Gertrude Stein, an ode to daring

The American Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) became rich and famous with Alice Toklas autobiography, written in six weeks in autumn 1932. In this delightful masterpiece, easy to read, which is not the case with all her books, she imagines a new device for writing her memoirs: she is described by its “Married”, the companion of her whole life, Alice Toklas. Philippe Blanchon explains how it is “The ideal witness” in her biography of Gertrude Stein, which is a good introduction to a daring work. A writer himself, and a translator of complex authors, he is also the empathetic portrait of a woman with a strong “Appetite for life”, who “Showed a fierce desire to preserve his research and his pleasures”.

A friend of Apollinaire and René Crevel, of Fitzgerald and of Hemingway, admired by many writers, Stein’s life was at first inseparable from that of painters. Very early, in Paris where she moved in 1903, her brother Leo and she began by acquiring paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Renoir, Maurice Denis, Cézanne, Matisse, then it was Picasso. Then they separate. Leo, who also doesn’t like his sister’s prose, is faithful to Matisse, Gertrude to Picasso. “She never praised works because of the scandal they caused, wrote Blanchon; the works of Cézanne or Matisse, and soon those of Picasso, simply seemed to him to respond to his vision of the world, as they corresponded exactly to the need of the time, no more no less. “

Second degree

If she considers herself equal to Picasso, Gertrude Stein has “A special affection” for some artists, including Juan Gris, who died prematurely in 1927. She has theories about Spanish genius, as she has about everything, and it’s very stimulating. She is aware, however, that her political theories are absolutely unreliable or even interesting. To this is added a propensity to the second degree which goes badly. Questioned by the New york times in 1934, she said for example of Hitler’s good: it’s ironic, you still have to know. Later, it is very seriously that she claims that Hitler is a “German romantic”, implied “Unable to act”, translates his biographer. At the start of the war, she thought that Pétain was a savior who “Wants the Republic” and is secretly preparing to ally with the English. She sets out to translate her speeches, but, writes Blanchon, “She stops her translations when she discovers the first speech relating to the status of the Jews in France”. She and Alice Toklas are Jewish and foreign, but do not seem worried, they spend the duration of the Occupation sheltered in Ain, protected since by Bernard Faÿ, collaborationist whose propensity they may not know chasing the Freemasons, also protected by their local friendships, most of them Gaullists…

“Memories”

The character of Gertrude Stein would tend to take center stage, but it must of course be read first. Philippe Blanchon explains very well the “Repossession and insistence process” at the base of his texts, which are more or less disturbing, and deconstruct grammar. “In one of her lectures, she will say that insistence accounts for inner existence in a” continuous present “, while repetition appeals to memories. She wants to abolish the three times – past, present, future – in order to restore the reality of an individual by means of pulses. “


Claire Devarrieux

Philippe Blanchon Gertrude Stein “Biographies” folio, 304 pp., € 9.70 (ebook: € 9.49).

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F.A.Z. Chronicle of the last weeks of the war: April 14, 1945


Germany on the ground: In the spring of 1945, infantrymen from the American army searched for snipers from the Wehrmacht in the ruins of Zweibrücken.
Picture: Picture Alliance

The three largest parties come together. In foreign policy, the Soviet Union becomes the anchor point. Domestically, they promise an energetic fight against fascism. April 14, 1945 in the F.A.Z. Chronicle.

I.In 1945, the war that the Wehrmacht carried across Europe returned to its country of origin. Now millions in Germany fear for their lives and their future. While the front position is changing at an ever faster pace, the world of the post-war era is already emerging elsewhere. Adolf Hitler and his family hope to the end that the alliance of opponents will break up.

The Allies only really agree on one goal: Hitler and his regime must go, Germany and its allies must capitulate unconditionally. In the meantime, reconstruction is already being discussed in France. And Britain senses that the world power era is over. The most important events of the last weeks of the war:

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F.A.Z. Chronicle of the last weeks of the war: April 12, 1945

I.In 1945, the war that the Wehrmacht carried across Europe returned to its country of origin. Now millions in Germany fear for their lives and their future. While the front position is changing at an ever faster pace, the world of the post-war era is already emerging elsewhere. Adolf Hitler and his family hope to the end that the alliance of opponents will break up.

