16 May 2018

Manfred Flügge: Amer azur : Artistes et écrivains à Sanary (2007)

What can I say about this book? It's Manfred Flügge's first book in French, and it feels so justifiable to be so: Flügge is an expert in certain kinds of French culture, and this book is a tribute to the exiles of any nationality on the Côte d'Azur, especially in Sanary-sur-Mer.

I can't read this book from cover ot cover as it contains so much information about so many people, I have to re-read, go over the multiple stories, treasure them over a time. This is not a book to read in a few hours, or even a few days.

Amer azur begins with the 'patron saint' of exile,  Hermann Heine, who was an exile from Germany whose statue, after many wanderings, ended up in Toulon. It continues with the various 'generations' of visitors to the coast, beginning with the writers such as Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, Sybille Bedford (born in Germany but married by convenience to conceal her birth), then painters such as André Masson and Walter Bondy. And then the mainly German writers such as Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, Franz Werfel and Alma Mahler-Werfel, Franz Hessel of Jules et Jim fame, and on and on.

Amer azur: Artistes et écrivains à Sanary is a book to treasure, to read over and over again in order to discover, to understand,  just a part of France's rich literary history. Wonderful.

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