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Behind the Gas Lamp

Julian Barnes: Félix Fénéon

4 October 2007
Novels in Three Lines 
by Félix Fénéon, translated by Luc Sante.
NYRB, 171 pp., £7.99, August 2007, 978 1 59017 230 8
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... of Fénéon’s obliqueness, his decision not to face us directly, either as readers or as examiners of his life. In literary and artistic history he comes down to us in shards, kaleidoscopically. LucSante, in his introduction to Novels in Three Lines, describes him well as being ‘invisibly famous’ – and he was even more invisible to Anglophone readers until Joan Ungersma Halperin’s fine ...
15 June 2016
The Other Paris: An Illustrated Journey through a City’s Poor and Bohemian Past 
by Luc Sante.
Faber, 306 pp., £25, November 2015, 978 0 571 24128 6
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How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Allen Lane, 427 pp., £20, June 2015, 978 1 84614 602 2
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... became human parchment for the journal’s opinions: in 1902 the police arrested 15 apaches and found they were covered in tattoos – among them, images of the Boer leader, Paul Kruger. Apaches, as LucSante explains in The Other Paris, were propelled to fame by imaginative fin-de-siècle journalists and pamphleteers who felt the city was at risk from ‘an army of crime’. The cause of the ...

The Real Thing!

Julian Barnes: Visions of Vice

17 December 2015
Splendeurs et misères: Images de la prostitution 1850-1910 
Musée d’Orsay, until 17 January 2016Show More
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
Grand Palais, until 11 January 2016Show More
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9 February 2016 to 15 May 2016Show More
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... his attitude to ordinary working girls is much more sympathetic than to those higher up the social scale; he also reserves more scorn for the male than the female in their paid exchanges. LucSante, in his recent The Other Paris: An Illustrated Journey through a City’s Poor and Bohemian Past, dismisses Du Camp as ‘an end-of-society hysteric’.* This seems a little over-robust; those six ...

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