The Allies only really agree on one goal: Hitler and his regime must go, Germany and its allies must capitulate unconditionally. In the meantime, reconstruction is already being discussed in France. And Britain senses that the world power era is over. The most important events of the last weeks of the war:

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The ceiling fresco of the St. Jakobus church in Röthenbach

Sa hiker strays to Röthenbach, the seven-hundred-soul village in the Allgäu. And in the little St. Jakobus church built in 1785, it will not only be quiet at lunchtime, but almost always. The view wanders through the room. Wherever you look, there is rural baroque on the walls. The ceiling fresco in the dome also initially looks ordinary. The crucified Christ looms in the middle, surrounded by angels and putti, above it float God the Father and the Holy Spirit. To his right – as described in the Bible – is the group of the righteous, the pious and the saved. They are the usual suspects: bishops and monks, pilgrims and nuns. We know St. George with lance and dragon, Francis of Assisi is also there, alongside the apostles Peter and Paul. A rather local celebrity is the “Good Beth von Reute”, one of the last mystics of the Middle Ages, kneeling in front of an Allgäu farming family with a small child.

It gets more exciting with the damned. They have arrived at the place assigned to them to the left of the cross. The high priest Kaiphas looks defiantly and inconsiderately, while Judas Iscariot looks pale and agitated, his hand clasps the bag with the silver pieces. The two are familiar biblical villains. But then unusually modern contemporaries appear on the scene that one would not have expected in a baroque fresco. Champagne-drinking gentlemen in tailcoats are chatting around a blonde with a low-cut, red evening dress.

Put the leader in hell

What’s so bad about a hilarious party that it has to end in hell? It is a group of new rich war profiteers who toast their splendid profits while at the same time the common people are starving and dying. This is how the painter explained it, and one understands why he lets a nasty devil with wings and horns crawl out of the abyss behind the unsuspecting gentlemen, who will ask them in the near future to accompany them downstairs. Two poorly dressed workers with flat caps stand side by side; one disrespectfully smokes a cigarette, the other points with an outstretched arm at the crucified Christ. Does he make fun of himself, does he blaspheme? Are the two communist proletarians, atheists or just little crooks? In any case, the painter sees them as far from God and also places them in the left corner.

One thing is clear: these gentlemen never go to heaven.


And then? Then the viewer, already rigid in the neck, recognizes nothing but old acquaintances! The thick-bodied bald man in a suit and bow-tie who smokes his cigar with relish unmistakably resembles Winston Churchill. The British prime minister ordered air raids on German cities towards the end of World War II, which killed countless civilians. That is probably why the painter joined him to the damned. But it gets thicker. Right next to Churchill stands a man in dark clothes, his hair parted severely on the sides, a black beard over his upper lip, his right arm clasped convulsively in his jacket – Adolf Hitler, who looks like a chief accountant with a blank look through a pince-nez into the distance.

What is actually going on here? During the Second World War, the Rösch couple lost their only son, Georg, who died in Russia on Christmas Day 1942. Out of grief, clearly mixed with bitterness, the pious people commissioned a ceiling fresco for the village church. They paid four thousand Reichsmarks to the painter August Braun from Wangen, an enormous sum for which a factory worker would have had to work for two years. The result is a painting that is artistically daring and probably unique in Germany. It contains a lot of explosives for debates, and promptly it is sometimes downplayed. Some see the portrayed people not as clearly personal portraits but as allegorical figures. Not Churchill, but a profit-oriented entrepreneur – not Hitler, but an insensitive bureaucrat are depicted there, universal caricatures, but no people in contemporary history. The church leader speaks cautiously of “modern atheists, those without interests and people of pleasure”. On the other hand, the city archivist Michael Barczyk, who in the painting undoubtedly recognizes an allusion to Hitler and interprets August Braun’s fresco in the parish church in Röthenbach as a “sign of passive resistance” against the Hitler regime, as a hidden anti-fascist protest. Putting the Fiihrer in Hell was life threatening in the Third Reich. Even for minor insults, even for jokes, the authors were sent to the front or disappeared in the concentration camp. How could the painter get away with such a tremendous attack? Why did the subversion go unnoticed?

“The Röthenbachers held together,” explains the former mayor, which is why the painter was not denounced and nothing was done to him. But maybe it was also because the local group leader never visited the church.

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The brain of the Nazi plunder: an unscrupulous dealer who became a millionaire and found refuge in Spain

Updated

75 years have passed since the end of World War II, but there is no week in which no new litigation or news about thehe plundered that the Nazis perpetratedn in Europe.
Museums that engage in legal battles not to restore works to the descendants of their legitimate owners, paintings that were considered lost or destroyed during the war and that appear in the most unsuspected places, exhibitions on goods seized from the Jews … Each one of them is a

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British historian: three new claims about Hitler that are true

NAnother Hitler biography? What’s new to say about him? In short: everything. Brendan Simms bows modestly to his predecessors and only speaks in his introduction of “significant gaps” in our picture of Hitler.

