Manual of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Boris Vian, Paul Knobloch.
Manual of Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Manual of Saint-Germain-des-Pres

New York, NY: Rizzoli New York, 2005. First American Edition. Very Fine. "...The prince of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés was Boris Vian. Boris Vian was a cultural bomb set off in Paris at the end of World War II. Born in 1920, Vian packed many lifetimes into his brief thirty-nine years, writing six novels under his own name, four under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan, in addition to plays and short stories...Above all, Vian was appreciated for his scalpel-sharp, endlessly imaginative mind. He circulated through the Left Bank's convivial culture keg, kibbutzing (sic) with Juliette Gréco, Miles Davis, Jean-Paul Satre, Jean Genet, Raymond Queneau... Vian was one of the magnets that drew American jazz musicians to Paris. Davis, Duke Ellington, and Don Byas were welcomed in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the music attracted the previous generation, still young at the time, of artiste figures such as Jean Cocteau, Jacques Prévert, Alberto Giacometti, and numerous Hollywood and French film celebrities. Together they combined to mix a strange but seductive cocktail that was the Saint-Germain-des-Prés." Edited in part and with Preface by Tosh Berman, son of enigmatic Beat-&-Beyond artist Wallace Berman (of "Semina" Magazine fame), this handsome history of the Saint-Germain-Des-Prés area of Paris's storied Left Bank is not only refulgent with anecdotes, it has pictures which match them. Take photos of Faulkner and friends living it up; Orson Welles sporting a beard rendering his appearance not altogether unlike "Wolverine" of X-Men fame; Juliette Greco and Simone du Beauvoir (as one would rightly expect); Jean Cocteau; Django Reinhardt--the list goes on and on. It is a truly remarkable work. In the end, Vian's book is part fastidious journal-or-scrapbook, part cultural history & criticism. As Vian himself writes in the Introduction: "While presenting the various changing aspects of Saint-Germain-des-Prés it is not my intention to give an exhausting summary of all the commentaries one could proffer concerning this Parisian neighborhood, which toward 1947, became, in rather brusque fashion, a Mecca for the "intellectual world" and more generally speaking the public at large. It's not that an exhaustive look back is impossible, because one can do so if he or she wishes. It's rather that this would require the work of a true historian, a work for which I have neither the capacity or the patience. Still, my inclinations led me to get involved in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés scene during a very entertaining part in its existence, and thus I believe that I am able to retrace some of the story's essential elements. A quite venturesome boast on my part, perhaps..." Book in Very Fine condition with only the slightest shelf-wear and a black strap which used to be threaded to the back cover (as issued) has now come undone at the top--looking like (and potentially serving as) a cloth string-bookmark as typically attached to some books at the top of the spine, rendering this "defect" almost a convenience. Fine. [Item #3747]

Price: $25.00