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Revolutionary Chic

Neal Ascherson, 5 November 1992

Chamfort: A Biography 
by Claude Arnaud, translated by Deke Dusinberre.
Chicago, 372 pp., £21.50, May 1992, 0 226 02697 3
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... I hope that it is true, that Chamfort has been almost totally forgotten in the Anglo-Saxon world. Arnaud demonstrates that he was widely read and appreciated on the Continent, when his aphorisms were published after his death, and that his sayings became common currency not only in France but in Russia and Germany. Büchner read him, and at the end of the ...


Anne Stillman: Jean Cocteau, 13 July 2017

Jean Cocteau: A Life 
by Claude Arnaud, translated by Lauren Elkin and Charlotte Mandell.
Yale, 1024 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 0 300 17057 3
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... works are like a vast, backstage world, where props and costumes are always magically available. Claude Arnaud’s biography, first published in France more than ten years ago and now translated into English, describes a life that travels the distance from Proust to Bardot, not just chronologically but culturally, from Gallimard to the silver ...

The Impostor

Peter Burke, 19 April 1984

Le Retour de Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis, Jean-Claude Carrière and Daniel Vigne.
Robert Laffont, 269 pp.
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The Return of Martin Guerre 
by Natalie Davis.
Harvard, 162 pp., £12.75, October 1983, 0 674 76690 3
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... had lost a leg in the wars, was elsewhere, and that this one was an impostor whose real name was Arnaud du Tilh. The village split on the issue: when it eventually came to a trial, over thirty witnesses came forward to testify that the man was indeed Martin Guerre, while more than forty said that he was not. The court found against him, but he appealed. At ...

As If

Jonathan Romney: ‘Cahiers du cinéma’, 9 September 2010

A Short History of ‘Cahiers du cinéma’ 
by Emilie Bickerton.
Verso, 156 pp., £12.99, March 2010, 978 1 84467 232 5
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... came to be known as the Nouvelle Vague: François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and Maurice Schérer, later known by his pseudonym, Eric Rohmer. By and large, unlike their counterparts on the left-wing journal Positif, the early Cahiers writers were either effectively on the right, like Rohmer, or essentially apolitical in ...

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