Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris

Inside a Pearl My Years in Paris When Edmund White moved to Paris in leaving New York City in the midst of the AIDS crisis he was forty three years old couldn t speak French and only knew two people in the entire city But in

  • Title: Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris
  • Author: Edmund White
  • ISBN: 9781608195824
  • Page: 446
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When Edmund White moved to Paris in 1983, leaving New York City in the midst of the AIDS crisis, he was forty three years old, couldn t speak French, and only knew two people in the entire city But in middle age, he discovered the new anxieties and pleasures of mastering a new culture When he left fifteen years later to take a teaching position in the U.S he was fluentWhen Edmund White moved to Paris in 1983, leaving New York City in the midst of the AIDS crisis, he was forty three years old, couldn t speak French, and only knew two people in the entire city But in middle age, he discovered the new anxieties and pleasures of mastering a new culture When he left fifteen years later to take a teaching position in the U.S he was fluent enough to broadcast on French radio and TV, and in his work as a journalist, he d made the acquaintance of everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Catherine Deneuve to Michel Foucault He d also developed a close friendship with an older woman, Marie Claude, through which he d come to understand French life and culture in a deeper way.The book s title evokes the Parisian landscape in the eternal mists and the half light, the serenity of the city compared to the New York White had known and vividly recalled in City Boy White fell headily in love with the city and its culture both intoxicated and intellectually stimulated He became the definitive biographer of Jean Genet he wrote lives of Marcel Proust and Arthur Rimbaud and he became a recipient of the French Order of Arts and Letters Inside a Pearl recalls those fertile years for White It s a memoir which gossips and ruminates, and offers a brilliant examination of a city and a culture eternally imbued with an aura of enchantment.

    One thought on “Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris”

    1. I was quite charmed for about the first hundred pages or so–and then I realized there was about 150 pages still to go. By the last fifty pages or so I was finding it something of a chore to finish, even if I always found the content itself of interest. Which means, unfortunately, that Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris is a case of constantly-diminishing returns.In my critical writing I always try my best to take the object of analysis at hand on its own terms, attempting to come to terms with [...]

    2. White's jewels are all paste worn by bulldog-faced Elsa Maxwell in drag. A laundry list of Elsa names. He massaged the right "people" for grants and pr, and delivers trivial poo.

    3. When I described the whole scene over the phone to her a while later, my mother said sagely, "If you're looking for normal people, there are millions and millions of them out there."I'm in Paris and I walked all day, and read this book in parks, and just drank a lot of champagne with very intellectual friends of the family, so I am writing this review under pretty good conditions.Like City Boy before it, Inside a Pearl is a litany of proper nouns and sexcapades and time-and-place descriptions wo [...]

    4. Edmund White has already written two other books about Paris (Our Paris: Sketches from Memory and also The Flaneur) but these were more traditional travel narratives than this new work. Inside a Pearl is more like a companion volume to his 2010 memoir City Boy: My Life in New York during the 1960s and ‘70s offering a wealth of entertaining anecdotes about his friendships with the rich and famous, other writers, and his various boyfriends and numerous lovers. Inside a Pearl concentrates on Whit [...]

    5. Gossip for days! Sometimes I love him (might be time to re-read "States of Desire" and "The Flaneur"), sometimes not so much, but I knew I had to read this one. Here's the last page:Did living in France all those years affect my writing? It gave me a lot to write about.Once a green-haired presenter on TV in Manchester asked me, "You're known as a writer, a homosexual, and an American. When did you first discover you were an American?""When I first moved to Europe."

    6. Pure Edmund White GoldEdmund Valentine White III is an American novelist, as well as a writer of memoirs and an essayist on literary and social topics. Much of his writing is on the theme of same-sex love. His hugely successful books include his autobiogray `A Boy's Own Story', `The Beautiful Room is Empty', `The Farwell Symphony', `Forgetting Elena', `Nocturnes for the King of Naples', `The Married Man', `City Boy', `The Flaneur', Jack Holmes and his Friends', `States of Desire', `The Joy of Ga [...]

    7. A fun and salacious romp through the memories of Ed White, specifically on his life in Paris and the friends, lovers, and celebrities (literary and others) he encountered while there.

    8. I bought Edmund White’s Inside a Pearl almost as a reflex action. I was at Sydney’s gay bookstore, The Bookshop Darlinghurst, and like to try to make purchases there to support them. It was on sale. It’s about Paris. I was going on a long trip where I’d have more time for reading. And it’s Edmund White. But most of the way through the book, I thought: why do I do things based on what I used to do (i.e. I’ve been buying and reading his books for almost three decades)? Doesn’t it sho [...]