However, if the “three new claims” that he makes about Hitler proved to be viable, he says, again in a very humble manner, “the history of the ‘Third Reich’ must be fundamentally reconsidered”.

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At war with boredom: smoky trip-hop, spaghetti and souvenirs

With a Nazi architect

“Walking is forbidden, we still have the process, in particular that of the artists”, jokes Guillaume Monsaingeon, curator of “Steps, Steps”, in a video that serves as a substitute for the exhibition. Open on February 8, the cultural event closed its doors but is not treading water. Since it is no longer possible to run, climb or hike, we walk in thought alongside artists and we explore in imagination the sleeping rooms of the Frac thanks to the skillful online conferences of Guillaume Monsaingeon. So we follow Francis Alÿs in the footsteps of the Nazi architect Albert Speer. In the video Albert’s Way, the Belgian artist goes around in a closed room for seventy hours (ten hours a day for seven days). It traces the journey of the architect of Hitler who had revisited in his cell all the places through which he had passed in his life. For Francis Alÿs, these 118 surveyed kilometers also represent a small portion of the way to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Alÿs thus makes walking an exercise of the mind, both physical and spiritual.

With muddy breakbeats

There are two types of trip-hop records: monuments and mediocre ones. The second ones are countless and don’t deserve to be talked about. The first, anxiety-addicted soulful attempts or inventions for vinyl crackles and drum loops at DJ Premier, are few, all prototypes, and infinitely tripping. So Smokers Delight, classic among the classics, was composed by the leedsian b-boy George Evelyn while the world expected him a new pack of futuristic house, in line with his first hits bleep’n’bass. Nay: the Englishman, raised to the soul and the good seed of cannabis, wanted only muddy breakbeats to accompany his escapes on the sofa. In doing so, he invented a genre, his own, and gave birth to the masterpiece of smoky music. The album celebrates its quarter century and comes out in a slightly enlarged version, ready to add sound to your wildest breakaways under Pinot Noir and CBD.

Photo Federico Garolla

With Pasolini, in Rome

Since it is no longer possible to wander around Rome today in search of the best spaghetti cacio e pepe, this is a great opportunity to rediscover the site that the Cinémathèque française initiated on the occasion of the Pasolini Roma exhibition and retrospective in 2013. On a map, 50 emblematic addresses are geolocated which refer you to a set of texts, photos and videos displaying the biography and intellectual system of the writer and filmmaker, from his arrival in the city, Stazione Termini, with his mother on the 28 January 1950, at his terrible death on an Ostia beach on the night of 1er to November 2, 1975. From the filming sites to the places of dredgers, from the various apartments to the Campo dei Fiori, crowded with people for his funeral, “Friendship, literature, politics, love, sex, cinema” to cross again in a moving map.

Maurice Nadeau Ruth Zylberman“Maurice Nadeau”, Ruth Zylberman

With a huge editor

Documentary filmmaker Ruth Zylberman, author of the recent the Children of 209 rue Saint-Maur, has put his film for free on the great journalist and editor Maurice Nadeau. Huge editor who published and made discover in France Malcolm Lowry, Varlam Chalamov, Witold Gombrowicz, Walter Benjamin, Georges Perec, Michel Houellebecq… And founded New Letters, become the Literary Fortnight. “When they have been refused everywhere, they come to me. And often it’s worth it. ” Diving in his library, in his memories of writers, editorial meeting of the fortnight. A beautiful portrait of the publisher who died on June 16, 2013 at 102 years old.

Photo DR

With cool goths

In the midst of a surge of confining anxiety, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have completed two new albums by Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts – the first is intended to reflect an optimistic scenario of the pandemic crisis and the second, its pessimistic side. If this unexpected exit, its hanging up on the news and its presentation in cream pie dilogy are enough to arouse mistrust, doubts will be quickly dispelled: far from the collection of repackaged drawer bottoms, the two discs are also exciting that generous, basically – synthesis of all that Reznor and Ross have done best, creepy atmospheres of The Downward Spiral to the frozen anagogies of the soundtrack of The Social Network – as in form – 25 tracks over almost two and a half hours in total.


Didier Péron

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Frédérique Roussel

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Clementine Mercier

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Olivier Lamm

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Lelo Jimmy Batista

https://francisalys.com/alberts-way/

Nightmares on Wax Smokers Delight 25th Anniversary Edition (Warp).

Pasoliniroma.com

https://vimeo.com

Nine Inch Nails Ghosts V and VI available on https://www.nin.com/

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Gabi Delgado, death of a provocative agent

“I am a fanatic of the verb. I like the German language. I have always considered it a poetic path in its own right. ” Thus spoke Gabriel Delgado-López alias Gabi Delgado, both driving force and theorist of the electronic duo Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft alias DAF: Robert Görl, his artistic half, announced his death on Facebook Monday evening, without specifying the causes or the place where Delgado died at 61.

