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Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

A couple of ideas here for the coming weekend. (more…)

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‘Lee Miller Photographe Professionelle’  focuses on one of the most intense and productive periods in the life of this intriguing (*) American photographer (1907–1977).

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Happy Birthday to Cezanne

Happy Birthday Paul Cezanne…183 today!

An event today in Aix will celebrate this birthday. Painter and writer Jacky Chabert who has published several books on Aix and Cezanne with Editions Desbaumes, will be signing his latest works ‘P.Cezanne aquarelliste’ and ‘Paul Cezanne, le temps d’un Abécédaire’. The great-grandson of the painter, Philippe Cezanne will attend. Today, 15h – 18h, Hotel des Augustins, rue de la Masse, Aix.

If you are new to Aix and seek further acquaintance with the town’s most famous artist, here are some suggestions. (more…)

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Many of you will be familiar with the series of mystery novels set in and around Aix by locally-based Canadian author M.L. Longworth.  Each one brings a fresh challenge to Antoine Verlaque, investigating judge in Aix, with his romantic partner lawyer Marine Bonnet, who together track down the villains through vineyards, the Provencal countryside and the atmospheric streets of centre ville.

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There’s also a section of advice on driving locally with tips on car-hire, negotiating French roundabouts and peages, all pretty useful according to M. Aixcentric.

So, this is a fun personal introduction to the western part of Provence for newbies, and any one of the couple’s favourite outings could really add happiness to your holiday.

From Amazon $9.99, or $5.99 on Kindle.

 

 

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Delighted to say that my book Aix-en-Provence The Inside Story is being re-issued, brought up to date and now in colour throughout.  It ‘s 8 years since it was first published and I believe I am right in saying that it’s still the only book to cover the story of this fascinating town in English.

Where to buy it:  from http://www.lulu.com if you aren’t in Aix; but if you are, you can pick up a copy from Book-in-Bar in rue Joseph Cabassol. https://www.bookinbar.com/  Copies will be available from next week – call 04 42 26 60 07 to check.

It just remains to wish you all a happy and healthy summer as Aixcentric takes its annual break!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes the best guide through history’s complications is a well-researched piece of fiction, and this is certainly the case with ‘The Art of Losing’ by Alice Zeniter, a novel which follows a family uprooted from 50s Algeria to an unwelcoming new life in France.

Spanning three generations across 70 years, the novel tells the story of colonisation and immigration, and how people adjust to loss.  In it, grandaughter Naima goes to Algeria herself to understand why her grandfather Ali went from being a wealthy landowner to being an immigrant factory-worker in a French sink estate.

It won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens and the Prix Littéraire du Monde, and has just come out in English (hard back).  ‘A startling exploration of the unspoken histories of the Algerian war’, Le Monde. 

I found it riveting and it helped me understand more of this complex period.  On a local note, Ali’s journey takes him through the south of France as he and his family are billeted at Jouques.  Recommended.

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Next year, a 19.2m euro, 3-year renovation will begin at the Cité du Livre: what is planned and what will happen to those famous books (see photo)? (more…)

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Salammbo by Alfons Mucha

The novel Salammbo by Gustav Flaubert (1821-1880) is the starting point for a wide-ranging exhibition coming to MuCEM this year.

From April 12 to June 5, 1858, Flaubert traveled to Tunisia to explore the locations of his novel. In a letter to Madame de Chantepie dated January 23, 1858, he described his anticipation: “I absolutely have to go to Africa. This is why, around the end of March, I will go back to the country of exotic dates. I am giddy with excitement. I will once again spend my days on horseback and my nights in a tent. What a happy breath I will take as I get onboard the steam boat in Marseille!”

Set in 3rd century BC Carthage, it shocked the public with its violence and sensuality….but was a best-seller.

Having not ventured past Madame Bovary, this is clearly one to put on my list…but we have til October 2021 when the exhibition opens.

 

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Today’s Guardian has a good piece on Marseille today: its overview of the city’s culture is underscored with links to books, films and TV series, precious memories for those of us who are, at present, far away from this vibrant city: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2021/feb/05/marseille-virtual-tour-books-film-food-music-photography

Most visitors to the city will soon feel the passion for the local football team, the legendary Olympique de Marseille.  In fact bars right across Provence are decorated with scarves and mascots in the team’s colours.  But there’s trouble at the Velodrome right now – so much so that it’s knocked the global pandemic off the front pages of La Provence this week, with words like ‘catastrophe’ peppering its prose.  I’d lost the plot so thanks again to the Guardian for sportingly providing a resume today.  https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/feb/03/marseille-title-contenders-chaos-andre-villas-boas-ligue-1

I hope Marseille soon gets back to a team they are proud of….Allez l’OM!

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