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The man in the red coat af Julian Barnes
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The man in the red coat (original 2019; udgave 2019)

af Julian Barnes

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
297669,014 (3.78)17
"From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending-a rich, witty, revelatory tour of Belle Époque Paris, via the remarkable life story of the pioneering surgeon, Samuel Pozzi. In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days' intellectual shopping: a prince, a count, and a commoner with an Italian name. In time, each of these men would achieve a certain level of renown, but who were they then and what was the significance of their sojourn to England? Answering these questions, Julian Barnes unfurls the stories of their lives which play out against the backdrop of the Belle Époque in Paris. Our guide through this world is Samuel Pozzi, the society doctor, free-thinker and man of science with a famously complicated private life who was the subject of one of John Singer Sargent's greatest portraits. In this vivid tapestry of people (Henry James, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Proust, James Whistler, among many others), place, and time, we see not merely an epoch of glamour and pleasure, but, surprisingly, one of violence, prejudice, and nativism-with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine. The Man in the Red Coat is, at once, a fresh portrait of the Belle Époque; an illuminating look at the longstanding exchange of ideas between Britain and France; and a life of a man who lived passionately in the moment but whose ideas and achievements were far ahead of his time"--… (mere)
Medlem:John_Trouble_Wil2820
Titel:The man in the red coat
Forfattere:Julian Barnes
Info:London : Vintage Digital, 2019.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read

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The Man in the Red Coat af Julian Barnes (2019)

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Reading The Man in the Red Coat is like lounging in a sumptuously furnished room before an artfully murmuring fire, with an inexhaustible carafe of excellent wine, and a brilliant, wry, erudite friend. Your friend knows everyone and has read everything, and you slouch into your velvet chair as he regales you with stories and gossip and anecdotes about Belle Epoque Paris. Artists, actors, socialites, poets, poseurs, eccentrics, dandies, languid aristocrats, heiresses, politicians, novelists, and Dr. Samuel Pozzi... there's something juicy or weird or fascinating about all of them, and he rambles from tale to tale, stopping by the way to explain about Oscar Wilde's testimony, Pre-Raphaelite art, Dreyfus (Pozzi was Dreyfus's physician), homosexuality, and whatever happened to Sarah Bernhardt's amputated leg (Pozzi was one of Bernhardt's lovers).

Barnes slily lets you know what he's about, when he describes a notorious novel of the day by Huysmans called A Rebours ("Against the Grain"): "One of the originalities of A Rebours is how frequently it breaks off from its already slender narrative and diverts into essayistic mode. There are reflections on contemporary literature, on art and music..." (p. 39). The "slender narrative" here is the life of Dr. Samuel Pozzi, a "disgustingly handsome" and brilliant surgeon of the era, who wrote the first proper medical textbook on gynecology in France, with admonitions of antiseptic technique, of speaking with courtesy and honesty to your patients while always maintaining their dignity and privacy, and warming the speculum with warm sterile water before using it. And in essayistic mode, Barnes goes everywhere else. The book is delightfully illustrated with postcard portraits of contemporary celebrities, culled from the merchandiser Felix Potin's chocolate package collection, a 19th century version of bubblegum or Pokemon trading cards (and yes, Pozzi was gorgeous).

The book rambles, wanders, and sometimes repeats itself. It is lush, discursive, something to have a cozy wallow in. If you want a straightforward scholarly biography, look elsewhere. But for a gossipy, articulate, slightly salacious, Francophilic, eccentric read, you can't do better.

juliestielstra.com
( )
  JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
Een mooi boek, maar ook wat brokkelig, ik zou zeggen koket-brokkelig om te laten zien hoe je als oudere gelauwerde auteur mijmerend en associerend een betere biografie of schets van een tijdperk kunt geven dan menig geleerde. Uitgangspunt is het schilderij van Sargent van The man in the red coat, Dokter Samuel Pozzi (1881), een schitterend portret van de centrale figuur hier en de 'hero' (het laatste woord ) van dit boek, en terecht want Pozzi, die ik niet kende, is inderdaad een held: Frans (ondanks zijn naam) medicus van Protestante afkomst maar ongelovig, briljant arts, de eerste bezetter van de leerstoel gynaecologie in Frk, versierder, frequenteerder van de hoogste kringen, minnaar van Sarah Bernardt en talloze anderen (en idd een zeer knappe, sexy man om te zien), altijd bereid om bij te leren over zijn vak en credits gevend waar dat nodig is, collectionneur, fin-de-siècle hotemetoot maar niet puur dandy. Alleen als echtgenoot en vader misschien minder een succes. Hij is een van de drie mannen die Londen bezoeken in 1885, het begin van dit boek: Graaf Robert de Montesquiou, gestold als Charlus in Proust, Vorst Edmond de Polignac en Pozzi. De eerste twee openlijk homoseksueel, Montesquiou het inbegrip van de dandy, de verzamelaar, de estheet, de arrogante edelman. Barnes geeft heel veel info over de dandy, de rol van Wilde, Huysmans en zijn inspiraties en idem Proust, en het hele Parijse milieu, vol boeiende mensen die ik vele decennia geleden verzamelde. Vooral interessant vond ik Jean Lorrain, een nog excentriekere nicht, verslaafd aan alles en een hypervalse journalist die toch als burger nooit echt meetelde. ook Thérèse Pozzi, de antistem van haar vader in sommige opzichten, natuurlijk ook een flirt met Lesbos, is interessant. Schilders, literatoren, maar ook veel details over Pozzi's medische bezigheden en vernieuwingen (en ook zijn ironische dood, neergeschoten door een insignificante patiënt met zeldzame aandoening aan het scrotum). En veel prachtige illustraties. ( )
1 stem Harm-Jan | Jul 3, 2020 |


