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Mireille Gansel grew up in the traumatic aftermath of her family losing everything-including their native languages-to Nazi Germany. In the 1960s and 70s, she translated poets from East Berlin and Vietnam to help broadcast their defiance to the rest of the world. In this half memoire, half philosophical treatise Gansel's debut illustrates the estrangement every translator experiences for the privilege of moving between tongues, and muses on how translation becomes an exercise of empathy between those in exile.
*Shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay* Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 by the Financial Times, Guardian, New Statesman, Observer, The Millions and Emerald Street 'Flaneuse [flanne-euhze], noun, from the French. Feminine form of flaneur [flanne-euhr], an idler, a dawdling observer, usually found in cities. That is an imaginary definition.' If the word flaneur conjures up visions of Baudelaire, boulevards and bohemia - then what exactly is a flaneuse? In this gloriously provocative and celebratory book, Lauren Elkin defines her as 'a determined resourceful woman keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city, and the liberating possibilities of a good walk'. Part cultural meander, part memoir, Flaneuse traces the relationship between the city and creativity through a journey that begins in New York and moves us to Paris, via Venice, Tokyo and London, exploring along the way the paths taken by the flaneuses who have lived and walked in those cities. From nineteenth-century novelist George Sand to artist Sophie Calle, from war correspondent Martha Gellhorn to film-maker Agnes Varda, Flaneuse considers what is at stake when a certain kind of light-footed woman encounters the city and changes her life, one step at a time.
An erudite and highly enjoyable exploration of the most intriguing of personal spaces, from Greek and Roman antiquity through today The winner of France's prestigious Prix Femina Essai (2009), this imaginative and captivating book explores the many dimensions of the room in which we spend so much of our lives--the bedroom. Eminent cultural historian Michelle Perrot traces the evolution of the bedroom from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans to today, examining its myriad forms and functions, from royal king's chamber to child's sleeping quarters to lovers' trysting place to monk's cell. The history of women, so eager for a room of their own, and that of prisons, where the principal cause of suffering is the lack of privacy, is interwoven with a reflection on secrecy, walls, the night and its mysteries. Drawing from a wide range of sources, including architectural and design treatises, private journals, novels, memoirs, and correspondences, Perrot's engaging book follows the many roads that lead to the bedroom--birth, sex, illness, death--in its endeavor to expose the most intimate, nocturnal side of human history.
This passionate and monumental biography reassesses the life and legacy of one of the most significant cultural figures of the twentieth century Unevenly respected, easily hated, almost always suspected of being inferior to his reputation, Jean Cocteau has often been thought of as a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. In this landmark biography, Claude Arnaud thoroughly contests this characterization, as he celebrates Cocteau's "fragile genius-a combination almost unlivable in art" but in his case so fertile. Arnaud narrates the life of this legendary French novelist, poet, playwright, director, filmmaker, and designer who, as a young man, pretended to be a sort of a god, but who died as a humble and exhausted craftsman. His moving and compassionate account examines the nature of Cocteau's chameleon-like genius, his romantic attachments, his controversial politics, and his intimate involvement with many of the century's leading artistic lights, including Picasso, Proust, Hemingway, Stravinsky, and Tennessee Williams. Already published to great critical acclaim in France, Arnaud's penetrating and deeply researched work reveals a uniquely gifted artist while offering a magnificent cultural history of the twentieth century.
The Oulipo celebrated its fiftieth birthday in 2010, and as it enters its sixth decade, its members, fans and critics are all wondering: where can it go from here? In two long essays Scott Esposito and Lauren Elkin consider Oulipo's strengths, weaknesses, and impact on today's experimental literature.
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