From the Left Bank: Reflections on the Modern French Theater and Novel

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From the Left Bank chronicles the intimate, behind-the-scenes encounters of an American Francophile and the stars of the French Avant Garde theater and literary worlds. It reflects the author's extensive, first-hand experience of the modern French theater and with those artists who wrote and staged the work that has revolutionized the way we think of theater. The book contains a distillation of Bishop's best original writings on such pivotal figures as Jean Cocteau, Jean-Louis Barrault, Eugne Ionesco, Jean Genet, Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett, and Albert Camus in theater and Claude Simon, Robert Pinget, Philippe Sollers, and Alain Robbe-Grillet in fiction. Bishop knew these creative artists personally, and his insightful analyses provide an informative, entertaining insider's look at the development and workings of the French Avant Garde.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Specialists in twentieth century French literature, novel, or theater, would find very informative, meaningful, discussions; novices or seekers of understanding of this period's literature would greatly benefit from reading about their specific artist , or orienting themselves to the literary period and development through Bishop's book."

-The European Studies Journal

A collection of 25 essays Bishop French literature and culture, New York U. has written in English for French over about 35 years for books and periodicals, all dealing with French culture especially with theater and fiction. They discuss such theater figures as Beckett, Cocteau, Jean Genet, Sartre, and Camus; and such fiction figures as Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon, Robert Pinget, and Phillippe Sollers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814712603
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Bishop is the Florence Gould Professor of French Literature and the Chair of the Center for French Civilization and Culture at New York University. He was recently awarded the Grand Prix of the Acadmie Franaise.

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Table of Contents

Beginnings 1
1 Changing Concepts of Avant-Garde in French Theater 15
2 Two Decades of Theater in Paris: 1937-1957 25
3 Pirandello and French Theater 41
4 From Text to Performance: The Dialectics of Contemporary Theater 64
5 About Jean Giraudox 75
6 Jean Cocteau Revisited 86
7 Anouilh's Antigone in 1970 95
8 Jean-Louis Barrault 107
9 Ionesco on Olympus 115
10 Role Playing in Jean Genet's The Maids 125
11 Interview with Tilly 133
12 Sartre, A Life 141
13 No Exit 146
14 Becoming Sartre: The War Diaries of Jean-Paul Sartre 158
15 On Samuel Beckett: 1906-1989 167
16 "Heavenly Father, the Creature Was Bilingual": How Beckett Switched 177
17 The Concept of Truth in Beckett's Discourse 185
18 The Loneliest Monologues: Beckett's Theater in the 1970s 194
19 Camus and Beckett: Variations on an Absurd Landscape 212
20 The Image of Creation in the Works of Claude Simon 231
21 The Inquisitory by Robert Pinget 240
22 The Park by Philippe Sollers 243
23 The Man Who Lies: An Interview with Alain Robbe-Grillet 249
24 Robbe-Grillet's Geography 264
25 Conversation with Robbe-Grillet 277
Notes 287
Index 295
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