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Værker af Agnès Catherine Poirier

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Kanonisk navn
Poirier, Agnès Catherine
Paris, France
London School of Economics
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris
political commentator
film critic
Kort biografi
Agnès C. Poirier was born in Paris and graduated from the Sorbonne and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po). She went to live in London in 1995, originally as a Ph.D. student at the London School of Economics. She's an independent writer for Le Nouvel Observateur and Le Monde, and her work in English has been featured in The Guardian, The Times and The Independent on Sunday. She also has been a correspondent for Marianne, La Vie and the Italian L'espresso. From 2001 to 2006, she was a political correspondent and film critic for Libération. She's also an advisor to the Cannes Film Festival on British films. She is a regular contributor to the BBC, Sky News, and Al Jazeera. Her first book was Les Nouveaux Anglais (2005), followed by Touché! A French Woman's Take on the English (2006), Le Modèle anglais, une illusion française (2007), and Les Pintades à Londres (2008).



It had me hooked. This is a wonderful piece of non-fiction that chronicles the development of the Paris Left-Bank intellectuals. The author explains how the second world war was a prime influence in shaping the minds and attitudes of Parisians and how, in the time after the war, the intellectuals and artists influenced the public and government through publications, demonstrations and debate. All this is played out on the world's political, artistic and intellectual stage. The author's style draws the reader in as she uses source material to extrapolate the personal and emotional events of her subjects. This is an accessible history of a fascinating time.… (mere)
dwhatson | 9 andre anmeldelser | Aug 11, 2023 |
(book #63 from 2022):
Left Bank : Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-1950 by Agnès Poirier
reader: Christa Lewis
published: 2018
format: 13:49 audible audiobook (352 pages in hardcover)
acquired: December 11, 2022 listened: Dec 11-30, 2022
rating: 2½
genre/style: cultural history theme: Richard Wright
locations: Paris
about the author: French journalist working in London, born 1975

My Litsy post:

Poirier‘s fact-dump on post-war Paris - 1945-1949 - is more like a biography on Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, but without getting too close. It‘s so fact dense, that it practically lacks a narrative. Unfortunately it‘s compromised on audio by a terrible effort that make no distinction of tone or subject changes. It becomes monotonous facts. They‘re deadening at their worst, but hit strides of fascination. My last audiobook for 2022.


Fact-wise there is a lot of interesting stuff here. She begins with an effort to capture the WWII occupied France experience, especially for Sartre (who was imprisoned), Beauvoir, Picasso & Camus, Hungarian-born, Jewish Arthur Koestler, and the Irish Samuel Beckett. Then after the war ends in Europe, as Paris lives in a state of shortages, rationing & rebuilding, and remaking its Republic, and when the WWII resistance Communist heroes were politically prominent, tilting France ever so close towards that direction, then she brings in both the intellectual explosion and international visitors. I can't capture all the names, but they include Canadian-born Chicago author Saul Bellow, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Nelson Algren, actor Marlon Brando (who I didn't know was gay), Norman Mailer and many more.

The five-year post-war period she covers was unique in France in that the leading intellectuals, like Sartre and Koestler, had political impact, and influenced the direction of the Republic. Their support for Communism helped encourage its spread, and when they later pulled away, it helped defeat it. Sartre eventually created his own party, and its rather pathetic failure is presented here as eclipsing much of how he saw the purpose of his life. A non-violent resister during the war, unlike, say Camus, who was in the action, his philosophical ways had influence, but not as much as he imagined, unless that's just Poirier's spin. I don't really know. Beauvoir, his non-exclusive partner, did not eclipse. She published [The Second Sex] during this period, a book Poirier makes almost the high point of her book. She left me wanting to read it.

So, this has the information to make a good book. But is tries to cover so much, switches topics so fast, that I was really left feeling like I just took in a fact dump, without atmosphere and without any true sense of what all these artists were actually creating. So, ultimately, not recommended for anyone who is looking for atmosphere in their literature.

… (mere)
dchaikin | 9 andre anmeldelser | Jan 7, 2023 |
לא באמת ספר טוב. יותר רכילות של זיונים, פגישות, מקומות, ותאריכים של מפורסתמים בגדה השמאלית של פריז בשנות המלחמה ואחריה. מרתק בגלל שזו מפה, גם אם לא מוסברת, של תקופה ומקום שהיו מיוחדים מאוד לדור שלי וכנראה שלא יחזרו עוד. חשוב כדי להזכיר לך בכמה מקומות היית וכמה ספרים קראת וכמה אתה רוצה עוד לקרוא פעם שנייה או ראשונה… (mere)
1 stem
amoskovacs | 9 andre anmeldelser | Sep 13, 2022 |
This short book was written after the tragic fire in April 2019 that almost destroyed this Medieval cathedral that is the very heart, the very quintessence of Paris. Despite having no real French or Catholic connections, I felt personally affected by this event. After recounting the shocking events of that night, the book then goes to recount the cathedral's central role in French political, religious and cultural life, from the beautiful, functional and intricately designed plans of the unknown architects in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, through its partial transformation to a Temple of Reason during the French Revolution, its restoration during the mid 19th century following the publicity engendered by Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, and its symbolic role in its bells ringing in the liberation from Nazi occupation and De Gaulle's triumphant re-entry into his capital.

Notre Dame is a centre of French existence in a way that no equivalent British building really is, despite the many wonderful, historic buildings we have. Despite the separation between state and Church in 1905, which "was a defining moment for the young republic, an act of emancipation from a power which had ruled over and stifled French society for centuries" the author considers that the fire "revealed that a staunchly secular country had its roots firmly grounded in history, a history that was Christian.....Atheists and believers can find here the same memories, for they are France’s memories. Notre-Dame belongs to every French citizen and every one of them will want to have a say in her future".
… (mere)
john257hopper | 1 anden anmeldelse | Aug 26, 2021 |


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