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Other titles in the Cultural Memory in the Present series:
Adventures in the French Trade: Fragments Toward a Life (Cultural Memory in the Present)by Jeffrey Mehlman
Synopses & Reviews
Book News Annotation:
Mehlman (French literature, Boston University) deconstructs and recreates his intellectual and, at times, personal life in this freewheeling memoir. His fascination with French authors and literary theorists, such as Derrida, Mauron and Lacan, along with a desire to understand the love/hate relationship of Jewish intellectuals with France are recurrent riffs in the story. However, Mehlman's memories skip about, as they do in reality, one recalling another, leaping back and forth in time, occasionally repeating themselves in slightly different ways. It does not surprise that Mehlman is a devotée of Proust. The memories are compelling in themselves. One doesn't need to have read Mehlman's other works to enjoy his ramblings through life. It does help if one is a Francophile with a sense of humor. Annotation Â©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This memoir is less a chronicle of the life of a leading scholar/critic of matters French (and a key figure in the naturalization of French "theory" in English) than a series of differently angled fragments, episodes, each with its attendant surprise, in what one commentator has called his amour vache, his injured and occasionally injurious love, for France and the French.
About the Author
Jeffrey Mehlman is University Professor and Professor of French Literature at Boston University. He is the author of eight books, including Walter Benjamin for Children: An Essay on his Radio Years (1993), Genealogies of the Text (1995), and Emigré New York: French Intellectuals in Wartime Manhattan, 19401944 (2000).
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