27 September 2017
26 September 2017
Que votre Volonté soit faite etnon la mienne.
Mais je vourdrais semer des oiseaux dans ceux que j'aime
Et qu'ils ne souffrent pas quand je m'endormirai.'
Louis Pauwels (1920–1997) was, as the stone above states, a poet, writer and journalist. He was the editor-in-chief of Combat in 1949, directed the monthly Marie-France, and with Jacques Bergier founded the magazine Planète, dedicated to science, philosophy and esotericism. He later founded Figaro Magazine, which he was in charge of for more than twenty years. The novel L'Amour monstre (1954) is one of his principal fictional works.
24 September 2017
22 September 2017
Fondateur de « Kultura »
revue politique polonaise –
et de l'Institut Littéraire
a vécu et travaillé
dans cette maison'
Kultura was a Polish and world cultural magazine designed as an instrument against communist totalitarianism. Many important writers of the twentieth century contributed to it, such as Albert Camus, Simone Weil, George Orwell, Witold Gombrowicz, T. S. Eliot, Emil Cioran and Czesław Miłosz.
The heavily-cropped photo on the cover shows the happy couple looking perhaps not all that happy: the tiny village Sarrola in Corsica was chosen for the occasion – and the mountains can clearly be seen in the background – because they (and Gary especially) wanted to avoid a media circus at all costs.
However, this book is also a summary of the lives of Gary and Seberg, Gary the Vilnius-born possessor of many names, Seberg the small-town, Marshalltown, Iowa-born movie star. I loved the information about them visiting the Kennedys, and Jackie Onassis telling Jean Seberg (aside) not to get married as it ruins things. De Gaulle and his wife would certainly have objected, but then De Gaulle and America...
Jean Seberg went on to marry twice after her marriage to Gary (although her final marriage was bigamous) before killing herself 30 August 1979. Gary put a gun to his mouth on 2 December 1980, leaving a note that his suicide had nothing to do with Seberg. Really, nothing at all?
21 September 2017
20 September 2017
I have no problems at all with Éric Holder's short book, which in so many ways manages to pack in so more (in one hundred and fifty-seven pages) than the film, but the film manages to say so much more in a very short space, with a far more limited number of characters, without actually stating feelings, just leaving the unspoken to be said in images. Also, the two main characters in the book (the Portuguese manual worker Antonio and the school teacher Véronique Chambon) are roughly half the age of their counterparts in the film, which seems far more appropriate for the circumstances.
The story (in both novel and film) is about Antonio and Véronique, who come together (but never sexually) through Kevin, Antonio's son by his wife Anne-Marie. After the film, I found too much extraneous detail here, particularly in Antonio's workplace, the petty rivalry, and Antonio being under pressure to fall in with his boss Van Hamme's wishes.
Oh for the aching, gloriously ferocious non-dits of the film, I thought. Which all the same in no way discourages me from reading any more of Éric Holder's work.
The film Mademoiselle Chambon:
Stéphane Brizé's Mademoiselle Chambon
My other post on Éric Holder:
Éric Holder: L'homme de chevet
Bernard-Marie Koltès: Dans la solitude des champs de coton | In the Solitude of Cotton Fields (2010)
My other Bernard-Marie Koltès posts:
As for Jerry, who has come from Afghanistan, there are obvious suggestions of Islamisation: he doesn't like eating pork (including lard with fried eggs which he used to love), and appears to be only interested in making money for a mysterious organisation.
Max has stomached twenty-two years as an accountant to Pourcelet, a highly unsympathetic boss. So why shouldn't he profit from him by (with Jerry) kidnapping his daughter Samantha and demanding half a million euros ransom money?
Well, this may be a hare-brained idea, but it may come off, although it of course doesn't allow for sibling rivalry, or (perish the thought) Stockholm syndrome. Crime (whisper it gently) often does pay, but that payment might come at a high price. This is Yves Ravey, and his books resist being put down.
Yves Ravey: La Fille de mon meilleur ami
Yves Ravey: Un notaire peu ordinaire
Yves Ravey: Trois Jours chez ma tante
19 September 2017
Boby's singing involves great use of puns and other play on words, Spoonerisms, nonsense, general absurdity, and it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of people have found his work too difficult to understand, although to contradict this many children have also enjoyed his playfulness. Even just after the age of twenty he was using a pun in a very serious situation: he escaped from the Nazi work camp (Service du Travail Obligatoire, usually called STO) and made his way back to Pézenas as Robert Foulcan (for which read fout le camp, which of course is exactly what he was doing).
The book charts his love of women, his love of wine, his sense of humour, and his inability to deal with money. He was very fortunate to have Georges Brassens (who too didn't care much for money, although he had enough of it) change his bald car tyres for new ones, even give him a new car and help his family out.
There are many humorous moments in this book, such as the attempts to take a plaster cast of his penis, or the fact that (as Pierre Perret notes in the Preface) he could even joke about dying of cancer: usually late for gigs, he suddenly as if by miracle started turning up early for them: when other performers took a long time getting to a venue because of the difficulty parking, Boby simply parked on the pavement: his reasoning was that he wouldn't have to pay the fines because he'd be dead.
We're lucky to have this book. But why hasn't it been re-printed?
My other Boby Lapointe posts:
The Birth and Death of Boby Lapointe in Pézenas, Hérault (34)
Musée Boby Lapointe, Pézenas, Hérault (34)
Boby Lapointe Sculptures in Pézenas, Hérault (34)
18 September 2017
David Skelton of New Zealand sends me this superb shot of Karl Wood's oil painting of a smock mill which he rescued from oblivion. It's dated 1933 and Guy Blythman has identified it as Baker Street mill, Orsett, Essex. This is now a grade II listed building, and is partly a house conversion. Many thanks to both David Skelton and Guy Blythman for this.