[The Man in the Red Coat] by [[Julian Barnes]]

I was already reading this one, a Mother's Day gift, when several friends posted about how much they loved it. I can't say that I was quite as impressed, mainly because the topic, Belle Epoque Parisian society (1871-1914) just didn't interest me all that much. The book centers around the life and work of Dr. Samuel Pozzi,the subject of John Singer Sargeant's well-known painting, Dr. Pozzi at Home. Pozzi was a physician who specialized in gynecology and abdominal surgery, and he is credited with bringing Joseph Lister's antiseptic methods to France and with being among the first surgeons to perform a laparotomy. A handsome man, he gained notoriety for seducing a number of his patients, and he had several mistresses, including Sarah Bernhardt. Although he was a society physician, he was also in charge of a hospital that cared for poor patients. He is the most likable person in this social biography, coming across as a kind, caring, generous man and a loyal friend (although falling rather short as both a husband and father).

The book begins when Pozzi accompanies two friends and fellow aesthetes, Prince Edmond de Polignac and Count Robert de Montesquiou, to London for a few days of "intellectual and decorative shopping." They look forward to visiting The Crystal Palace and to meeting Henry James and carry a letter of introduction from Sargeant. These two are--well, shall we say, less admirable than Pozzi? Montesquiou spent his life collecting curiosities (the bullet that killed Pushkin, a tortoise that sadly died after he had its shell gilded and bejewelled), dabbling in poetry, and portraying the dandy to an extreme that surpassed Oscar Wilde (who also comes into play several times throughout the book). He was openly homosexual and not particularly kind to his devoted lover. Polignac, a closeted homosexual, married an American heiress for her fortune; both claimed it was a happy marriage, perhaps because his wife, a divorcée who had threatened her husband on their wedding night, preferred women.

A real plus is the series of photos of prominent Parisians that appear throughout the book. these were originally inserted into candy bars--kind of early baseball cards that people collected. And of course, many paintings of the main figures are reproduced as well as photographs both formal and casual.

[The Man in the Red Coat] does an excellent job of recreating the era with all its parties, political debates, duels, scandals, excessive spending, and artistic innovation. James, Proust, Sargeant, Bernhardt, Wilde, Whistler and others weave in and out, but the focus is on their social presence, not their art. In the end, I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the details and anecdotes--and not terribly interested in a good deal of them, I'm afraid. Fortunately, Barnes keeps coming back to Pozzi. Excerpts from his daughter's diary are at times heartbreaking: it's clear that she was torn between remaining loyal to her mother and desperately longing for her father's attention. And unlike many of the stories about Polignac and Montesquiou, which I found mostly silly or annoying, those about Pozzi, including several surgeries and accomplishments and his own death, were intriguing and helped to reveal this complex man. ( )
  Cariola | Jun 19, 2020 |
A whirlwind of entertaining erudition on the Belle Epoque. Charming and funny, with an unforgettable cast of caractères vrais. ( )
  beaujoe | Mar 9, 2020 |
I don't think Barnes says Pozzi has figured centrally in his imagination for quite some time. As I remember, he says he came upon Sargent's wildly suggestive portrait of the doctor, and the doctor himself, only a few years ago at an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The book has all the freshness of an intriguing new discovery. What he does bring to bear is considerable scholarly knowledge of the Parisian Belle Époque, which period designation he points out surprisingly enough dates from the German Occupation of the 1940s.
  OutofLondon | Jan 19, 2020 |
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In June, 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London.
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"From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending-a rich, witty, revelatory tour of Belle Époque Paris, via the remarkable life story of the pioneering surgeon, Samuel Pozzi. In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days' intellectual shopping: a prince, a count, and a commoner with an Italian name. In time, each of these men would achieve a certain level of renown, but who were they then and what was the significance of their sojourn to England? Answering these questions, Julian Barnes unfurls the stories of their lives which play out against the backdrop of the Belle Époque in Paris. Our guide through this world is Samuel Pozzi, the society doctor, free-thinker and man of science with a famously complicated private life who was the subject of one of John Singer Sargent's greatest portraits. In this vivid tapestry of people (Henry James, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, Proust, James Whistler, among many others), place, and time, we see not merely an epoch of glamour and pleasure, but, surprisingly, one of violence, prejudice, and nativism-with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine. The Man in the Red Coat is, at once, a fresh portrait of the Belle Époque; an illuminating look at the longstanding exchange of ideas between Britain and France; and a life of a man who lived passionately in the moment but whose ideas and achievements were far ahead of his time"--

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