Spurred, in part, by her father's unrealized dreams, art historian Lipton (Alias Olympia: A Woman's Search for Manet's Notorious Model and Her Own Desire) left New York for Paris with her husband, a painter, in 2000. In this extended meditation, she gracefully weaves together her eclectic feelings of love and fury toward her father, a Jew who immigrated to the U.S. from Latvia, and toward her seductive adopted country. She considers the widespread French collaboration with the Germans during WWII—and finds echoes in how the French have treated immigrant Algerians and now the substantial ghettoized Muslim minority, as well as the country's persistent anti-Semitism. Drawing on her deep knowledge and love of French art, she includes reproductions of some of her favorite paintings and sculptures through the centuries. She believes that the French mistreated even Picasso, just as they do so many (non-French) "Others," and that they seem to have abandoned once vibrant art, literature and creativity. Passionate, critical and discursive, this account feels very French. (Feb.15)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
French Seduction: An American's Encounter with France, Her Father, and the Holocaustby Eunice Lipton
In this passionate blend of autobiography and cultural history, love and sex and art collide with hatred, withering French xenophobia, and death. How does Paris, with all its faults, remain not only the world's most visited tourist destination, but also the locus of endless sexual fantasy and the very image of the good life for Americans, and for writer and art
In this passionate blend of autobiography and cultural history, love and sex and art collide with hatred, withering French xenophobia, and death. How does Paris, with all its faults, remain not only the world's most visited tourist destination, but also the locus of endless sexual fantasy and the very image of the good life for Americans, and for writer and art historian Eunice Lipton? In sensual and intellectually thrilling prose, Lipton explores how her Eastern European father lured her to France across his fantasies, and then how she surrendered to the food, the textures and smells, the art, and the astonishingly maternal French state. But she is also forced to confront the anti-Semitism of the Dreyfus Affair that lay beneath the dazzling light of Impressionism; the racial disdain of France's Roaring Twenties; and the unspeakable poverty of peasant life that paid for the luxury of eighteenth-century Versailles. And how can a Jewish woman forgive France for its betrayal of its Jews to the Nazis? Lipton, one of our most respected cultural historians, deftly dissects her love-hate relationship with France, transporting the Francophile in all of us back to that first love, and then way beyond to something startlingly new.
- Da Capo Press
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- 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Eunice Lipton is a distinguished art historian and the author of Alias Olympia. She lives in New York and Paris.
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