Graham Robb


Born
in Manchester, The United Kingdom
June 02, 1958

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Graham Macdonald Robb FRSL (born June 2, 1958) is a British author.

Robb was born in Manchester and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied Modern Languages. He earned a PhD in French literature at Vanderbilt University.

He won the 1997 Whitbread Book Award for best biography (Victor Hugo) and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Rimbaud in 2001. In 2007, he won the Duff Cooper Prize for The Discovery of France.

On April 28, 2008 he was awarded the £10,000 Ondaatje Prize by the Royal Society of Literature in London for The Discovery of France.

Average rating: 3.91 · 8,397 ratings · 1,013 reviews · 22 distinct worksSimilar authors
Parisians: An Adventure His...

3.67 avg rating — 2,016 ratings — published 2010 — 21 editions
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The Discovery of France: A ...

4.02 avg rating — 1,775 ratings — published 2007 — 19 editions
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Rimbaud: A Biography

4.23 avg rating — 877 ratings — published 2000 — 12 editions
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The Discovery of Middle Ear...

3.36 avg rating — 584 ratings — published 2013 — 10 editions
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Strangers: Homosexual Love ...

4.05 avg rating — 341 ratings — published 2003 — 9 editions
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Victor Hugo: A Biography

4.03 avg rating — 147 ratings — published 1997 — 9 editions
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The Debatable Land: The Los...

3.62 avg rating — 135 ratings — published 2018 — 10 editions
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Balzac: A Biography

3.85 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 1994 — 7 editions
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Cols and Passes of the Brit...

4.17 avg rating — 6 ratings3 editions
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Unlocking Mallarmé

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1996 — 2 editions
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“If the mystery can be reduced to one solution, it lies in a simple coincidence: Rimbaud's interest in his own work had survived the realization that the world would not be changed by verbal innovation. It did not survive the failure of all his adult relationships. He had always treated poems as a form of private communication. He gave his songs to chansonniers, his satires to satirists. Without a constant companion, he was writing in a void.”
Graham Robb, Rimbaud: A Biography

“In those days, long before, a view over the rooftops of Paris was an unaffordable luxury. The apartment he had shared with a mousy young writer from Laon had a view of the Jardin de Luxembourg – if he stuck his head out of the window as far as it would go and twisted it to the left, a smudge of green foliage appeared in the corner of one eye. That had been his best apartment to date. They had decorated it in the ‘Bohemian’ style of the 1830s : a few volumes of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo, a Phrygian cap, an Algerian hookah, a skull on a broomstick handle (from the brother of a friend, Charles Toubin, who was an intern at one of the big hospitals) and, of course, a window box of geraniums, which was not only pretty but also illegal. (Death by falling window box was always high up the official list of fatalities.) For a proper view of Paris, they visited Henry’s painter friends who lived in a warren of attic rooms near the Barriere d’Enfer and called themselves the Water-Drinkers. When the weather was fine and the smell of their own squalor became unbearable, they clambered onto the roof and sat on the gutters and ridges, sketching chimneyscapes, and sending up more smoke from their pipes than the fireplaces below.
Three of the Water-Drinkers had since died of various illnesses known collectively as ‘lack of money’. When the last of the three was buried, in the spring of 1844, Henry and the others had found themselves at the graveside without a sou to give a gravedigger. ‘Never mind’, said he, “you can pay me the next time, ‘ and then, to his collegue : ‘It’s all right – these gentlemen are a regular customers.”
Graham Robb, Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
tags: paris

“As the shabby section of the audience rose to its feet, waving its hats and food-wrappers, a rich, stale smell wafted through the auditorium. It had something of the fog on the boulevard outside, where the pavements were sticky with rain, but also something more intimate : it suggested old stew and course tobacco, the coat racks and bookshelves of a pawnshop, and damp straw mattresses impregnated with urine and patchouli. It was - as though the set designer had intended some ironical epilogue - the smell of the real Latin Quarter.”
Graham Robb, Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
tags: paris

Topics Mentioning This Author

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