tenlittlebullets: (tl;dr)
[personal profile] tenlittlebullets posting in [community profile] les_miserables
Okay, I'm long past the point where I should be reading actual bios of these wonderful totally insane people, and as it so happens I've got an e-reader and a couple of 12-hour bus rides coming up. (*furtively avoids looking at the half-dozen books I'm currently in the middle of*) Any recommendations? Public domain or cheaply available preferred, Google Books ok, can read English, French, or (very badly and painfully) German. Particularly interested in Nerval, but really, any books you'd recommend on either of the CĂ©nacles and the people in them, throw 'em at me.

Date: 2014-04-17 02:18 am (UTC)
coloneldespard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coloneldespard
I'm still looking for a good English language bio on Nerval myself! A lot of what I have is via Starkie (books and papers) and others who seem to concentrate more on literary criticism, some of it quite dated, and not on the biographical side of his story. One of my biggest issues with Starkie is that she seems to have what I call the Baudelaire Filter - i.e. Borel and Nerval seem to be viewed primarily through the lense of anticipating Baudelaire. Which is awesome when you're focused on Baudelaire, but not so much when you want to look at them in their own right!

Olchar E Lindsann has published a list of recs on Amazon which I need to work my way through in its entirety:


Olchar is your go-to for the Frenetic Romanticism of this period - his website Resurrecting the Jeunes-France/Bouzingos at http://bouzingo.blogspot.com.au/p/physical-archive.html is an incredibly rich source of visual and textual material, and it will take you a while to work through. He's also one of the most friendly and engaging people you could hope to talk to, a gifted fiction and non-fiction writer, and was extremely interested when I've discussed the connections between Hugo's work and the Jeunes-France...do engage him in conversation, as he's very much up for dialogues on this subject and is extremely open to exchanging ideas and new sources.

Date: 2014-04-17 02:19 am (UTC)
coloneldespard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coloneldespard
And I should add that I've noticed a few books on Nerval, Borel and Frenetic Romanticism on ebay.fr that I'm terribly tempted to try out, but I suspect they'd well and truly tax my feeble French.

Date: 2014-04-20 02:46 pm (UTC)
thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
From: [personal profile] thjazi
GAD yes, thank you for reminding me of that website! I spent most of Friday reading it and getting all worked up over Dorks of Ages Past again. :P I've gone and ordered a couple more books off that rec list already!

Starkie's Baudelaire Filter is AMAZING. At times it's like whole chapters are footnotes to some imaginary essay on Baudelaire. Who I have nothing either for or against, so far, but WOW. (and thennnn there's the 1950s vintage bigotry, but that's a whole 'nother thing.)

Date: 2014-04-22 05:06 am (UTC)
coloneldespard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coloneldespard
Oh yes! Starkie is...er...dated in more than one way. I have an English language bio of Gautier at home that was published in the 1930s (from what I recall) and it's even worse - I recall the author lapsing into sneery Anglocentricism, but I could be overly harsh.

You've seen me rec it before, but "Romantic Paris: Histories of a Cultural Landscape 1800 - 1850" by Michael Marrinan is an excellent source - it covers physical as well as artistic spaces, and explores everything from the Romantic movement interacting with advances in printing to just why no one really knew what to do with the Place de la Bastille and all its memories and associated cultural narratives. A lot of our favourite people from this era have a look in - some great stuff there on Arago and the developmento of photography, for example (all I could think was oh, Combeferre - how you would have loved it!).


les_miserables: Cosette with a tricolor background, ie the musical logo (Default)
Let's all be miserable together!

May 2014


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