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Après the Avant Garde

Fredric Jameson, 12 December 1996

Histoire de ‘Tel Quel’, 1960-82 
by Philippe Forest.
Seuil, 656 pp., frs 180, October 1995, 2 02 017346 8
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The Time of Theory: A History of ‘Tel Quel’ (1960-83) 
by Patrick ffrench.
Oxford, 318 pp., £37.50, December 1995, 0 19 815897 1
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The Making of an Avant Garde: ‘Tel Quel’ 
by Niilo Kauppi.
Mouton de Gruyter, 516 pp., August 1994, 3 11 013952 9
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... and hastening its dissolution into Post-Modernism, the charismatic role of Tel Quel’s leader, Philippe Sollers, will confirm many dark suspicions about the relations between power and the very ideal of an avant garde (including the vanguard political parties, most notably the Bolsheviks, on which the aesthetic ones were explicitly based). And ...

At the Petit Palais

Sarah Gould: On Théodore Rousseau, 6 June 2024

... hot summer days, Parisians escape to the suburb of Fontainebleau. After the Château Royal, the forest is the city’s second monument, or at least that’s the way Théodore Rousseau saw it: a refuge from inflation, pollution, noise and epidemics (in 1849, artists confined themselves there to escape a cholera outbreak), and an inheritance. From the ...

Under the Arrow Storm

Tom Shippey: The Battle of Crécy, 8 September 2022

Crécy: Battle of Five Kings 
by Michael Livingston.
Osprey, 303 pp., £20, June, 978 1 4728 4705 8
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... of the old king’s badge and Ich dien motto. Most of all, perhaps, the timid leadership of Philippe VI when compared to that of Edward III, so like his grandfather and so unlike his father, who had failed pitifully at Bannockburn.Behind this account, one suspects, is the recurrent urge in Anglo-American military historiography to make history more ...


Esther Chadwick: Edgar Degas, 30 June 2016

... photographic cartes de visite, though he didn’t make his own photographs until 1895.) ‘Forest in the Mountains’ (c.1890) The monotype layer in so many of Degas’s pastels might also serve, as Armstrong suggests in her catalogue essay, as a kind of ‘optical unconscious’. Another cognate pair on display, Woman Reclining on Her Bed ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: The Devil and Robert Bresson, 5 June 2008

Le Diable, probablement 
directed by Robert Bresson.
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... from a failed quest to find the missing Lancelot, they say: ‘No sign of Lancelot, but the forest was the devil.’ All they mean, it seems, is that a fierce storm overtook them there and is about to reach Arthur’s camp. But that is not all Bresson means. The forest is the devil, home at the beginning of the movie ...

Stabbing the Olive

Tom McCarthy: Toussaint, 11 February 2010

Running Away 
by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated by Matthew Smith.
Dalkey, 156 pp., $12.95, November 2009, 978 1 56478 567 1
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La Vérité sur Marie 
by Jean-Philippe Toussaint.
Minuit, 204 pp., €14.50, September 2009, 978 2 7073 2088 9
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... among this group, and bearing that quintessentially French distinction of being Belgian, is Jean-Philippe Toussaint. Born in 1957, Toussaint was out of the blocks quickly: by the age of 35 he’d published four novels. It’s the last of these, the so far untranslated La Réticence, which most blatantly betrays his generation’s haunting by its ...

A Generous Quantity of Fat

Paul Henley: Yes, People Were Cooked, 2 September 1999

Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric American South-West 
by Christy Turner and Jacqueline Turner.
Utah, 512 pp., $60, January 1999, 9780874805666
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Cannibalism and the Colonial World 
edited by Francis Barker and Peter Hulme.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £13.95, August 1998, 0 521 62118 6
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Cannibals: The Discovery and Representation of the Cannibal from Columbus to Jules Verne 
by Frank Lestringant, translated by Rosemary Morris.
Polity, 256 pp., £39.50, April 1997, 0 7456 1697 6
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Chronicles of the Guayakí Indians 
by Pierre Clastres, translated by Paul Auster.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 571 19398 6
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... sloughing off the association with cannibalism. In John Boorman’s Hollywood movie, The Emerald Forest, the cannibal Indians are the bad guys, in league with the dam-builders who will flood the forest and dispossess the friendly Indians who are the film’s heroes. This is in line with Lestringant’s general argument ...


