FiveBooks Newsletter 19
Dear FiveBooks Readers,
A fabulous week of interviews on France for you this week, including the
Resistance, Charles de Gaulle, the nouvelle vague, literature and, of
course, a lot of food.
Aaaaand...we have a winner for the FiveBooks Quiz! Sally gave us five
correct answers and will receive a glittering $30 Amazon voucher. The
1) What is Chandrasekhar mass?
Answer: It is the mass beyond which a star may collapse into a black hole,
described by Indian physicist Chandrasekhar.
2) Who is probably the real author of _Ali and Nino_ by Kurban Said?
Answer: Lev Nussimbaum.
3) Who assassinated Henri IV of France and why?
Answer: Francois Ravaillac, because he questioned Henri's claim to the
throne after his conversion to Christianity.
4) What is pulpatoon and where did it originally come from?
Answer: It started out in France as a pie-like dish called a poupeton with a
forcemeat crust on the outside rather than pastry.
5) What percentage of us does Mia Farrow estimate is capable of being led or
enticed into acts of genocide?
Congratulations to Sally and don't miss our next FiveBooks Quiz for your
chance to win.
_Sudhir Hazareesingh on Charles de Gaulle’s Place in French Culture_
Monday, October 25th
Sudhir Hazareesingh describes the French Resistance: the anonymous heroes
who hid allied airmen, the agents who faced a very real threat of arrest,
torture and death, the very low life-expectancy of those flying into France
in the hope of surviving at least 24 hours and the fact that monarchists,
peasants, Communists, landowners, republicans put aside their differences
and worked together to save their country.
_Jonathan Fenby on Charles de Gaulle and the French Resistance_
Monday, October 25th
The author of _The General: Charles de Gaulle and the France he Saved
_explains why the Resistance remains a touchy political subject in France.
The fact is, he says, that most French people did not belong to the
Resistance and some revisionist right-wing historians have since painted the
Resistance as a violent, Communist-dominated movement that punished
_David Bellos on Great French Novels_
Tuesday, October 26th
French Professor David Bellos chooses the best five French novels, including
Gary, Perec and Queneau as well as Hugo and Balzac. The Perec novel is, he
says, ‘about a guy in retirement, living on a barge on the Seine, and after
lunch he always has a sip of pastis and drops off, and the moment he drops
off he dreams he’s someone else - a medieval nobleman from Normandy who
contemplates the historical situation and goes and bashes up a few peasants
and has a meal and a drop of essence of fennel and drops off to sleep… and
dreams he is a man living on a barge on the Seine...’ Buy the books and read
_Richard Wolin on France in the 1960s_
Wednesday, October 27th
Professor Richard Wolin says Godard was the real wunderkind of the French
Nouvelle Vague. Truffaut, Rohmer, Rivette and Chabrol were outstanding
figures with a formidable impact but Godard was their main representative.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of _Breathless_.
_Carmen Callil on The Other France_
Thursday, October 28th
The author and founder of Virago Press describes how Pope Pius XII changed
the Vatican into a centre of power and came to a concordat with Hitler. She
decries the absolute silence of the church when the Holocaust was happening
and says there was only one French cardinal who spoke out about what was
happening to the Jews. The others accepted it because they thought that
socialism and democracy and freemasonry were evil.
_Bruno Loubet on Simple Cooking_
Friday, October 29th
Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet talks about the cream, the velouté, the
meat covered with dark sauce, a petit gâteau de carotte de cerfeuil – little
cake of carrots with a very light chervil sauce – a little cushion of
mushrooms, air-dried duck, stuffed neck of duck, rillettes of duck…and more
_Elisabeth Luard on French Cooking_
Friday, October 29th
The veteran food writer describes eating prickly sea urchins live,
slow-cooked beef in black red wine that reduces until you can eat it with a
spoon, cardoons with anchovies, garlic and olive oil, peas with lettuce in
white wine and boudin with fresh chicken blood. These are the best five
books on French food.
Also on France:
_Peregrine Worsthorne on The Revolution_ and _Diane Greco Josefowicz
on French Egyptomania_.
_Janey Lee Grace on Natural Living_
The best-selling writer explains that our kitchen cupboards are probably as
full of remedies for minor ailments as any pharmacy, and much healthier.
Have a wonderful week, and don't miss Scott Turow on legal novels and Vasily
Grossman's translator Robert Chandler on Russian tales - both up this week.
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