Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Paris in July Reading Goals

Paris in July is now getting started at the blogs Thyme for Tea and Readerbuzz. I'm definitely planning to participate as much as I can! I'm looking forward to seeing what Paris themes other bloggers share as they read, cook, watch, dream about, or show Paris in writings, in images, and in photos. Thinking about Paris is such a wonderful distraction from our troubled world (blogged here: What's wrong with the world?) that I have decided to share my very enjoyable plans now, not wait until we really get to July!

My goal this year, as I have said in a previous post, is to read books by French-language writers who lived in Paris, and try to get a French point of view, rather than the view of a tourist or an ex-pat. It's hard to do; so many Americans and other non-French writers have loved Paris and still do, and so many people love to read these authors' books. 

I've given my plan more thought now than I had done in my earlier post. Realistically, I can't possibly read all the books that meet my ambitious goals. However, here are some areas that I hope to explore, with links to some articles about the authors I would like to read:
  • Oulipo, a literary association of experimental writers and mathematicians, founded in 1960, offers all sorts of possible reading projects! I have read a few works from the early days of Oulipo, and I wrote about Raymond Queneau's book and film Zazie dans le Metro (here). On the blog to date I have only mentioned the works of Oulipo writer Georges Perec, whom I hope to go back to. I would also like to learn more of what has been done by Oulipo writers recently. Michele Audin, a current Oulipo member, is one example.
Georges Perec
Simone de Beauvoir
  • Mystery novels written in French are intriguing. Currently, author Fred Vargas writes police procedurals about Commissaire Adamsberg. I have read three of them. 
    Also, I would like to read more of the Inspector Maigret books by Georges Simenon, written between 1931 and 1973. Almost all of them at least begin in Paris at the central police station.
  • French cuisine is always my favorite. French home cooking has evolved over the years I've been cooking and eating French food. To see what's new, I might read some current French food magazines like Marie Claire/ Cuisine et Vins de France.
  • Foreign immigrants to Paris have their own special experiences -- as I have mentioned, I would like to read novels about them. In my search, I especially learned about Faïza Guène, author of six novels about immigrant life in the Paris banlieus. The latest one was just published, and I have now read it and will post a review. A 1950s immigrant writer was  Driss Chraïbi. He wrote Les boucs (1955), but I don't think I would like it.
  • Hip adolescents have had their own French literature. Beloved books now and in the past fascinate me. I would like to find out what books French students are passionate about now. For this project -- I don't know how to begin! Two examples that were popular for a long time (which I've read before) are: Le Grand Meaulnes byAlain-Fournier, published shortly before the author was killed in the first month of World War I, and L'Écume des jours by Boris Vian (1947), which was highly popular for at least two generations.

  • Two recent novels in French that look interesting: The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter (2021) and  The Anomaly by Hervé le Tellier (a best-seller in 2021). 
  • Paris Metro Tales, translated by Helen Constantine (2011) is a collection of French stories linked to various Metro stops, which I've started to read.

Blog post © 2022 mae sander
Photos from web.


Jenn Jilks said...

We've actually been to Paris! It was awhile back, and our health precludes travel.
Good for you for these goals.
(ツ) from Jenn Jilks , ON, Canada!

Jeanie said...

I love Paris in July! I don't have nearly so ambitious plans as you, but I'm always looking forward to it!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I spend much of each July watch the Tour de France, which of course only spends one day in Paris. But it's always such a glorious day! Really neat reading goal -- sounds like fun.

Divers and Sundry said...

I've enjoyed Fred Vargas and also the Maigret books. Your reading plan is intriguing, and I look forward to seeing your posts.

Marie Cloutier said...

I love your plans for Paris in July. I am a fulltime francophile so it's always Paris in July for me but I do love this event and plan to participate! <3

kwarkito said...

le prix Goncourt 2020 "l'anomalie" a été attribué à Hervé le Tellier qui est un membre de longue date de l'Oulipo. Si vous voulez je peux vous recommander quelques livres qui m'ont plu. Il y a un prix goncourt des lycéens, et ils ont souvent un goût excellent. j'ai particulièrement aimé un livre d'Alice Zeniter qui s'appelle "L'art de perdre". Il y a aussi un récit très étonnant de Nasstaja Martin intitulé "croire aux fauves" qui raconte une expérience très singulière que je ne dévoilerai pas. Celui-ci, je pense se lit assez aisément en français.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

I'm looking forward to your post on Paris Metro Tales as I have traveled extensively on the Metro during our stays in Paris.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You have enough here for the next ten Paris in July events!

I have ordered a copy of the Georges Perec book, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. I am curious to know more about this author.

Paris Metro Tales sounds compelling, too. I will try to resist purchase...

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I always enjoy those who participate in this event every year. I am looking forward to your take on it this year. Your project sounds both intriguing and ambitious. I will watch with great anticipation, Mae.

Tamara said...

Mae, this is ambitious and exciting. I love to hear your thoughts on Simone de Beouvoir, and I'm fascinated on your thoughts on the literature of French Adolescents. I'll be watching with great interest to learn more from your considered reviews this year.

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

Too many awesome ideas here!
Oulipo is my favorite literary movement. Perec is fabulous, and I see The Anomaly is also here on your slit. This is the most recent Oulipo book published in French. Actually amazing that they gave it the Goncourt. Brilliant book.

Cindy said...

Have fun and enjoy all the learning!!

Gretchen said...

Your plans for Paris in July sound fascinating! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on some of these.

Mel u said...

Your plans are fascinating. Last year I posted on six short stories by Russia Émigrés living in Paris. I hope to return to this for Paris in July 2022.

Mark Baker said...

Best of luck to you as you virtually travel to Paris this month.

Lisbeth said...

Great ideas and inspiration, also for my own participation.

Emily said...

Sounds exciting! I have so many blog tours in July that I will probably only be able to fit in one book. I have just seen one at the library so have put a place hold on that!

Have a great weekend.

Emily@ Budget Tales Book Blog
My post:

AnneKristy said...

Thanks so much for visiting Impressions in Ink.
Paris in July sounds wonderful, but I will not be able to take part this time.
I'm looking forward to reading the blog posts on it.
Have a great week!

vvb32 reads said...

Wonderful line-up. Enjoy the event.

Marg said...

Good luck with your plans!