First published in France in 2012 to critical and popular acclaim, this is the first book about the remarkable American actress and filmmaker Barbara Loden. Loden’s 1970 film Wanda is a masterpiece of early cinéma vérité, an anti-Bonnie-and-Clyde road movie about a young woman, adrift in rust-belt Pennsylvania in the early 1960s, who embarks on a crime spree with a small-time crook.
With A French woman haunted by her encounter with an American-German pianist-composer who is obsessed with Arnold Schoenberg's portrait, flies home with her lively sister and a volume of Adorno's letters to Thomas Mann. While the impossible heroine unpicks her social failures the pianist reaches towards a musical self-portrait with all the resonance of Schoenberg's passionate, chilling blue. A novel of angst and high farce, Blue Self-Portrait unfolds among Berlin's cultural institutions but is more truly located in the mid-air flux between contrary impulses to remember and to ignore.
Progressing by image and word associations, Frémon evokes Bourgeois's history and inner life, bringing a sense of fascinating and moving proximity to the internationally renowned artist... The art world’s grande dame and its shameless old lady, who spun personal history into works of profound strangeness, speaks out with her characteristic insolence and wit, and comes to vibrant life again through the words of a most discrete, masterful writer.
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