THE VERY RICH HOURS OF ADRIENNE MONNIER by Adrienne Monnier

THE VERY RICH HOURS OF ADRIENNE MONNIER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of excerpts from the very extensive daybooks of the woman who was, in the France of her time, as well known as Sylvia Beach on the same Rue de l'OdÉon where she had a very similar bookshop frequented by all the artists and writers of the time. Her Racine & Company, actually called Maison des Amis des Livres, was a familiar habitat particularly for the regulars Paul ValÉry, Leon-Paul Fargue and ValÉry Larbaud. Others she knew and wrote about with greater or lesser familiarity included the ""archangelic"" AndrÉ Breton, Cocteau, her close friend Jules Romains, Claudel, Joyce--and of course she recalls Ulysses, the ""human summa"" in which she found innumerable faults. So many notables pass in review--Gide, prodigious and cruel, Eliot whom she also met in England, Colette, etc., etc. In the last sections she writes about particular books or films (Brando's ""fakerism""), concerts, art, and travels, and offers random ""Reflections,"" sometimes given to conjectural generalities (particularly her piece on women). For the most part Mlle. Monnier is less inclined toward hyperbolic homage and more candidly analytical than the French usually are (another dangerous generalization?). She writes with care and taste--for a predisposed audience--about the years she spent as the custodian of greater talents.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1976
Publisher: Scribners