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Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris (Anglais) Relié – 11 février 2014

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 82 commentaires
19 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Edmund White's Paris Life 13 février 2014
Par H. F. Corbin - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Edmund White is in luck. According to him-- and he now is fluent in the language he could not speak when he moved to Paris in 1983 in part to get away from the AIDS crisis in New York City-- there is no word in French for name-dropping. Names drop on practically every page in his latest work of gossipy nonfiction INSIDE A PEARL: MY YEARS IN PARIS. (Is it name-dropping I ask if you are as well-known as some of the people whose names you scatter in your narrative.) Mr. White either is friends with, knows or at least has met dozens of the famous or near-famous: Yves Saint Laurent, Lauren Bacall, Catherine Deneuve, the writers Peter Taylor, Salman Rushdie, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Julian Barnes, Raymond Carver, Ian McEwan, Louise Erdrich, Bruce Chatwin, Martin Amis, Stephen Fry, Alan Hollinghurst, John Hawkes et al. The list seems endless.

Mr. White says in the beginning of this memoir that he "discovered" France through Marie-Claude de Brunhoff whom he met at a party in New York in 1975. Over the years they became good friends and she is the one person with her white cigarette holder and flowing skirts that shows up again and again while other characters come and go, among them his many sex partners and lovers. He figures that by the early 1980's he had slept with 3,000 men and says later in the book that "I had lots of sex in Paris. Like everyone." And there apparently is no detail of his sex life too private to write about. But there is so much more here as Mr. White discusses French culture, literature, art, architecture, cuisine, the differences he sees between Americans and the French (for example, we always want to know, upon meeting someone for the first time at a party that we arrived at on time, where he is from and what does he do , questions that the always-late Frenchman would never ask and does not like to answer).

Anyone familiar with Mr. White's considerable body of work knows that he is a master of the English language. Examples, always apt and sometimes beautiful, abound: When an American complains about Paris, he says, "'I like it. To me it seems so calm after New York. As if I'd already died and gone to heaven. It's like living inside a pearl.'" And "the rains never let up, but they were gentle mists, really, as if the landscape were sprayed with an old fashioned gold-mesh atomizer attached to a cut-glass perfume flask the color of amethyst. As if we were living inside a pearl." A woman friend of his he describes as having "lovely, fair features, as cleanly drawn as those on a freshly minted dime." And Mr. White tells us that the British writer "Adam [Mars-Jones] had provided his very high-grade seed to a lesbian who'd selected him to fertilize her."

Just when I had decided that I could not read any further in this densely-written book with names of people and places bombarding me, White, who tested positive for HIV in 1985 and has lost countless friends to AIDS, writes about the death of his dear friend Marie-Claude from cancer in a paragraph that moved me tremendously: "I was dry-eyed. My mother had died; John Purcell had died; my best friend, David Kalstone, had died; perhaps a hundred other friends, French and American, had died. James Lord had died, and even for him I was inconsolable. Numb. I was alive in order to--well, to teach, to trick, to write, to memorialize, to be a faithful scribe, to record the loss of my dead." That passage alone would make INSIDE A PEARL a book not to be missed.
30 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The ringing clatter of dropped silver spoons 26 février 2014
Par johnsaturn - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I had a friend who used to drop names assiduously. We called it 'the silver spoon drop' - a sort of jangly, tinny sound where sterling (or maybe silver plate) met the everyday.
This book is nothing but the endless ringing clatter of dropped spoons - Stephen Fry and Salman Rushdie come for dinner. The Rothschild's are seen going out for their dinner. Marina Warner was or wasn't his best friend in London and Martin Amis definitely wasn't but was very nice all the same. Julian Barnes's wife was a lesbian who had an affair with Jeanette Winterson but that's OK because Edmund said something nice to them about it. And Yves St Laurent was stoned.
This is all a shame. Edmund White can be a great writer and I've followed him since his very first book. But when it comes to the autobiographical pieces his worst traits are all on display and laziness takes over. He's strip-mining himself for anecdote and it feels tired.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I LOVED It, Name Dropping And All 2 mai 2014
Par Wilhelmina Zeitgeist - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
"Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris" by Edmund White is a great memoir about a gay man's move to Paris from New York in the 1980's in the midst of the AID crisis. I found this book to be very enjoyable to read, name dropping and all...oh, I do love gossip! It was great to read about this American in Paris and how he navigated his way through going from a French newbie to spending a solid 15 years there. I want to go to Paris so badly I simply absorbed every word of this book and am even itchier to get there.

I love White's style of writing as much as I loved his adventures and experiences. The flow was wonderful for me and had me turning pages like mad. Everyone who had their name dropped or made an appearance in this book only added to the story. I kept thinking of White as the "Literary Warhol" in Paris.

A great read for those who love France and good gossip!
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lacks any organizing theme or a competent editor 19 mars 2014
Par Dave Krimm - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a compilation of anecdotes about various individuals in Paris who might be familiar to you if you assiduously read Vanity Fair in the 80's and 90's - and cared deeply about fashion. If you've ever wondered what creative icons discuss when they gather for dinner, you can now rest calmly knowing that it's the basic gossip - who's having an affair, where they're vacationing, what's "in" this season. Lots of name dropping, all quite boring and pointless.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Priceless 12 mars 2015
Par Melanie Gilbert - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
My favorite line in Edmund White's memoir, "Inside a Pearl", is found on page 53, where a friend tells him, " are an artist - artists should never pay!" This quote sums up the spirit of this book - expansive, generous and rewarding. Every page is a delight of snappy dialogue, larger-than-life characters, and glamorous gatherings of people with a ridiculous amount of creative energy and savoir vivre.

The majority of the book takes place in Paris, in the early 80s, where White moves to after winning a Guggenheim fellowship. He stays in France for the next 15 years. For the French, manners, decorum and talent are respected independent of affiliations and beliefs. It's a bigger sin in his adopted country to be boring than it is to be gay, liberal, aging, pudgy, and, eventually HIV-positive. His writing reputation opens salon door after salon door.

What keeps White's story from veering into camp or eccentricity is how gracefully he writes about his friends and their adventures despite their excesses. Perhaps his Midwest roots (Ohio and Michigan), explain his lack of pretense or sarcasm in either his relationships or his writing, the latter of which brims with enthusiasm and wonder at how splendidly his life and work turned out.

White is a natural storyteller who also clearly took careful notes of his times abroad. The ability to put the reader in the moment is a unique gift. Highly recommend this memoir and his many other excellent works, as well.
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