Impostors

Author: Christopher L. Miller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022659100X
Size: 24.84 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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Writing a new page in the surprisingly long history of literary deceit, Impostors examines a series of literary hoaxes, deceptions that involved flagrant acts of cultural appropriation. This book looks at authors who posed as people they were not, in order to claim a different ethnic, class, or other identity. These writers were, in other words, literary usurpers and appropriators who trafficked in what Christopher L. Miller terms the “intercultural hoax.” In the United States, such hoaxes are familiar. Forrest Carter’s The Education of Little Tree and JT LeRoy’s Sarah are two infamous examples. Miller’s contribution is to study hoaxes beyond our borders, employing a comparative framework and bringing French and African identity hoaxes into dialogue with some of their better-known American counterparts. In France, multiculturalism is generally eschewed in favor of universalism, and there should thus be no identities (in the American sense) to steal. However, as Miller demonstrates, this too is a ruse: French universalism can only go so far and do so much. There is plenty of otherness to appropriate. This French and Francophone tradition of imposture has never received the study it deserves. Taking a novel approach to this understudied tradition, Impostors examines hoaxes in both countries, finding similar practices of deception and questions of harm.

Romain Gary

Author: Ralph Schoolcraft
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812203208
Size: 73.51 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this book Ralph Schoolcraft explores the extraordinary career of the modern French author, film director, and diplomat—a romantic and tragic figure whose fictions extended well beyond his books. Born Roman Kacew, he overcame an impoverished boyhood to become a French Resistance hero and win the coveted Goncourt Prize under the pseudonym—and largely invented persona—Romain Gary. Although he published such acclaimed works as The Roots of Heaven and Promise at Dawn, the Gaullist traditions that he defended in the world of French letters fell from favor, and his critical fortunes suffered at the hands of a hostile press. Schoolcraft details Gary's frustrated struggle to evolve as a writer in the eye of a public that now considered him a known quantity. Identifying the daring strategies used by this mysterious character as he undertook an elaborate scheme to reach a new readership, Schoolcraft offers new insight into the dynamics of authorship and fame within the French literary institutions. In the early 1970s Gary made his departure from the conservative literary establishment, publishing works that boasted a quirky, elliptical style under a variety of pseudonymous personae, the most successful of which was that of an Algerian immigrant by the name of Emile Ajar. Moving behind the mask of his new creation, Gary was able to win critical and popular acclaim and a second Goncourt in 1975. But as Schoolcraft suggests, Gary may have "sold his shadow"—that is, lost his authorial persona—by marketing himself too effectively. Going so far as to recruit a cousin to stand in as the public face of this phantom author, Gary kept the secret of his true authorship until his violent death in 1980 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The press reacted with resentment over the scheme, and he was shunned into the ranks of literary oddities. Schoolcraft draws from archives of the several thousand documents related to Gary housed at the French publishing firms of Gallimard and Mercure de France, as well as the Butler Library at Columbia University. Exploring the depths of a story that has long remained shrouded in mystery, Romain Gary: The Man Who Sold His Shadow is as much a fascinating biographical sketch as it is a thought-provoking reflection on the assumptions made about identities in the public sphere.

The Fear Of Barbarians

Author: Tzvetan Todorov
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 074564709X
Size: 71.43 MB
Format: PDF
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Contemporary forms of tension and conflict among nations cannot be described in terms familiar to twentieth century history, but neither can they be reduced to a 'clash of civilizations'. The world today is not divided between an enlightened West and the dark forces of Islam. To avoid the negative impact of these Manichean images we need a much more nuanced view. In this new book Tzvetan Todorov offers an original analysis of the new landscape of fear and resentment that characterizes our world today. He starts by redefining the notions of barbarism and civilization as universal moral categories and explains how they apply to the plurality of cultures; and he distinguishes carefully between various forms of collective identity - cultural, civic and ideological. These conceptual tools enable him to shed fresh light on the current struggle against terrorism and the tensions between communities within Western countries. He invites us to overcome our fears - for fear is a dangerous motive and risks producing an evil that is worse than the evil we initially feared. The fear of the barbarians can turn us into barbarians. Richly illustrated with examples ranging from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to the murder of Theo Van Gogh and the Danish cartoons, this powerful plea for civilized values will be essential reading for anyone concerned with the key challenges facing the world today.

Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid

Author: Romain Gary
Publisher: George Braziller
ISBN:
Size: 14.78 MB
Format: PDF
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Fifty-nine-year-old Jacques Rainier, international tycoon and former Resistance leader, finds himself in love with a beautiful young Brazilian woman at a time when his virility is waning and the European economic recession threatens his financial empire