Bohemian Paris: Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, and the Birth of Modern Art

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9780802116970: Bohemian Paris: Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, and the Birth of Modern Art

The author offers anecdotes of many of the creative denizens of the Paris of 1900-30, and includes photos of French and US expatriate artists and their haunts. Novels by Franck which have been translated into English are My Russian Love and Separation . This work was first published in French in 1998, by Calmann-LTvy, Paris. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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From Publishers Weekly:

Franck, an extremely prolific French novelist, has produced some gloomy fictional narratives of wrenching relationships, a few of which have appeared in English (Separation; My Russian Love). He seems to want to lighten up here with a series of nonfiction anecdotes rife with novelistic invented dialogue. In three main sections, titled by neighborhood ("The Anartists of Montmartre," "Montparnasse Goes to War" and "Montparnasse, Open City,") a series of tales involving early 20th-century art movements like fauvism, cubism, dadaism and surrealism are recounted as if yelled artist to artist across the counter of a noisy bistro, as Franck assumes a deep familiarity with the subject. Leaping from writers Apollinaire, Cocteau and Hemingway to painters Modigliani, Picasso and Matisse, Franck drops names ponderously. His disavowal in the preface, "I am not an art historian" is not modest enough; there is little conventionally grounded history among these yarns of brawls, food -fights, drunken disputes and art making. A poor translation does not help, with sentences like "Charlie Chaplin didn't come, and nor did Bergson or D'Annunzio" or " `I forbid you to excite yourself with my women!' exclaimed Pascin." French culture buffs will be vexed by such formulations, while anyone not already familiar with obscure Parisian figures like the painters Foujita and Pascin will just be puzzled. 16 pages of b&w photos and illus. not seen by PW.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

The rich mixture of international cultures, ideas, personalities, and passions in early 20th-century Paris resulted in an explosive blend of creativity. Writers and artists experimented with bold new concepts, such as Cubism and Dadaism, but they also found time to pursue turbulent love affairs, frequent cafes, challenge each other to duels, and more usually on little or no money. Their stories make for good reading, and French screenwriter/novelist Franck (My Russian Love) spins lavish historical, biographical, artistic, and even scandalous details into a narrative that will captivate both serious and casual readers. He illuminates Picasso's complexities as both friend and lover, introduces us to the mannerly poet Max Jacob, and revisits Apollinaire, Jarry, Modigliani, Cocteau, Matisse, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald, among countless others all set against the marvelously depicted backdrop of bohemian Paris. Though this era has been often treated, Franck's presentation is especially good; he is able to show how all these artists interacted while allowing them to remain individuals. This marvelous and informative volume will inspire readers to become better acquainted with the works produced by these individuals. For circulating libraries and arts collections. Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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