Through Parisian Eyes brings together some of the rich and varied voices that placed Paris at the cutting edge of European cultural and intellectual life. From Francois Truffaut to Jean-Paul Sartre, from Eugene Ionesco to Marguerite Duras, from Jean-Francois Revel to Andre Malraux, the book covers a wide spectrum of figures involved in such areas as film, theatre, poetry, philosophy, and political commentary.
As she interviewed her subjects between 1975 and 1985, Melinda Camber Porter set out to reveal the people behind the highly cerebral and complex ideas endemic to France and, through her interviews, to test the authenticity of their views and to oblige the "speakers" to make their thoughts and theories accessible to a general audience. The dominant trends in French artistic and political thought thus emerge vividly in this kaleidoscopic array of portraits: the rise and demise of structuralism, the birth of a moderate feminism, the ambivalent attitude towards America, French xenophobia, disillusionment with communism, the role of cafe life, cross-cultural influences, the predominance of the French film industry, and much more. The various "speakers" often appear to be in dialogue with each other as they disagree over many issues and discuss each other's work and contributions.
Alive with the insight, wit, and occasional outrageousness for which Paris is famous, this book evokes the experience of living in a city that retains its historical role as a major international cultural capital and shows why it still nurtures the creative spirit.