About this Item
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Title: The Twilight Years: Paris in the 1930s.
Publisher: Robson Books, London
Publication Date: 2001
Edition: First Printing of the First UK Edition
About this title
For the artists and expatriates, the aristocrats and arrivistes, Paris in the 1930s lost none of its magical allure, as this lavishly illustrated chronicle of a fascinating decade in the city’s cultural history shows. At salons, galleries, palaces, and cafes, Henry Miller, Helena Rubinstein, Anais Nin, Coco Chanel, Salvador Dali, and Katherine Anne Porter joined illustrious exiles of the twenties like Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, Pablo Picasso, Janet Flanner, and Man Ray. Jazz orchestrated the city nights, surrealism flourished, haute couture reinvented itself. James Joyce redefined modern literature with Finnegans Wake and at her Chez Josephine Baker redefined the derriere. In a lively narrative, which is accompanied by a superb selection of period photographs, the award-winning author William Wiser follows Elsa Schiaparelli, T. S. Eliot, Peggy Guggenheim, the Windsors, Collette, Jean Cocteau, and a host of other colorful celebrities and literary luminaries through the ten years that continued to foster the creative revolution of the expatriate era in Paris—an era that began extravagantly with Elsa Maxwell’s famous masquerade ball and ended with perhaps the grimmest event in modern French history: the fall of Paris and the Nazi occupation in 1940.From Publishers Weekly:
Wiser, author of The Crazy Years: Paris in the Twenties, provides readers with Paris's next historical chapter in a wonderfully detailed, unflinching period description. Focusing primarily on the art scene, Wiser re-creates the slow slide from the lingering euphoria of the '20s to the doubts of the '30s. The suicide of painter Jules Pascin, recounted in Wiser's first chapter, serves as an emblem for the era, a period in which fascism and economic crisis loomed and Bohemia began to sour. Of course, much of the '20s art scene survived, but there are both subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the post-Crash '30s. Sylvia Beach, owner of the celebrated bookshop Shakespeare and Company, fell on hard times. Once the proud publisher of the banned Ulysses, Beach became alienated from Joyce as the famed writer (himself suffering from "deteriorating health and eyesight" and the mental illness of his daughter) refuses to acknowledge his contract with her. Salvador Dal! became a Franco-sympathizer. Other mini-narratives here include the convoluted sexual triangle of Henry Miller, June Miller and Ana?s Nin; the rise of the Place Vend?me as the "fashion center of France"; and the scandal involving the con-artist Stavisky. Wiser weaves recurring characters in and out of the narratives with grace and accuracy. A common pitfall of writing period history is the tendency to oversimplify, but Wiser allows the complex, vivid details to speak for themselves in this impressively researched work, while providing readersAwhether students of the arts in the 20th century or lovers of Paris in any era with an absorbing study. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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