The Bohemians: The Birth of Modern Art: Paris 1900-1930 (History)
Rather than a character study of the former Czech kingdom, Bohemians, the latest book from French author Dan Franck, takes a dashing turn around the blocks of early 20th-century Montparnesse and Montmartre, and its socially unconventional habitués. It's hardly uncharted territory, with recent titles such as John Richardson's masterly The Sorcerer's Apprentice and David Sweetman's Toulouse Lautrec and the Fin de Siecledrawn to Parisian decadence, yet Franck's imperious stewardship breathes fresh life into hoary tales and rekindles their passionate friendships and rivalries. Written in tandem with a novel, Nu Couche, the episodic, scenarist narrative of Bohemians swings between "real time" fictive history and tutorial, every chapter dramatically caressed to denouement, as we follow the evolutionary art chain of Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism. Major players of the period such as Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, Apollinaire, Cocteau, Matisse and Soutine, bereft of funds but abundantly talented, dash off works to pay for drinks, and behave outlandishly, yet much of the book's kaleidoscopic pleasure comes from its supporting cast: Raymond Radiguet, precocious author of the bestselling Le Diable au Corps, protégé of Cocteau, dead at 20; Gertrude Stein's tyrannical court; Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald travelling to Lyons to pick up Fitzgerald's car, abandoned because it had started raining and his wife Zelda had sawn off the roof due to a dent. And perhaps the book's most remarkable chapter, only a couple of pages in length, that traces the history of war camouflage to the French Cubists in 1915.
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The Janus Face of the German Avant-garde: From Expressionism Toward Postmodernism (Avant-garde and Modernism Studies)