Nemirovky – Suite française

 

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Cyril Collard – Les Nuits Fauves (Savage Nights)

Cyril Collard’s novel was a publishing sensation when it first came out. A film was made on the book in 1992. It won the César prize. He died 3 days after the film’s release.

some editorial reviews:

From Library Journal
Timed to coincide with the U.S. release of the award-winning French film of the same name, this autobiographical novel is certain to generate outrage among many. Reminiscent of Genet, its hero, Jean, is a 30-year-old bisexual filmmaker who can’t remember his parents ever kissing each other or touching him. “After that deprivation, that denial of physical yearnings, I furiously exposed my own rebellious body: I put my flesh on the line, a preamble to any other contact.” His savage nights of impersonal sadomasochistic sex result in a positive HIV test, but even this fails to slow him down–at least outwardly. His psychic pain, however, is reflected in his relationships with Sammy, a 19-year-old rugby enthusiast cum deliquent, and Laura, who provides “the outline of love” he is unable to embrace but with whom he indulges in unprotected sex. The genius of the work is that in spite of the sex, the violence, and the drugs, Jean’s ultimate vulnerability comes through. Unfortunately, we will never hear this voice again. The author died of AIDS in March 1993. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
– David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Booklist
A ferocious ennui suffuses this novel’s dreamy sensuousness as it progresses from bed to bed, body to body. The HIV-positive filmmaker who narrates prefers boys but becomes involved with a teenage girl, Laura, whom he neglects to tell about his HIV status but who, obsessively in love, continues unprotected sex with him even after she learns the truth. He later writes her, “Seeing one hand holding another caused me incredible pain; more than you can imagine. In a few seconds, it summed up everything you expect of me that I can’t give you. . . . I’ve searched for that feeling for years, through hundreds of nights, with hundreds of bodies. I don’t want you to go through that. I want you to find it: a hand holding yours.” Still yearning for a lasting love, moving in a haze of alcohol, cocaine, and erotica, he reflects, “Laura’s gone. Tonight, Olivier will sleep next to me. Sammy calls; tomorrow, it’ll be him. I’m passive. Events follow one another. I submit to them.” Collard died of an AIDS-related illness 72 hours before the film of his autobiographical novel won four C{‚}esars, the French Oscars. Whitney Scott –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Vitoux – Fin de saison au Palazzi Pedrotti

Frédéric Vitoux gave me this book when I went over for lunch at his apartment in 1986 on the Île St Louis. I am embarrassed to note that I did not read the book at the time. Mr. Vitoux is currently a member of the Académie Française.

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