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Rainy Days

Gabriele Annan, 18 September 1997

The File on H 
by Ismail Kadare, translated by David Bellos.
Harvill, 169 pp., £8.99, June 1997, 9781860462573
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... bored wife with the Irishman called Bill. She is a remote descendant – via someone like Paul Morand – of Madame Bovary, and she organises a dance for the Irishmen. I was as eager as Natasha Rostov before her first ball to know what a dance in a provincial town in Albania would have been like c.1938, but Kadare is not Tolstoy, and all I learnt ...

Why are you so fat?

Bee Wilson: Coco Chanel, 7 January 2010

Perfumes: The A-Z Guide 
by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.
Profile, 620 pp., £12.99, October 2009, 978 1 84668 127 1
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Chanel: Her Life, Her World, The Woman behind the Legend 
by Edmonde Charles-Roux, translated by Nancy Amphoux.
MacLehose, 428 pp., £14.99, June 2009, 978 1 906694 24 1
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The Allure of Chanel 
by Paul Morand, translated by Euan Cameron.
Pushkin, 181 pp., £12, September 2009, 978 1 901285 98 7
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Coco before Chanel 
directed by Anne Fontaine.
July 2009
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... everyone else to smell like her and look like her. ‘I imposed black,’ she told her friend Paul Morand in the collection of reminiscences he published after her death as The Allure of Chanel, ‘it’s still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around.’ Chanel No. 5 – still the bestselling perfume in the world– also wipes ...

Magnificent Cuckolds

William Empson, 24 January 1991

... treats Crommelynck’s work with just though brief respect, and lists that Le Cocu was reviewed by Paul Morand in La Nouvelle Revue Française in 1921, its first year. It is thus not quite true that the beautiful innocence of the quarrelsome mind of Joyce, his complete lack of snobbery when confronted with literary merit, saved him from getting cross ...

When Eyesight is Fully Industrialised

John Kerrigan, 16 October 1997

Open Sky 
by Paul Virilio, translated by Julie Rose.
Verso, 152 pp., £35, August 1997, 9781859848807
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... but seeing them move apart suddenly, as though the ground were splitting open.’ In Open Sky Paul Virilio cites this experience to secure an abstruse point about ‘the fractal nature of vision that results from high-speed adaptation’, but it also helps him connect, with typically swift insouciance, some of the leading themes of his ...

Why Barbie may never be tried

R.W. Johnson, 5 March 1987

The People’s Anger: Justice and Revenge in Post-Liberation France 
by Herbert Lottman.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 09 165580 3
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... Academy was a grudging discretion. Ten years was deemed a decent enough interval in the case of Paul Morand, for example, whose ‘role during the last war’ led to the defeat of his candidacy in 1958: in 1968 he was duly elected to the Academy. The Academy’s refusal of all attempts at reform and renewal has not done it much good: today it is seen ...

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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... collaborationists. When he won the Roger-Nimier Prize in May 1968, it was bestowed on him by Paul Morand, a former adviser to Pierre Laval. Modiano defended his borrowings from anti-Semitic literature as a ‘kind of weapon’ against anti-Semitism, but this critique, it turned out, could also be read as a homage. Modiano’s​ best-known ...

A Ripple of the Polonaise

Perry Anderson: Work of the Nineties, 25 November 1999

History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Despatches from Europe in the Nineties 
by Timothy Garton Ash.
Allen Lane, 441 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 7139 9323 5
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... the wars, there was a strong strain of exoticism in French writing, variously surfacing in Gide, Morand, Saint-Exupéry, Michaux, Leiris, Malraux and others, to which Tristes Tropiques can be seen as a melancholy quietus. Little comparable followed. On this side of the Channel, where the tradition was always less philosophical, no such break is visible. The ...

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