David Macey: Frantz Fanon: A Biography (2000–)

25 April 2018, dusan

“Born in Martinique, Frantz Fanon (1925–61) trained as a psychiatrist in Lyon before taking up a post in colonial Algeria. He had already experienced racism as a volunteer in the Free French Army, in which he saw combat at the end of the Second World War. In Algeria, Fanon came into contact with the Front de Libération Nationale, whose ruthless struggle for independence was met with exceptional violence from the French forces. He identified closely with the liberation movement, and his political sympathies eventually forced him out the country, whereupon he became a propagandist and ambassador for the FLN, as well as a seminal anticolonial theorist.

David Macey’s eloquent life of Fanon provides a comprehensive account of a complex individual’s personal, intellectual and political development. It is also a richly detailed depiction of postwar French culture. Fanon is revealed as a flawed and passionate humanist deeply committed to eradicating colonialism.”

First published by Picador, 2000
Second edition published by Verso, London, 2012
ISBN 9781844677733, 1844677737
xxii+639 pages

Reviews: Megan Vaughan (London Review of Books, 2001), Peter Lennon (The Guardian, 2001), Mark Christian (Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 2002), Gareth Stanton (History Workshop Journal, 2002), Ciaran Mulholland (Socialist World, 2002), Godwin Kwadwo Osei-Nyame (Research in African Literatures, 2004), Kirkus Reviews (2001), Publishers Weekly (2001), Stephen Howe (New Humanist, 2013).

Interview with author (Theory, Culture & Society, 2011).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Marie Marchand: The Minitel Saga: A French Success Story (1988)

18 March 2016, dusan

The only English-language monograph on the popular Videotex online service Minitel, which operated in France between 1978-2012.

“Minitel was proposed and adopted in 1978, the same year that Simon Nora and Alain Minc submitted their influential report The Computerization of Society in which they coined the term ‘telematics’. Minitel also came on the heels of a “phone-in-every-home” program (pre-dating the One Laptop Per Child project by many decades) that was proposed in 1975 by then-general manager of France Telecom Gérard Théry to increase subscriber telephone lines; Théry firmly believed the telephone was going to be the cornerstone of any computerized country – “A phone in every home is the cutting edge of a computer in every home.” Just three years later in 1978, 2500 people in the Parisian suburb of Vélizy had volunteered to use the system initially called “Teletel.” Marie Marchand tellingly writes in The Minitel Saga: A French Success Story that while “households used the system six times a month on average, consulting 20-odd services for a total connect time of one-and-a-half hours per month…”, “These overall figures concealed a number of pronounced disparities…Age disparity: people under 30 used their terminals more than those over 30. Gender disparity: women used them but little. Class disparity: top executives connected more often than midle management types, who in turn called more often than blue collar workers. Further, a flagrant disparity emerged in terms of services used. Five service providers alone accounted for over half the calls…” (53)

In 1982, instead of delivering increasingly expensive and difficult to update telephone book directories, France Telecom loaned Minitel terminals to residents all across France. By 1988, 3.5 million Minitel sets had been installed with users logging six million hours per month and taking advantage of 8000 services. And by 1999, roughly 9 million terminals could access to the network in turn used by 25 million people who took advantage of 26,000 services. By this time, not only had Minitel inaugurated an era that continues today of disparities between visible and invisible (or even absent) users based on gender, race, sexuality, and socio-economic status, but it also inaugurated the era of online pornography, the use of networks to coordinate student protests, and experiments with pseudonymous online identity.” (Lori Emerson)

Translated and adapted from the French by Mark Murphy
Publisher Larousse, Paris, 1988
ISBN 2035182409, 9782035182401
197 pages
via Lori Emerson

Resources: Minitel.org, Minitel Research Lab.

WorldCat

PDF, PDF (25 MB)

Roger Shattuck: The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I., Rev. ed. (1955/1968)

8 April 2014, dusan

In this book Roger Shattuck portrays the cultural bohemia of turn-of-the-century Paris who carried the arts into a period of renewal and accomplishment, and laid the ground-work for Dada and Surrealism.

“…Then came the idea–a kind of gambler’s hunch–that the trio Rousseau-Satie-Apollinaire represented several significant aspects of the period and could reveal them better than any single figure. The idea would not die. [..] Jarry had forced his way into the group and established himself close to the center of things. He helped clarify my underlying subject: how the fluid state known as bohemia, a cultural underground smacking of failure and fraud, crystallized for a few decades into a self-conscious avant-garde that carried the arts into a period of astonishingly varied renewal and accomplishment. [..] An enormous amount has been written on this era and these men since the first edition of this book in 1958. I have taken account of some of it by changing those passages where new facts have come to light.” (from the Preface to this edition)

First published in 1955
Publisher Vintage Books, 1968
397 pages

Review (Alfred Kazin, The Reporter, 1958)
Review (Sidney Tillim, College Art Journal, 1959)
Review (Justin O’Brien, The Saturday Review, 1958)

PDF (115 MB, no OCR)