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Promenade Dora-Bruder

Adam Shatz: Patrick Modiano

21 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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... In​ 1966, a young writer named Patrick Modiano published his first short story, a satire set in a summer concentration camp called ‘Saint-Tropez-Ravensbrück’. Surrounded by ‘charming Kapos’, the inmates – ‘children of Himmler and Coca-Cola’ – are lulled into submission by LSD and hedonism. Paris’s leading artists and intellectuals praise the camp; Jean-Luc Godard offers to shoot a collaborationist film ...

J. xx Drancy. 13/8/42

Michael Wood: Patrick Modiano

30 November 2000
The Search Warrant 
by Patrick Modiano, translated by Joanna Kilmartin.
Harvill, 137 pp., £7.99, September 2000, 1 86046 612 5
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... Patrick Modiano’s fiction is intricately caught up in time, as he himself says. ‘The great, the inevitable subject of the novel, is always . . . time.’ And more interestingly, less portentously: ‘I had the mania of looking back, always that feeling of something lost, not like paradise, but certainly lost ...

A Few Pitiful Traitors

David Drake: The French Resistance

4 May 2016
Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance 
by Robert Gildea.
Faber, 593 pp., £20, September 2015, 978 0 571 28034 6
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Occupation Trilogy: ‘La Place de l’etoile’, ‘The Night Watch’, ‘Ring Roads’ 
by Patrick Modiano, translated by Caroline Hillier, Patricia Wolf and Frank Wynne.
Bloomsbury, 336 pp., £18.99, August 2015, 978 1 4088 6790 7
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... it to be shown on TV. The documentary opened at an independent cinema in Paris in April 1971. Patrick Modiano’s Occupation novels, first published around that time and republished last year as a single-volume trilogy in English translation following Modiano’s Nobel Prize, portray a world in which it is hard to ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!

11 October 2018
This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... Museum of Art in New York) as well as a long-serving translator who has rendered Raymond Roussel, Patrick Modiano, Marguerite Duras and many others. ‘A good translation,’ he writes, ‘offers not a reproduction of the work but an interpretation, a re-representation, just as the performance of a play or a sonata is a representation of the script or ...

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 his films is ‘in reality an effect of memory’. The same observation might be made of Patrick Modiano, whose noirish investigations of wartime Paris, spun from newspaper clippings and phone listings, often recall Melville’s cinema. Their work converges, too, in a shared feeling for Nazi-occupied Paris, their fascination with the underworlds ...

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