John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... whose job it was to cut survey lines in the jungle. He often talked of his experience in the forest, of being unable to see further than a few yards above his head where most of the army of animals lived, and even farther above where the eagles soared.’ A main problem for the West Indian novelist, according to Kenneth Ramchand, is how to handle the ...


Sean Maguire: In Sarajevo, 28 January 1993

... not just to its capital. The United Nations negotiators were pleased with their success. General Philippe Morillon, the Bosnian UNPROFOR force commander, needed the accord much more than its signatories did. He had just installed a new force of 7000 UN-mandated troops across Bosnia to secure aid deliveries, and needed a political success to shine light on ...

Hitting and running

Eugen Weber, 10 June 1993

In Search of the Maquis: Rural Resistance in Southern France, 1942-1944 
by H.R. Kedward.
Oxford, 342 pp., £35, March 1993, 0 19 821931 8
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Outwitting the Gestapo 
by Lucie Aubrac, translated by Konrad Bieber and Betsy Wing.
Nebraska, 235 pp., $25, June 1993, 0 8032 1029 9
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... whose grandfather had ridden off to help the Duchesse de Berri dethrone the impostor Louis-Philippe. When Polish resisters were arrested in the Tarn for planning to blow up the electrical works on which the Carmaux mines depended, the Marquis de Solages, the owner of the mines, and his wife visited them in jail, while Mgr de Solages, a clerical member ...

Slippery Prince

Graham Robb: Napoleon III, 19 June 2003

Napoleon III and His Regime: An Extravaganza 
by David Baguley.
Louisiana State, 392 pp., £38.50, December 2000, 0 8071 2624 1
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The French Second Empire: An Anatomy of Political Power 
by Roger Price.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £55, January 2002, 0 521 80830 8
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... covered his mouth. To think that the silly fools would really take him seriously.’ Through the forest of subjectivities, one particular view does eventually emerge: Louis Napoléon was a well-meaning, old-fashioned man who was comical in daily life and epic only in disaster. If, as Baguley claims, there was ‘something essentially literary in the course ...

Aids and the Polio Vaccine

Edward Hooper: New evidence, 3 April 2003

... discover which primate tissue cultures the Stanleyville doctors had used to prepare the vaccine. Philippe Elebe worked from April 1956 as a technician in the microbiology department (where Osterrieth had worked until the virology section opened in 1957). He told us that they had indeed been producing tissue culture, and that he had been in charge of culture ...

Art Is a Cupboard!

Tony Wood: Daniil Kharms, 8 May 2008

Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms 
edited and translated by Matvei Yankelevich.
Overlook Duckworth, 287 pp., £20, October 2007, 978 1 58567 743 6
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... what they were. In his excellent 1991 study, Daniil Harms et la fin de l’avant-garde russe, Jean-Philippe Jaccard noted the differences between the Oberiu’s aspirations and those of its predecessors. The zaum poets had attempted to create their ‘transrational’ language the better to grasp reality: in Kharms, ‘this disintegration of language went in ...

Who Whips Whom

Leland de la Durantaye: Sade, 19 February 2015

Justine et autres romans 
by D.A.F. de Sade, edited by Michel Delon and Jean Deprun.
Gallimard, 1152 pp., €60, October 2014, 978 2 07 014669 7
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... on him, from Beauvoir to Foucault, to Blanchot, to Lacan, to Bataille, to Barthes, to Deleuze, to Philippe Sollers. These national celebrations have been surprising for several reasons. Sade was jailed by all three French governments under which he lived and each of his erotic works was banned by the authorities on publication: an interdiction so serious and ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... Coe, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Daniel Finn, Dawn Foster, Jeremy Harding, Colin Kidd, Ross McKibbin, Philippe Marlière, James Meek, Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, Wolfgang Streeck, Daniel TrillingDavid RuncimanSo who​ is to blame? Please don’t say the voters: 17,410,742 is an awful lot of ...

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