tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I

The Banquet Years by Roger Shattuck
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it was amazing
bookshelves: biography

Biographies of Alfred Jarry, Henri Rousseau, Erik Satie, & Guillaume Apollinaire - all creative people in Paris active from 1885 to 'WWI'. I LOVED this bk. I had just turned 22 when I read it. I was substantially familiar w/ all the characters & was engrossed by them. Satie & Jarry were both esp important to me. Rousseau & Apollinaire not so much so but still of interest. Shattuck clearly knows & loves the subject & writes about it well. The intertwining of these personalities creates a meta-personality for Parisian culture that's god-like in its crazed creativity.

Shattuck does a great job of establishing the lasting significance of these people. It's reassuring to know that even the most obscure person can have a long-term impact just b/c of what keeps them in obscurity while they're alive: their full-blown 'inaccessible' inventiveness.

If someone were to pick 4 such people in Pittsburgh (or any other city) now, who wd they pick? I'd like to read a bk that gradually expands out from "The Banquet Years" - these 4, then 12 more, then 16 to the 16th - eventually describing in detail everyone alive in the city during those 3 decades. Is that too much to ask?
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 10, 1975 – Finished Reading
April 7, 2008 – Shelved
April 7, 2008 – Shelved as: biography

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