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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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... the group offers an interesting laboratory experiment, while for those bent on denouncing the modern 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 ...

At MoMA

Esther Chadwick: Edgar Degas

29 June 2016
... alongside his interest in photography; a sketchbook from as early as 1860 shows that he studied 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 ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: The Devil and Robert Bresson

5 June 2008
Le Diable, probablement 
directed by Robert Bresson.
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... by the same director. The devil is in the dialogue as well as the detail. When a group of knights returns 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 ...

Aliens

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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Genetha 
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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Sardines 
by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... She recalled the conversation of one of her father’s acquaintances, an assistant to a land surveyor 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 ...

Diary

Sean Maguire: In Sarajevo

28 January 1993
... agreed by military leaders and the first that applied to the whole Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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 ...

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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... of human society based on egalitarianism and in perfect harmony with nature, they have done so only by 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 ...

Stabbing the Olive

Tom McCarthy: Toussaint

11 February 2010
Running Away 
by Philippe​Toussaint" class="underline">Jean-Philippe​ Toussaint, translated by Matthew Smith.
Dalkey, 156 pp., $12.95, November 2009, 978 1 56478 567 1Show More
La Vérité sur Marie 
by Philippe​Toussaint" class="underline">Jean-Philippe​ Toussaint.
Minuit, 204 pp., €14.50, September 2009, 978 2 7073 2088 9Show More
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... their collective corpus to be occasionally tagged with the label ‘nouveau nouveau roman’. Foremost 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 ...
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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... one a local bourgeois, the other a veteran of the Spanish war), a Breton officer, and a legitimist nobleman 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 ...

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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... were just as imaginative: Louis-Napoléon ‘allowed a subtle smile to spread beneath the hair that 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 ...

Aids and the Polio Vaccine

Edward Hooper: New evidence

3 April 2003
... the vaccine as CHAT, the only vaccine then given by mouth in the Congo. It was now essential to 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 ...

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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... underpinning it, but rather to have both language and the world become something wholly other than 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 ...

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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... and Enlightened times. They also bear witness to the truly exceptional quantity of critical writing 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 ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum

13 July 2016
... David Runciman, Neal Ascherson, James Butler, T.J. Clark, Jonathan 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 ...
5 April 2012
The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir 
by Claude Lanzmann, translated by Frank Wynne.
Atlantic, 528 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 1 84887 360 5
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... he had the energy for ‘such a massive undertaking’. As an intellectual dignitary, he was guaranteed a warm reception in France when The Patagonian Hare was published three years ago by Gallimard; Philippe Sollers called it a ‘metaphysical event’. It’s an unbridled piece of self-celebration, dictated to his assistant editor at Les Temps modernes in what Lanzmann calls his ‘naturally epic ...

At the Crime Scene

Adam Shatz: Robbe-Grillet’s Bad Thoughts

30 July 2014
A Sentimental Novel 
by Alain Robbe-Grillet, translated by D.E. Brooke.
Dalkey Archive, 142 pp., £9.50, April 2014, 978 1 62897 006 7
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... La Belle Captive, the best Robbe-Grillet novels appeared under the names of other writers: Italo Calvino (If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller), Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy) and, later, Jean-Philippe Toussaint and Tom McCarthy.† In 2001 he published a sort of spy-thriller, a nouveau nouveau roman set in a ravaged postwar Berlin, but its title, La Reprise – ‘resumption’, ‘repetition ...

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