DAF, it was for everyone the tube Der Mussolini (“Tanz den Mussolini / tanz den Adolph Hitler / beweg deinen hinter / klatscht in die Hände / tanz den Jesus Christus”, “dance the Mussolini / dance the Adolph Hitler / move the buttocks / clap your hands / dance the Jesus Christ”) dating back to 1981, which in return earned them “Sieg heil»Of the public as well as the coverage of New Musical Express, the Bible of English criticism: provocation, gay imagery (Görl was gay, Delgado bisexual) and, since it was necessary to go beyond, a new sound; both dancing and extremely aggressive. “We didn’t accept authority, that’s one of the few things that brought us closer to Robert, explained Delgado in 2018. The ” Sieg Hail ” was provocation [les Sex Pistols avaient joué en 1978 une chanson intitulée ”Belsen was a gas”, sur le camp de concentration de Bergen-Belsen, ndlr], fascism was part of German culture anyway and for me it was liberating. I emigrated from Spain at 8 years old to join Germany and Wuppertal: this is where I met my father for the first time, because he had fled Francoism and he could no longer go under sentence to be arrested and thrown in prison. “

The German language, therefore. “On that, we changed our listening habits. We gave the song a different meaning. It’s not rap, it’s not notes either, it’s injunctions, orders, performed not by a musician but by an actor. ” Before DAF, Delgado had trudged through artistic circles in Düsseldorf and more particularly at the Ratinger Hof, a pub open to underground culture where the plastic artist and performer Joseph Beuys, guardian figure of the German post-war art scene, sometimes spent with his students. Delgado formed several punk groups: Mittagspause, Charly’s Girls or Yuri Gagarin and the Soviet Union.

“American Diktat”

His great project then took shape: music “Without tradition, was it German” : “Without root at all. Anything that reminded us of music or something preexisting went out the window, even if it was good. Punk was just a re-emergence from rock’n’roll: I wanted to end this American diktat. ” After a purely noisy first attempt, Ein Produkt der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft, where the all-military drought of rhythms begins to be heard, DAF decides to reduce itself to a duo and goes in 1980 to London.

Where the group meets their good fairy, the man who will initiate them into controlled dissonance and open all doors for them: Daniel Miller, the boss of the Mute label (The Normal, No, Depeche Mode, Fad Gadget), who puts them in the hands of producer Conny Plank, a liege man on the kraut rock scene for a good ten years. The latter therefore sees music as a flow: regardless of his initial skepticism for this purely percussive group who plays without a note, he is familiar with an approach that does without refrain, high or low and even subject. Instead, Delgado’s voice emerges from a crash somewhere between disco and industrial music – we can imagine that it is difficult to imagine – to make an emergency assault in a sort of sadomasochistic restraint; a gasp that says violence, breathlessness and the pleasure that the barking German language transcends.

“The history and culture of my time”

Delgado also gives a speech: “Fascism or anarchy have become fashions for nightclubs, moments of hatred or moments of love. But there’s nothing sacred anymore. Nothing bad. Nothing good. “ The hype will take like a bush fire, the tubes (including the incredible Der Raüber und der Prinze played on a children’s keyboard and designed “Like a homo-erotic moment”) will succeed four albums during (including three on the multinational Virgin) and will carry DAF until 1982: the group then separates and none of the reformations which followed (1986, 2003) will add anything to their glory. Delgado pursued a career as a producer while building on the reputation of DAF, through a catalog background which he owns the rights with Görl (“A lesson from Conny Plank, he taught us a lot about business”) and a few concerts that he was striving to strategically rarefy.

On his work: “It was important for me to draw the history and the culture of my time. Afterwards, no one can create the illusion of a line of code that no one can ever crack. Capitalism assimilates everything, music and the rest. But by the time it gets there, the formula wears out, expires as it is used. Precisely because it is a good formula.


Grégory Schneider

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A new generation of Hitler’s biographies

Updated

Sunday,
    22
    March
    2020
    –
02:13

Since the 1950s, each generation has his Hitler, his biography of the Fhrer that tells almost as much about its authors and readers as the subject of the study. In 1952, English historian Alan Bullock wrote the first great book on Hitler after his death. 512 pages that, very briefly, infect the Fhrer an almost idealized sense of evil, a destructive nihilism that explained everything. In 1973, German journalist Joachim Fest delivered a new, more sophisticated and realistic Hitler in

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