Boris Vian Transatlantic: Sources, Myths, and Dreams / Edition 1

Boris Vian Transatlantic: Sources, Myths, and Dreams / Edition 1

by Christopher M. Jones
     
 

Boris Vian lived during a period of redefinition in France, from the instability of the Thirties, through the German Occupation, then into the friendly if overwhelming presence of the American liberators. Vian resisted identification with the movements now associated with mid-century French literary and intellectual history - surrealism, existentialism, the absurd

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Overview

Boris Vian lived during a period of redefinition in France, from the instability of the Thirties, through the German Occupation, then into the friendly if overwhelming presence of the American liberators. Vian resisted identification with the movements now associated with mid-century French literary and intellectual history - surrealism, existentialism, the absurd - while creating a multifaceted oeuvre that owed and contributed something to them all. This study concentrates, however, on the importance of American influences on Vian's extensive jazz activities and his mock translations of American noir novels under the name Vernon Sullivan. Vian personally embodied the increasingly transatlantic nature of Western culture and the melding of elite and popular forms of expression. The diverse components of this synthesis shed light on the construction of both individual and national identity in post-war France.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820440132
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/01/1998
Series:
Francophone Cultures and Literatures Series, #25
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176

Meet the Author

The Author: Christopher M. Jones is Senior Lecturer in French in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he teaches francophone language and culture. He received his M.A. from Boston College and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1Childhood Dreams: France in the Thirties5
The Vians5
Work and Play6
Role Models10
2Thinking American: French Opinion and the U.S., 1930-195021
A Troubled Peace, A Drole de Guerre22
The Approach of Industrial Society24
American Imperialism27
The American Other28
3Representations29
Representing Americans: the expatriate Yanks29
American Representations: the Novel31
American Representations: Film36
Black Americans in Paris39
Negritude and Black Americans41
French Writers Representing America46
4The War Years: Boris Zazou51
After the Fall52
Wartime Letters55
Vian and Company58
Zazous60
Liberation67
5Second Linin': Boris Vian and American Jazz69
Jazz Bloodlines70
Racial discrimination75
La Querelle du bebop80
Musicians86
Jazz in Europe90
American Social Issues in the Jazz Press94
Jazz Ideologies96
The Liberties and Limitations of Jazz Performance100
6Roman Noir: Sullivan, Chandler and Cain105
The passe-blanc Sullivans107
The Action/Fantasy Sullivans108
Tough-guy Voices109
Objective Narration111
Other Narrative Devices114
Settings118
Cars and Booze120
Other Thematic Considerations123
Cinema125
Sex, Violence and Death127
Racial Matters131
The Importance of Being Vernon Sullivan135
7The Passe-Blanc: Boris Vian and the New French Literary Establishment137
Saint-Germain-des-Pres137
L'Ecume des jours140
Vian and Les Temps Modernes145
8Vian and the uses of Myth153
Bibliography161
Biographic Outline167
Index169

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