Volume 5, Issue 5, March 2015

A Word from the Editor

In the Buzz feature, Mary Lynn Stewart compares the two films of the life and times of Yves Saint-Laurent, the great haute couture designer and flawed human being, which came out in France last year. Both Jalil Lespert’s and Bernard Bonello’s versions cover much of the same ground, although Lespert’s film is a more conventional biopic, while Bonello’s is more risqué. Not enough is shown about the actual production of the collections as both movies focus on Saint Laurent’s troubled private life, but there is still much there still to stimulate discussion of a time when Paris was the undisputed fashion leader.

In Maybe Missed, Eric Reed reviews a scintillating graphic novel, Legends of the Tour, which captures the highs and lows of the Tour de France in the first century of its existence. The drawings vary from delicate to ferocious to convey the humble beginnings, the rise and then sad downfall of the sport in the era of doping. The fans who line the roads and follow the Tour are depicted with as much fondness as the great heroes of the Tour.

In the Classics section, I review an “iconic painting” of the members of the Committee of Public Safety, The Eleven, which is the invention of Pierre Michon, a quirky, pithy, and evocative writer. We are brought by this ingenious means to reflect about the Terror and the nature of the Old Regime’s douceur de vivre that hid the misery of the people upon whose labor it depended, and about the representation of history itself. Though brief, the work is filled with vignettes that offer highly “teachable moments.”

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY

 

Table of Contents

The Buzz

Too Much and Not Enough: Yves Saint Laurent and Saint Laurent, by Mary Lynn Stewart

Maybe Missed

Legends of the Tour, Jan Cleijne’s Graphic-Novel History of France’s National Bicycle Race, by Eric Reed

Classics in the Classroom

The Tiepolo of the Terror: Pierre Michon’s The Eleven, by Liana Vardi

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