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As she did for the Modernists IN MONTMARTRE, noted art historian and biographer Sue Roe now tells the story of the Surrealists in Montparnasse. In Montparnasse begins on the eve of the First World War and ends with the 1936 unveiling of Dalí’s Lobster Telephone. As those extraordinary years unfolded, the Surrealists found ever more innovative ways of exploring the interior life, and asking new questions about how to define art. In Montparnasse recounts how this artistic revolution came to be amidst the salons and cafés of that vibrant neighborhood. Sue Roe is both an incisive art critic of these pieces and a beguiling biographer with a fingertip feel for this compelling world. Beginning with Duchamp, Roe then takes us through the rise of the Dada movement, the birth of Surrealist photography with Man Ray, the creation of key works by Ernst, Cocteau, and others, through the arrival of Dalí. On canvas and in their readymades and other works these artists juxtaposed objects never before seen together to make the viewer marvel at the ordinary—and at the workings of the subconscious. We see both how this art came to be and how the artists of Montparnasse lived. Roe puts us with Gertrude Stein in her box seat at the opening of The Rite of Spring; with Duchamp as he installs his famous urinal; at a Cocteau theatrical with Picasso and Coco Chanel; with Breton at a session with Freud; and with Man Ray as he romances Kiki de Montparnasse. Stein said it best when she noted that the Surrealists still saw in the common ways of the 19th century, but they complicated things with the bold new vision of the 20th. Their words mark an enormously important watershed in the history of art—and they forever changed the way we all see the world.
This book reassesses the role of Russian Montparnasse writers in the articulation of transnational modernism generated by exile. Examining their production from a comparative perspective, it demonstrates that their response to urban modernity transcended the Russian master narrative and resonated with broader aesthetic trends in interwar Europe.
In the third portrait of his series Great Parisian Neighborhoods, award-winning raconteur John Baxter takes readers on a dazzling excursion of Montparnasse. By the IACP Award-winning author of the national bestseller The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, MONTPARNASSE reveals the history and present delights of the iconic neighborhood that is best associated with the vibrant 1920-30s-era Paris—a romantic time and place evoked in Hemingway's memoir A Moveable Feast and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. From the first meeting of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald to their friendship's bitter conclusion; from the courage of the anti-Nazi resistance to the clubs where German generals partied; from the attempted murder of Samuel Beckett to the rise of Josephine Baker to stardom; from the high life of the Coupole and the Cafe du Dôme to the bawdy music halls of rue de la Gaité; no Paris quarter has witnessed more tumultuous events than Montparnasse. In a ground-breaking reappraisal of this most glamorous of Paris's districts, Baxter looks beyond the nostalgia to the secret history of Montparnasse, a district where desire effaced memory and every taste could be satisfied—even those which were unexpressed. If, as Oscar Wilde suggested, all good Americans went to Paris when they died, it was Montparnasse that brought them back to life.
Michael Ward is a journalist newly arrived to the Left Bank. When he falls in with Jason Waddington, an expatriate American writer who introduces him to the cafe scene and his crowd of writers and artists, Ward soon discovers that Jack de Paris is not the only trouble afoot in the City of Light. Rumor has it that Waddington has written a damaging roman a clef about his friends, and tempers are rising even as fear of the killer grips the city. When the body of Laure Duclos is found, it seems their circle has finally been touched by Jack. But Ward has his doubts and begins to wonder whether Laure was truly Jack de Paris’s latest victim, or if someone else was using the serial killer as a convenient cover to protect themselves. In a feat of literature reminiscent of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, Howard Engel blends intriguing historical fact with nail-biting fiction to produce a thriller of the highest order. Murder in Montparnasse will delight both new readers of Engel and his long-time fans.
Memoirs of Montparnasse is a delicious book about being young, restless, reckless, and without cares. It is also the best and liveliest of the many chronicles of 1920s Paris and the exploits of the lost generation. In 1928, nineteen-year-old John Glassco escaped Montreal and his overbearing father for the wilder shores of Montparnasse. He remained there until his money ran out and his health collapsed, and he enjoyed every minute of his stay. Remarkable for their candor and humor, Glassco’s memoirs have the daft logic of a wild but utterly absorbing adventure, a tale of desire set free that is only faintly shadowed by sadness at the inevitable passage of time.
It is 1919, and France is beginning its recuperation from the ravages of World War I. Henri Désiré Landru, seducer and murderer of war widows, has just been caught and is in prison, plotting his escape. Frederick and Easter Cowles, American newlyweds, are in Paris on their honeymoon. Easter, a hopeful artist, is fascinated by the young painter Amedeo Modigliani and wants to study painting. Frederick's tastes are simpler; he has no interest in artists or Paris nightlife, but hopes to use this trip as an opportunity to begin a successful, stable marriage with a woman who he is rapidly coming to realize he barely knows. And then, there is the opium...
A long-lost Modigliani portrait, a grieving brother’s blood vendetta, a Soviet secret that’s been buried for 80 years—Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc’s current case is her most exciting one yet. The cobbled streets of Montparnasse might have been boho-chic in the 1920s, when artists, writers, and their muses drank absinthe and danced on cafe tables. But to Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc, these streets hold darker secrets. When an old Russian man named Yuri hires Aimée to protect a priceless painting that just might be a Modigliani, she learns how deadly art theft can be. Yuri is found tortured to death in his atelier, and the painting is missing. Every time Aimée thinks she's found a new witness, the body count rises. What exactly is so special about this painting that so many people are willing to kill—and die—for it?

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