 9
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... that separated the incarnate and fallen world from the disembodied condition of the angels. When Jean-Luc Godard, in his update of the Nativity story, Je vous salue Marie, closed with a shot of his Mary painting herself a bright red mouth in the wing mirror of her car, he was offering an orthodox theological rebuttal of the ascetic tradition, asserting ...

Hypnotise Her

Thomas Jones: Axel Munthe’s exaggerations, 29 January 2009

Axel Munthe: The Road to San Michele 
by Bengt Jangfeldt, translated by Harry Watson.
Tauris, 381 pp., £25, March 2008, 978 1 84511 720 7
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... The Casa Malaparte, where Jean-Luc Godard shot Le Mépris, was built by the formerly Fascist, soon-to-be Communist writer and journalist Curzio Malaparte in the late 1930s. It stands, or rather crouches, like a predator ready to pounce, on a promontory on the eastern side of Capri, overlooking the Gulf of Salerno ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Eccentric Pilgrims, 30 June 2016

... And Kötting encouraged children in the care of a distinctly Europhile young woman in a grey Jean-Luc Godard Masculin Féminin sweatshirt to make felt-tip additions to the art on his baggy suit. With the dappled acres of Knole, deer in the shadow of ancient oak trees, long straight paths, and a descent by tangled hollow way to Samuel Palmer’s ...

The Unpronounceable

Adam Mars-Jones: Garth Greenwell, 21 April 2016

What Belongs to You 
by Garth Greenwell.
Picador, 194 pp., £12.99, April 2016, 978 1 4472 8051 4
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... can have a real kick. Prostitution as a subject lends itself to any number of cheap analogies. For Jean-Luc Godard it was a figure of capitalism, for Philip Larkin it shadowed every intimate relationship, since he assumed that men were doomed to pay for their pleasure one way or another. Here it is treated without hysteria or dogma, as only one ...

Even If You Have to Starve

Ian Penman: Mod v. Trad, 29 August 2013

Mod: A Very British Style 
by Richard Weight.
Bodley Head, 478 pp., £25, April 2013, 978 0 224 07391 2
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... British rock group Kaiser Chiefs’. The links can be tenuous, to say the least. Jean-Luc Godard gets in for A Bout de souffle. OK, but Weight makes it sound like Summer Holiday with Gitanes and avant-garde haircuts. Alain Delon gets two mentions – one for a Smiths sleeve, the other for being an early scooter adopter. (None for his ...

Promenade Dora-Bruder

Adam Shatz: Patrick Modiano, 22 September 2016

So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighbourhood 
by Patrick Modiano, translated by Euan Cameron.
MacLehose, 160 pp., £8.99, September 2016, 978 0 85705 499 9
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... into submission by LSD and hedonism. Paris’s leading artists and intellectuals praise the camp; Jean-Luc Godard offers to shoot a collaborationist film. The title of the story, ‘I Am a Young Man Alone’, expressed its author’s predicament. Two decades after the end of the war, at the height of its trente glorieuses, France had moved on, but ...

Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 642 pp., £9.99, March, 978 0 00 834003 2
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The Beatles and Sixties Britain 
by Marcus Collins.
Cambridge, 382 pp., £90, March 2020, 978 1 108 47724 6
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The Beatles in Context 
edited by Kenneth Womack.
Cambridge, 372 pp., £74.99, January 2020, 978 1 108 41911 6
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... Dionysus and Pan, with their none hipper retinue: Kenneth Anger, Christopher Gibbs, Gram Parsons, Jean-Luc Godard. The Beatles grew sheepdog hair and Bakunin beards, and adopted the statutory exotic guru, but they never really had anything like the Stones’ sullen, dandified grandeur. The Stones were exquisites; the Beatles were Everyman. It’s the ...

The ashtrays worry me

Emilie Bickerton: Eric Rohmer, 19 March 2015

Eric Rohmer: Biographie 
by Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe.
Stock, 605 pp., €29, January 2014, 978 2 234 07561 0
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Friponnes de porcelaine 
by Eric Rohmer.
Stock, 304 pp., €20, January 2014, 978 2 234 07631 0
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... Rohmer’s work has never been especially cool or iconic, yet more than François Truffaut’s or Jean-Luc Godard’s it divides audiences right down the middle. Those who like his films are often protective and passionate and have seen them all; those who don’t complain of boredom and pointlessness. The complaints are partly a result of the subject ...

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