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Women of the Left Bank, Paris 1900-1940 Paperback – 1987
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If you believe the usual literary histories, the early 20th-century modernist movement in English literature was, Gertrude Stein excepted, a movement of men. Benstock restores the roles of such remarkable women as Djuna Barnes, Jean Rhys, Sylvia Beach, and Janet Flanner in the history of the time, revealing what she calls the "underside of the cultural canvas." The book is thorough and wonderfully descriptive, offering both a literary history and a portrait of the lives of creative women. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a feminist scholar, Benstock analyzes the places these women occupied in the Paris scene as well as in a world in transition. She admirably examines the literary works of the writers, but the book never feels solely like a book of criticism. Biographical information abounds and gives each chapter something of a story arc.
For readers who enjoy biographies of literary personalities but often miss the lack of detailed discussion of a writer's works, this book will not disappoint. And if you are at all interested Paris in the early part of the last century, modernism, or any of the many women discussed in the book (Edith Wharton, Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein & Alice Toklas, HD, Mina Loy, etc.) this book will be an invaluable source of information.
I far preferred Paris Was a Woman: Portraits of the Left Bank, by Andrea Weiss; Wild Girls: Paris, Sappho, and Art: The Lives and Loves of Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks (a delicious account of the intense and magnetic passion between these two artists), by Diana Souhami; Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation, by Noel Riley Fitch; Found Meals of a Lost Generation by Suzanne Rodgriguez-Hunter (more a cookbook than an examination of the history), and Forbidden Fires by Margaret C. Anderson (who really was there!). In fact, Paris Was a Woman goes remarkably well with Forbidden Fires (which starts with a biography and moves into a semi-autobiographical story). With the exception of Benstock's book, all of the above books create a sensual path of France's expatriate movement in the 1920's.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I studied Womanstudies (Genderstudies) at University in Utrecht Netherlands. So my intrest is evident.
I was very happy with both books.
Fascinating information about unusual women, but the writing seemed at times a bit heavy. I loved the choice of subjects!Published 22 months ago by spideri
A lot of interesting American women left home to hang out and in some cases come out in Paris among the artists and left intellectuals who flocked there, especially in the 1920s... Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Bear