In this fascinating tour of a celebrated city during one of its most trying, significant, and ultimately triumphant eras, Agnes Poirier unspools the stories of the poets, writers, painters, and philosophers whose lives collided to extraordinary effect between 1940 and 1950. She gives us the human drama behind some of the most celebrated works of the 20th century, from Richard Wright's Native Son, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Saul Bellow's Augie March, along with the origin stories of now legendary movements, from Existentialism to the Theatre of the Absurd, New Journalism, bebop, and French feminism.
We follow Arthur Koestler and Norman Mailer as young men, peek inside Picasso's studio, and trail the twists of Camus's Sartre's, and Beauvoir's epic love stories. We witness the births and deaths of newspapers and literary journals and peer through keyholes to see the first kisses and last nights of many ill-advised bedfellows. At every turn, Poirier deftly hones in on the most compelling and colorful history, without undermining the crucial significance of the era. She brings to life the flawed, visionary Parisians who fell in love and out of it, who infuriated and inspired one another, all while reconfiguring the world's political, intellectual, and creative landscapes. With its balance of clear-eyed historical narrative and irresistible anecdotal charm, Left Bank transports readers to a Paris teeming with passion, drama, and life.
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- Verlag: Henry Holt and Co.
- Seitenzahl: 304
- Erscheinungstermin: 13. Februar 2018
- ISBN-13: 9781627790253
- Artikelnr.: 49230654
Cast of Characters xv
Map: Paris Left Bank xvi
I. War Was My Master
1. The Fall 9
2. The Choice 23
3. The Fight 46
4. The Desire 73
II. Modern Times
5. A Philosophy of Existence 95
6. Lust and Emancipation 116
7. A Third Way 136
III. The Ambiguities of Action
8. How Not to Be a Communist? 157
9. Love, Style, Drugs, and Loneliness 177
10. Action and Dissidence 189
11. "Paris's Gloom Is a Powerful Astringent" 213
IV. Sharpening the Senses
12. "They Owned Art While We Were Just Full of Dollars" 229
13. Stimulating the Nerves 240
14. Anger, Spite, and Failure 252
15. Vindicated 266
16. Farewells and a New Dawn 278