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The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir Hardcover – March 13, 2012
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“His is an extraordinary life . . . It is a rumbustious, engaging, frustrating, joyous rampage through some of the most significant chapters of postwar history in the company of an unforgettable man.” ―David Cesarani, Literary Review
“As the 21st century takes a new and frightening shape, it is well to remember the strange heroism of men like Lanzmann, who opposed the darkest forces of the 20th century with an unmitigated belief in freedom, and not just freedom of belief.” ―Andrew Hussey, The Independent
“A work of art . . . [Lanzmann] has lived every moment the way one writes a story or directs a film: completely, intensely . . . [The Patagonian Hare is] a true literary and historic event.” ―Le Monde
“Lanzmann reminds us in these pages that he is a tremendous writer.” ―Marianne
“This book isn't a compendium of memories . . . It's a great, epic work, heartbreaking and full of enthusiasm. The writing dances, shudders, trembles and melts voluptuously. It has that quality of changing your life.” ―Le Point
“Without a doubt, one of the masterpieces of world literature.” ―Die Welt
“A great book.” ―Joan de Sagarra, La Vanguardia
“This book is a masterpiece, both picaresque and serious, funny and tragic.” ―Bernard-Henri Lévy, Le Point
“Instead of going to the beach, putting on a bathing suit and going swimming, or going to the movies, I stay in my room and read a book, and I swim in the sea of wisdom. Right now, I am reading a magnificent book by Claude Lanzmann . . . Reading [The Patagonian Hare] gives me the greatest pleasure in life.” ―Shimon Peres, Israel Hayom
“A masterpiece of our time. The suggestive power of this evocation of the past century is without precedent.” ―Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
“We follow Lanzmann's adventures as if they came from a novel by London, Hemingway or Kessel.” ―Max Gallo, Le Figaro
“Half a century of fury, tears and hopes related by one of the most important witnesses of our time.” ―L'Express
“Claude Lanzmann recounts our age with a vitality and virtuosity rarely seen.” ―Le Magazine Littéraire
About the Author
Claude Lanzmann is a French writer and the director of a number of films, including the nine-and-a-half-hour classic Shoah (1985), which was described by The Washington Post as "the film event of the century" and is regarded internationally as a historical and cinematic breakthrough. Lanzmann is chief editor of Les Temps Modernes, which was founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The Patagonian Hare Claude Lanzmann
(Translator: Frank Wynne-Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Claude Lanzmann is in love with life and fascinated with death. A film director of the most influential documentary ever made, SHOAH, he knows what he is talking about when he "pleads in favor of life over death." In his book, a best seller throughout Europe, THE PATAGONIAN HARE he recounts the facts, the drama and the lyrics of his now, 87 years. The book was written in 2008. (It has been awaiting a good translator that has been found in Frank Wynne.) Lanzmann writes as a boy who was a student, an artist, a resistance fighter, a son, a Jew and as a man who is judgmental because he has seen and lived so very much. He has forgotten nothing.
Lanzmann is chief editor of LES TEMPS MODERNES, the very important magazine begun by Jean- Paul Sartre. He shared much of his life with Castor- Simone de Beauvoir, a co-founder. There is no index to THE PATAGONIAN HARE so if the reader is not sure of history's great and memorable figures -theatrical, literary, political, despicable-keep Wikipedia close by. Lanzmann knew everyone and loved many of them. His memories and the characters that embody them are monads flitting through and over the conscious years. Wars, putsches, murders, metempsychosis, love affairs, adventures- "everything was at once totally invented and absolutely true." Speaking of Frantz Fanon seemingly close to death, he says he was "the keeper of the truth, and of the truth as a secret. There was a secret in truth, and he held it." Lanzmann tells the secret in this memoir. On the tombstone of his mother's lover, the Serbian surrealist poet Monny de Boully, he quotes "Past, present, future, where have you gone..." They have gone into this roiling memoire.
This memoir is a remarkable, masterly and very moving account of the life of a Jewish writer and later a film-maker born in 1925, who lived in Paris through the great cultural and political changes of our time. He was a friend of Sartre and partner for many years of Simone de Beauvoir and these friendships are wonderfully and sympathetically described. He is a man of huge energy and passionate friendships, especially for women, who are an important part of the story of his life. You will lose count of the women he loved, but surely never forget the hilarious episode in North Korea, where he fell for a nurse sent to give him injections of vitamin B12. This encounter is so vividly described and funny and yet at the same time touching. Indeed, the book is shot through with poignant episodes, reaching an incredible climax in the heartrending account of his filming for his 9-hour film 'Shoah' Shoah 4-DVD Set. Many times in the book one is moved deeply by the empathy and tenderness shown by this highly intellectual man.Read more ›
This is the story of one of those rare individuals who seems to live in one life many lives , and each of them remarkable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed Claude Lanzmans's point of perspective while filming Shoah.Published 10 months ago by aimee
I did not realize when I ordered the book that it was all about things: treasures - lacquers - Japonaise art etc. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Marion Karczmar
He has also created one of the great and lasting monuments to a lost world. For that, alone, his is a life worth reading about. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Librum
A compelling reconstruction of of the intellectual development of the producer/director of Shoah. Especially strong in recounting his relationship to Simone deBeauvior and Sartre. Read morePublished on September 4, 2013 by Amazon Customer
The themes jumped around zigzag like a hare pursued by hounds. Lack of continuity; it also should have an index.Published on June 21, 2013 by Ernest Seinfeld
As an admirer of Claude Lanzamann's films, I was looking forward to reading his memoir. In particular his vision in constructing "Shoah". Read morePublished on May 24, 2013 by "Belgo Geordie"
An exceptional book written by an exceptional man who had intimate relationships with some of the most famous French writers of his time, and who was responsible for the finest... Read morePublished on November 19, 2012 by Philip J. Stein
This is one of the best books I read this year.
Lantzmann was in several crossroads of the 20th century,
from war to philosophy, from hell to love and he describes them... Read more
This account is a story of a most accomplished life by a very gifted artist -- a graceful autobiography that encompasses a youth fighting the Nazi occupation of France plus a... Read morePublished on September 14, 2012 by crowesq