Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

  • Mood:

Friday Reads Part 1

Friday Reads Part 1 (the battery died as I was filming this video so I continued in another video Friday Reads)

'The Devil You Know' A Felix Castor Exorcism by Mike Carey

'Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-1950' by Agnes Poirier

French journalist Poirier (Touché: A French Woman’s Take on the English) attempts to capture life on the Left Bank during the desperate occupation years and tumultuous postwar period through the “kaleidoscope of destinies” of its leading intellectuals and artists. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre play a central role in Poirier’s narrative, drawing other writers and philosophers into their extensive professional network as well as their prolific, and sometimes messy, romantic entanglements. Poirier skillfully describes how, after the liberation of Paris, once-tight Resistance allies fragmented into cadres of Communists, right-leaning Gaullists, and adherents of Sartre’s idealistic “Third Way.” Amid the ongoing infighting, African-American artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Eartha Kitt, and Richard Wright were welcomed in Paris and performed freely there. Though the artists, musicians, and writers are the primary focus here, there’s a quiet admiration for the men—including a Nazi bureaucrat—who went to great lengths to save major art works and literature from destruction or seizure prior to and during the occupation. The tight focus on high-profile figures and relative absence of working-class Parisians results in the work feeling distant and limited, almost decontextualized from daily struggles in the city. Nevertheless, Poirier humanizes the extraordinary men and women of the Left Bank, unraveling the complicated stories behind a breathtaking number of literary, philosophical, and artistic masterpieces in a singular, heartbreaking era. (Feb.)

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded