Posts Tagged ‘France’

Resto 41 Restaurant du Musée d’Orsay, Paris

August 13, 2017

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Day two of the Paris trip saw us take the easy option in the face of mucky August weather and stroll the short trip to the d’Orsay for art and food. Of all the places in the world this is the worst in my experience for selfie arseholes. Unlike at the Louvre where much of the art is on a colossal scale and thus less prone to being ruined by a gurning fool standing in front of, say, Liberty Leading the People, the overwhelming majority of art in the M d’O is domestic in scale and poorly equipped to resist the morons. The unoriginality of this observation doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

My sensitivity to such things may have been heightened by the fact that we’d skipped breakfast with an eye on having a two hour lunch to prep for the journey back to Blighty. I was hungry and anxious. It tipping down with rain we went to the Museum’s restaurant despite having had a rather crappy experience last time round. Our waitress was of the type to soothe scowls and restore order, a rather rare breed.

This time, arriving at the stroke of midday, we weren’t packed in a side room next to a coachful of excitable Japanese tourists but rather had a prime spot in the magnificent old ballroom. If only they’d ditch the garish chairs though, they look like some remnants from a line that Ikea ditched as a failed experiment in 1995.

To the food, another set menu with up front a rabbit terrine. This did the job, a thick slab of meatiness with plenty of bread to go with. For main grilled salmon with couscous wasn’t as effective on the flavour side of things but again was generous enough in size to make me forget I’d missed a meal earlier in the day. But where was the veg? I was beginning to see why the people at Sequana grew their own, perhaps it was the only way they could ensure a regular supply.

As we moved through the courses I observed the queue to the restaurant growing and growing while our waitress manfully tried to serve, clear and do the billage for about twenty tables all by herself. This crazy system whereby the staff don’t have a minion to carry out the menial tasks may be due to restrictive work practices or a desire to skimp on wages. Either way it’s stupid and not apt to make for happy diners. Not that I cared, I had a table. But the businessman in me (there is one in there somewhere) was weeping for all that lost revenue.

We spurned dessert and took coffee, which was excellent. And then to the Orangerie, the rain having stopped, to join a whole bunch of Nymphéa-ruining arseholes. Aargh.

7/10

#Food #Paris

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016/7 check out my GoogleMap

Resto 40 Sequana, Paris

August 12, 2017

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I’d booked Sequana in advance on the basis of it’s location by the Pont Neuf and after reading excellent reviews on G**gle. It’s run by a husband and wife team who produce a six or four course tasting menu with matching wines for a very reasonable number of Euros per head for this area of Paris.

The room is charming although those of a nervous disposition might take the spiral stairs to the jakes at the beginning of the evening rather than after four glasses of wine. We were dining in the company of a smattering of tourists from around the world of many different ages. I liked it, it felt convivial.

Before we commenced the four courses we were given an amuse bouche of radish by the chef, which was a nice palate cleanser to begin. Then the main event. I chose the lobster starter and I chose well. A delicious claw of the crustacean swimming in a sweet soup with delicate pieces of courgette and fresh leaves dotted around. Forgive me if I don’t mention all of the wines (we had three), it’s not because they weren’t excellent that I can’t remember them, it’s just that I don’t remember them!

Next up was duck done two ways. Making it a double duck day, no bad thing. This was also excellent with confit canard hiding under slivers of grilled breast. Alongside there was plenty of veg and everything served with a delicious home made sour dough bread. Course three was the cheese. But a rather surprising combination of a yummy sheep cheese alongside a goat’s cheese ice cream. I have to say I was less impressed with the ice cream, which to my tongue tasted mostly of salt and lacked the punchy whiff of the goat. We considered getting a goat for the garden.

This goat blot was erased by the excellence of the Ardbeg ice cream which rounded off the meal. Served with a Basque pastry it was the most delicious ice cream I have ever had bar none. Smokey and sweet and just perfect. With the dessert came a Chinese tea which I really wished would turn itself by the power of my mind into a Grand Marnier. I stared at it but it resolutely refused to become a big goblet full of orange and ice. Oh well, I sipped my tea.

Our maitre d’/waiter (husband of the chef I think) was very attentive and clearly passionate about the food, much of which had been grown in their own garden. This passion and care for the food clearly came through in the cooking and in the way that the wine complemented each course. However, this is a slow food evening, if you book here you aren’t going to make it to the theatre afterwards. But it being August everything cultural (barring museums/galleries/cinemas) in Paris was off to festivals so we weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere else. Although the Dutch guys to our left who chose the six course option were still munching when we left at eleven.

8/10

#Food #Paris

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016/7 check out my GoogleMap

 

 

 

Resto 39 Au 35, Paris

August 12, 2017

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Day one of an overnight trip to Paris and we were looking for a light lunch before attacking the Louvre. Galettes were spurned as being too heavy so we took a punt on Au 35 to deliver. It did so well enough. The room is nice and light and most of the clientèle on our visit seemed to be locals, despite the fact that half of the businesses around were shut pour les vacances.

There was a set menu of two courses for under €20 that contained things that we liked so we went for that. First up for me was a cucumber salad with feta. There was a generous dose of feta and cucumber but I was underwhelmed by the single wee cherry tomato quartered and dotted around the plate. It tasted fine but I’m not Kate Moss and would have liked more of everything. I loaded up on bread.

The main was much more satisfying – a hefty leg of duck in a rich, sticky sauce. Underneath were a couple of herby modestly sized spuds. But again, I was wondering where the veg was? A few green beans perhaps? It slid down well enough though, helped along by some Viognier.

Service was excellent, happy to indulge my French and pleasant in that professional Parisian way. Would I recommend? Yes, if you want a restaurant feel but café-sized eats (if you see what I mean) but not if you’re looking to load up for a 4 hour art binge.

7/10

#Food #Paris

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016/7 check out my GoogleMap

The end of Marivaux

June 20, 2017

This being the first time I’ve produced a play I don’t know whether it’s a common phenomenon but I definitely feel like I have a case of post-show blues. From coming up with the idea to adapt Marivaux on a train to Paris in January to seeing the idea realised on stage in June has been an at times turbulent but always rewarding experience. And now all’s to be done is to think about how it went and come up with a new idea for the future.*

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The script – and direction notes

One of the things I was concerned to do in putting the play on was to position it for a twenty-first century audience. This meant throwing out Marivaux’s finale of reconciliation and replacing it with something much angrier. I feared that perhaps I’d misread the level of anger in this country but recent political and social events would seem to suggest otherwise. Although the snap election and its result did necessitate rewrites. And a change in direction for Jeremy’s character, who went from being a simple figure of fun (for some sections of opinion) to a genuinely inspiring figure (beyond his usual constituency) not just in reality but in the way that he/she was portrayed by us on stage.

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Jeremy in inspirational mode in Corbyn Island (© Emma Hare)

I certainly wasn’t the first to see the potential for a socialist reading of L’Ile des Esclaves. It was picked up in the 30s, a time when France was strikingly polarised between left and right, as representing a radical precursor to calls for social reform. But Marivaux was no socialist and definitely no revolutionary. Those on the right could take comfort from his apparent final advocacy of social hierarchy – for him a  paternalistic version of fraternity trumped equality as a means of attaining the common good.

But Alex/Cléanthis, who is the character I most drastically altered, is not content to live within Marivaux’s or Trivelin/Jeremy’s social order. I envisaged someone whose liberalism was more informed by a Thatcherite urge for individual liberty. Someone who chafed at the way in which Thatcher’s opening up of social mobility in the 80s – whether by the breaking down of the power of unions or of the opening up of professional bodies and the City to state school entrants – seems to be being increasingly closed off in our own age.

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Alex has an issue with Jeremy’s pacifism (©Emma Hare)

 

 

 

 

 

Or at least that’s what I thought, I’m sure the audience would have taken various views of what was going on on stage. If the plot lacked clarity then that was purely my fault as a writer, I couldn’t have asked for a more committed group of actors to take on a novice’s work and turn it into a coherent show that got a lot of laughs. I only wish we’d had a couple more nights to iron out the inevitable wrinkles that crop up in the transition from rehearsal to final production.

But I’ve learnt a lot and I’m grateful to Anna, our director and to all the cast for giving up their spare time to make it happen. Now, what next …

I’m also very grateful to Emma Hare for these fantastic images from our preview. I can heartily recommend her to anyone who is looking for a professional photographer.

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Eve and TC have a touching moment in the seduction scene (©Emma Hare)

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TC and Inglis don’t quite see eye to eye (©Emma Hare)

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Douggie doesn’t like the new ending (©Emma Hare)

*I have a couple or few. If anyone wants to use or read the script contact me here or at geoffreylevett@me.com

#Theatre #London

Marivaux Pt. 2

April 22, 2017

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A bit of repetition of a previous post but I recently wrote this for the French History Society blog:-

Adapting Marivaux’s L’Ile des Esclaves in 2017

One of the things that never occurred to me until this year was that I might end up adapting a play by Marivaux for the stage. Marivaux’s LIle des Esclaves is a one-act play first performed by the Comédiens Italiens in 1725. It tells the story of two ancient Athenian aristocrats and their slaves who are washed after a storm wrecks their ship to discover that they have landed on an island run by the descendants of former slaves. A role reversal comedy along the lines of the 80s cinema classic, Trading Places, it sees the masters become slaves and the slaves become masters at the behest of the Island’s leader, Trivelin.

imgresI’d become interested in Marivaux having noticed a succession of reviews of productions of his work in Le Monde. In an idle moment in the library I saw Marivaux’s name and thought I’d check him out. My sole previous experience of classical French theatre was being made to study L’Avare for A-level. And I mean study in the loosest sense. The pursuit of knowledge being strangely absent from our school’s ethos, even in Sixth Form, my familiarity with Molière’s text was based solely on having watched a BBC production starring Nigel Hawthorne in the title role. I thus approached Marivaux cautiously and chose L’le des Esclavesas my introductory text, which weighs in at an easily digested 60 pages of text.[1]

The language wasn’t as difficult as I’d expected. Some archaisms apart I could follow the dialogue well enough and the classic role reversal plot was very entertaining. I was interested to see if there had been any translations and was delighted to find an edition of his plays in English in the excellent Skoob Books of Bloomsbury.[2] The Island of Slaves had been translated by William Gaskill for a performance at RADA in 1986 and I rattled through it very quickly.

imgres-1While reading it in classical French I hadn’t been especially bothered by the very eighteenth century social and gender attitudes of the text. However, reading it in modern English made it seem rather anachronistic, especially the ending. Although Marivaux’s comedy was quite radical for its time in positing a situation where aristocrats are taught to improve their morals by their social inferiors it struck me that the play’s resonance with the twenty-first century was let down by the docility of the female characters and the socially conservative message embodied in the restoration of the hierarchal status quo at the resolution of the plot. I just couldn’t see how you could play the text straight in the modern world. So it seemed odd that RADA had chosen to do so. At least on the page, it may be that their staging undermined the socially conservative resolution.

So I began to turn over in my mind how one could update the piece for a modern English audience. Firstly, I did this as a kind of academic exercise. I was commuting to Leicester for a VL job at De Montfort once a week and Stella time on the train back seemed more productive if engaged in a bit of translation for pleasure. Then it occurred to me that with members of the Crouch End Players among my circle of friends and the Crouch End Festival coming up, I might be a bit more ambitious and actually get it staged.

I began by going back to the French original, trying to put all thoughts of the English translation out of my head. Attacking the text I soon came up against a problem which has long been recognised – to what extent should I place the translation in the context of the time of its production? Should I attempt to replicate the eighteenth century terms in like for like English? Or should I rather place the translation in the context of the audience for which I intended it, a non-specialist festival crowd likely to be assembled in the function room of a pub?

At De Montfort I’d noticed that the ‘Centre for Adaptation Studies’ occupied a corridor along the way from the historians. Adaptation Studies was a new term for me so being an academic I thought this sounded like something that might be able to help me formulate a structured approach to adapting Marivaux for the English stage. I was wrong – Adaptation Studies is concerned more with the adaptation of texts from one form to another, for the most part novels to films. What I was looking for was Translation Studies, which has its home in this country at UCL and has a much longer-established methodology.

In Western culture Translation Studies’ founder (although like all firsts this is disputed) is St. Jerome, who coined the concept of sense-for-sense translation as sound practice compared to literal translation with the former using sentences rather than individual words as the basic units for making a new text. Cicero put this more pithily in his De Opitimo Genera Oratorumwhen he explained that in translating from Greek to Latin, he ‘did not hold it necessary to render word for word, but … preserved the general style and force of the language.’[3] Which seems a bit of a no brainer to me.

A more thorny issue might be that defined by Lawrence Venuti in the 1990s as the issue of whether to take a ‘domesticating’ or ‘foreignizing’ approach to translation.[4] That is, whether to keep the original cultural context or move it to that of the target language. Again, this seemed straightforward to me, I wanted to not only translate but update Marivaux and make it not just relevant but topical. Which is where I wanted to go beyond the translation that I knew, Gaskill’s, and also one that I was aware of – Neil Bartlett’s.[5] His translation was for a production at the Lyric Hammersmith and I definitely wanted to steer clear of his version as I suspected that he might have wanted to make a more radical intervention to the original than Gaskill for RADA. However, from skimming the introduction and the opening few pages it seemed that Bartlett too had largely respected Marivaux’s concept and resolution. His introduction was very informative, especially in its notes on performance style in Marivaux’s day, outlining how actors would be expected to add in their own songs and jokes to liven up a show for the audience. So I took this as carte blanche to do my own bit of embellishment for the Festival crowd.

imgres-2I felt the field was clear for a radical revision of L’Ile des Esclaves for the post-Crash generation. The island is now Corbyn Island and our castaways are not Athenian aristocrats and slaves. For present times I felt that a Premier League football manager and his youth team coach on one hand, and a media-savvy interior designer and her PA on the other, would have something to say about contemporary class relations. And they get washed up on Corbyn Island, the last refuge of socialism in a post-UK dominated by Theresa May.

Rather to my surprise the play is happening! It’s been the most interesting piece of writing I’ve ever done, going from a straight translation through rewrite after rewrite taking on the advice of an experienced writer for the theatre (my friend Phil Woods) and my fellow director, Anna Rogers. Speaking with my academic hat on I’d say that I’ve learnt two valuable things in the process of going from translation to rehearsal. The first is that however obscure are some of the rabbit holes I’ve been down as a historian none have so far been as obscure as wading through the literature on Adaptation and Translation Studies. Though each has been fascinating I’ll be glad to get back to the dry ground of archive-based research for the SSFH Conference in June. Secondly, I’ve never had to work so collaboratively on a piece of writing before. I’ve been through the editing process for articles and books but taking something you’ve written and then rewriting it in the light of how an actor says the line is something altogether different and quite rewarding for being a shared experience.

So I’d like to hear from other historians who have worked in the same area, whether as specialists in eighteenth century France or in doing something similarly off beam to the regular grind of being a historian. As much as I’ve strayed from Marivaux’s source material I can’t wait to get back into reading more of his work now that I’ve discovered how rich his work is.

Corbyn Island will be showing on 16th and 17th June 2017 as part of the Crouch End Festival. Go to www.crouchendfestival.org for further details.

[1] Marivaux, L’Ile des Esclaves (Folio Classique, Paris, 2000)

[2] Marivaux, Plays (Methuen, London, 1997)

[3] Cicero, De Optimo Genere Oratorum, Translated by H. M. Hubbell (Loeb Classics Library, Harvard, 2017) pp. 364-5. Although Hubbell himself is doing quite a bit of conveying meaning here himself rather than translating! Another translation I have read rendered the original, ‘I did not think I ought to count them (words) out to the reader in coins, but to pay them by weight, as it were.’

[4] Lawrence Venuti, The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. (Routledge, London, 1995).

[5] Neil Bartlett, The Island of Slaves (Oberon Books, London, 2002).

 

Review #103 Les Babines, Paris

December 6, 2016

Having missed out on Les Babines the day before we made our way back after some morning’s shopping (shout out to Billards Jean Marty, the best alternative to Sports Direct I’m aware of) for a cold collation lunch. Les Babs is a wine shop that does food which seems to me the best shopping of all, even better than snooker.

It seemed as though we’d crashed a family get together but they didn’t seem to mind and set us up in the corner of the room with a view of some Mike Gatting sized bottles that were tempting as train booze.

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Mike Gatting wrestles with a Rickety Bridge

So we went for two planches again, this time with the little wrinkle of a fish planche followed by a duck planche. Various textures of each tastefully arranged with a scattering of veg, all good. We asked our host to recommend some wine to go with the fish and he slipped over a generous amount of Chablis. Very good. And with the duck? He gave us a cheeky grin and fired out some French about something that was as good as a Crozes Hermitage without being a Crozes Hermitage. We were sold and we took a glass of that followed by another one as we started to ease ourself into the afternoon.

All this for about 20 euros a head?! Best value of the weekend, and if we’d a had Gatt with us we would’ve got a carryout.

9/10

#Food #Paris

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

Review #102 West Country Girl, Paris

December 6, 2016

West Country Girl is a tricky one. We’d chosen it purely on the basis of the fact that it was named after a very good Nick Cave song about Polly Harvey.* So it was definitely ticking a lot of good taste boxes. But we hadn’t researched anything else about it.

It was a Friday night so we booked WCG on our way to La Fine Mousse*** for a couple of halves to warm up. The waitress seemed surprised that we wanted to book and when we came back about 9 we could see why – the room was pretty empty. It’s a crêperie (to two graduates of Mrs Nelson’s Ferryhill Comp French A-Level group a guaranteed provocateur of some hoary old jokes, along with piscine, frigorifique and any other number of lameties now lost in the mists of time), something of which we were unaware.

The crêpes and service were great but after a long day of boulevardying I could have done with something more substantial. So it’s our bad for not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.

7/10

#Paris #Food

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap

*To save any confusion the headline shot is not of Miss Harvey but of Plymouth Argyle superfan Sue Pollard.** Who I believe is also a West Country Girl but who is definitely not the subject of Mr Cave’s song.

**Not to be confused with the 1980s sitcom star of the same name.

***LFM is highly recommended for beer lovers.

Sarko, fascos and jihadis

November 6, 2016

This is a repost of a piece I wrote for the French History Network on Louis Malle’s Lacombe, Lucien cleaned up and retooled for my own site.

Two things prompted me to write this post in appreciation of Louis Malle’s Lacombe, Lucien. The first was a mundane training exercise for a new teaching job. The other was a two page spread in Le Monde discussing Olivier Roy’s new book on jihadism, Le Djihad et la Mort.[1] Roy’s book arrives at an opportune moment, with the Paris and Nice atrocities (among many others) still painfully recent, and the ongoing military campaign against Islamic State in the Middle East appearing in the news daily.

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It also arrives during the primary campaign for the candidature of the right for the French presidential election of 2017; a campaign that has hinged on a debate between Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy (as well as the other candidates) about the causes of radicalisation among a small section of young men and women, and the nature of national identity in France.[2] This debate will only get more extreme whether it is François Hollande, the consensus-seeking Juppé, or the more divisive Sarkozy who goes on to face the Front National leader Marine Le Pen if, as predicted, she makes it to the final round of voting in April 2017.

And the training? I’m sure I’m not the only VL who’s had to do a bit of online training regarding the government’s ‘Prevent Strategy’, aimed at flagging up the signs of radicalisation in students. The various scenarios enacted in the videos I watched seemed occasionally comically self-parodying of the scrupulous even-handedness of all university administration-derived material. However, being a parent of two university age boys, and remembering the angst of being such a thing myself at one time, I did my best to take it seriously. Flippancy isn’t really appropriate for such an important subject, even if it’s tempting at times.

The recollection of troubled teenagerdom is what reminded me of Lacombe, Lucien. In the opening scene of the film the central character, Lucien, who is a cleaner in a hospice, callously kills a songbird with a slingshot in between his cleaning duties.[3] At the time that I saw it for the first time I really wish I’d had a more intellectual response but I think my thoughts were more along the lines of, ‘What the dick has he done that for?!’ Of course Malle and Modiano are laying a foreshadowing motif of further cruelty to come. But on a personal level it also brought back one of those involuntary memories that are especially painful because they’re buried so deep. Of being a young boy in a crappy provincial town who threw stones for no good reason at an older but entirely innocent school fellow. If only those madeleine moments were always sweet. Why would I have done that?

And this is the question that has most troubled critics of Malle’s film. Both those who see it as a defining film about the Occupation in France, and those who see it as ‘sidestepping the issues of political choice, morality and guilt’ by representing Lucien’s journey from casually cruel peasant to torture indifferent Milicien as merely a piece of chance.[4] Mulling over why I might not have turned from stone cold rock thrower to gun-toting radical (it’s not entirely improbably, most of the examples in the Prevent training, for obvious reasons in the Westminster context, were of the radicalised right. The North East of England where I grew up was, and continues to be in my experience, a significant source of National Front style agitation) I saw structural reasons that Malle and Modiano give for Lucien’s actions that also go some way, and I emphasise some way, to contextualizing current radicalisation in Western Europe.

The most trenchant critic of the film accuses the protagonist of being ‘a cipher’, merely attracted by the symbols of power – a gun, a Milice identity card, bigwig friends – rather than having any ‘social causes for collaboration.’[5] More subtle readings, however, have dominated writing on the film since the 1970s, with Leah D. Hewitt, to my mind, putting her finger on Malle and Modiano’s explanation for the supposedly mindless way in which Lucien is induced to join what to modern eyes seems is a grotesque troupe of collaborators.[6]

Malle, in interviews contemporary to the film’s release, said that his first instinct had either been to set the film in Algeria or in Mexico. Algeria during the War of Independence – a common feature of Malle’s films even if he never used the war as a main subject – or Mexico during the violent put-down of a student protest by bussed in peasant workers in the 1960s. Thus one can see that Malle’s finished film was primarily prompted by an interest in how one group of young people could be attracted or induced into violently oppressing another group with whom they had varying degrees of common culture and not by the specific circumstances of the Occupation. He said he wanted to ‘scrutinise a kind of behaviour that is very hard to understand and was certainly contemptible.’[7]

So how might we understand Lucien’s own contemptible behaviour? Here is a young man, already habituated to the petty violence of rural life, who is rejected on three occasions in the opening scenes of the film. First, a forced rejection by his father, who is carted off to Germany to labour with the Service du Travail Obligatoire. Secondly, his mother and her lover, who let out the family home without telling Lucien and set up house together. And then when the local maquis leader, a teacher, rejects him for being too young and potentially ill disciplined. In the next scene he falls in with the Milice and the film proper begins.

In these rejections, and in Lucien’s response, Kedward sees ‘an agonised expression of generational conflict’ with Lucien’s youth being central to the film.[8] This brings us to some of the ways that we can explain the current radicalization of young people in France and Western Europe that doesn’t rely on Sarkozy’s or Le Pen’s boneheaded (to a purpose, it’s all about the them and us) characterisation of Islam as un-French and more prone to violence than any other faith. As Olivier Roy points out violence in the name of Islam, as inspired by IS has more in common with the Red Brigade or the Baader Meinhof Faction than with Islam, being essentially nihilist. It is a very extreme and foul way of expressing dislocation from society but it has to be explicable, it doesn’t happen by chance.

Just as Lucien is dislocated by the lack of a reliable father figure in his community and in the end picks the worst such men of all so might young men and women who are continually characterised as a group as not belonging to the society in which they live, often at the margin and with family ties stretched taut by the experience of migration, end up rejecting that society. Throwing a stone at a classmate didn’t lead to anything but a guilty conscience in my case but then I had little genuine reason to feel like an outsider in my town and little temptation or opportunity to express my sense of rejection in a more systematic and violent way.

Lucien does. The fascist political structure, even if Lucien is not motivated by its ideology, is on hand to direct his energies. He hears its anti-semitic views on the radio and amongst his comrades and it attracts his loyalty through the glamour of the gun and of the aristocrat, the starlet and the cyclist who make up the fascist gangsters and who encourage him to feel as though he belongs with them. So too does IS use the glamour of violence and power via the media to give its own adherents, however distant they may be from the purveyors of the message, to feel as though they belong to a separate group from the society in which they live. Which I hope does not overstate the analogy between the two examples. Rather, I hope to show that Lacombe, Lucien, which can be justifiably used as a piece of historical interpretation about a specific time and place, can also be used as a parable to explore a much more universal experience.

To see a trailer for the film go here.

[1] Le Monde, 13th October 2013. Olivier Roy, Le Djihad et la Mort (Paris: Seuil, 2016)

[2] Gilles Finchelstein, ‘Identité: le piège se referme sur la droite’, Le Monde, 26th October 2016

[3] Louis Malle and Patrick Modiano, Lacombe, Lucien: Texte Intégrale (Paris: Folio Plus Classiques, 2008), 8

[4] A view ascribed to the reading of the film by Cahiers du Cinéma at the film’s release in 1974 in H.R. Kedward, ‘The Anti-Carnival of Collaboration: Louis Malle’s ‘Lacombe, Lucien (1974), 227-239 in Susan Hayward and Ginette Vincendeau, French Film: Texts and Contexts (Routledge: London), 228

[5] Lenny Rubinstein, ‘The Fascism of Banality’, 10-12 in Cinéaste 6:4 (1975), 10

[6] Leah D. Hewitt, ‘Salubrious Scandals/Effective Provocations: Identity Politics Surrounding ‘Lacombe, Lucien’, 71-87 in South Central Review, 17:3 (2003)

[7] Malle, quoted in Hewitt, ‘Salubrious Scandals’, 73

[8] Kedward, ‘The Anti-Carnival of Collaboration’, 232

Review #56 Le Florentin, Aubagne

June 22, 2016

In town to see the Foreign Legion (more of which anon) we had an hour to kill in Aubagne on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. We strolled around the main square – the temptation to shop in the market and picnic by the river was strong – and chose Le Florentin on the strength of its wood-fired oven.

With squalls threatening the terrace wasn’t entirely open to the air but our table gave a view of Sunday strollers and local urchins buggering about in the place. We supped a beer while we perused the menu which features pizza but also has a good selection of grilled stuff and salads.

I went for a goat’s cheese and ham pizza. The pizza was just about me-sized although the final slice was a bit of a struggle. The cheese was yum, thick slices of round goaty goodness  contrasting well with the smoky ham. The slather of chilli oil gave a decent burst of heat without blowing the doors off. Greg complained that his ham and mushroom had too much cheese!!! The heathen. They made us a green salad to order on the side and with a couple more beers the whole thing came to less than €40 – a bargain.

With friendly service Le F was a very pleasant place to spend an hour away from the Marseille madness of boozed up football fans and tired of that locals.

8/10


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