    9. With "Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris", Edmund White has added another lovely illumination to his row of votive memories. He opened the door to earlier reminiscences in two previous and very successful memoirs. In the masterful "My Lives", he explored the psychological and psychosexual influences of his parents, relatives and first friends on his formative years, and "City Boy" chronicled his years of sexual awakenings, political activism and lovers, also his founding, along with other gay wri [...]

    10. I was quite disappointed when, not that long ago, I read Edmund Wilson’s Our Own Boy, which I found to be sloppily written and conceived. I'm happy to say that Inside a Pearl, that I just finished reading, has reconciled me with the writer. It is a very different kind of work, if only because it is a memoir and not a novel. As far as I’m concerned, Inside a Pearl is a vastly more enjoyable and rich reading experience. It is a delightful book, enlivened by a sharp, stylish, and witty prose, a [...]

    11. Acclaimed American gay author Edmund White moved to Paris from New York in 1983 when he was 43, and spent the next 15 years there. His memoir of those years reads like a who’s who of Parisian and French society as he seems to have met just about everyone – writers, artists, designers, socialites, people just visiting the city as well as its denizens. He had friendships with the rich and famous of both sexes, plus numerous lovers. At times the book feels like an exercise in name-dropping. Peo [...]

    12. Superb literary memoir from a man who has a fascinating taste in company and stature. For me, the key chapter is when he talks about his relationship with French authors Pierre Guyotat (the strangest writer he knows) and Gabriel Matzneff, who as far as I know has not previously been translated into English. I am going to have to presume due to his pro-pedophile stance. But that is just two or three pages here. The rest of the book is a combination of being haunted, due to the AIDS crisis that to [...]

    13. I couldn't imagine doing what Mr. White did and moving to a foreign country at the age of 43, especially without knowing the native tongue. The author, Edmund White, moved from New York City to Paris in 1983 even though he did not know the French language. Luckily, he did know a couple people in the city. I did enjoy reading about the people he met while in Paris and some of the work he had done. He's led quite an exciting life.I also feel it would have been hard to deal with losing so many frie [...]

    14. I rate this book very high mainly because I feel and sense the compassion this writer has for France and his friends. He states that "A true friend could be called on at any time, day or night"- White appears to be that type of friend. I was particularly struck by his sincere and lasting friendship with "MC" and his genuine feelings and respect for her losses (it appears she never really got over her husband leaving) and artistic ability. He does name drop- but he can. He writes well. His descri [...]

    15. A fast reader could read this book in a day; it took me forever because of all the name-dropping - the book resembles articles in Vanity Fair so, if you enjoy that type of journalism, this is the book for you. I expected more introspection about Paris during the AIDS epidemic - for those of us who lost so many friends, I wanted to hear it from someone who is HIV positive and why everyone was flocking to Paris for the newest treatment. I enjoyed some of the snippets of the popular and infamous ar [...]

    16. As a Parisophile, I was entirely disappointed in this book. On my review I put: "I can't believe I actually made it to page 137 before just finally giving up on this self-serving, endlessly name-dropping snoozer by an author I have always enjoyed reading. Nothing at all like the enjoyable OUR PARIS or THE FLANEUR. I wish I had kept a tally of how many names were dropped in a lame attempt to, I guess, impress the reader. Those who have read him don't need to be impressed. Sad parody of an aging [...]

    17. This is a book about life in France in the eighties, specifically the lives of a certain cultural and intellectual elite. White is frank, amusing, poetic and deliciously forthright in his accounts of interactions, both with the famous and the unknown. The book has the slimmest of narrative threads, but it does not really need one, such is the intricacy and intrigue of White's adventures and character portraits.

    18. A Christmas gift by a wonderful writer about one of my favorite places, Paris - especially as described by him. I had to dip in and read a few pages here and there where he seems to have experienced more than I did in my full five years there. Look forward to reading the full book.

    19. 'Inside a Pearl' is a delightful memoir in which White dazzles his readers with countless anecdotes about his time in Paris. In loose, conversational prose, he not only succeeds in poking fun at himself, but he also hones piquant cross-cultural comparisons between Europe and the US, which had me chuckle to myself on more than one occasion. Alas, the book is also plagued with innumerable typos in both English and French, and quite a few non sequiturs throughout suggesting the book may have been h [...]

    20. I've only been to Paris twice, and I hope some day to visit the City of Lights again. During my most recent and longest visit we--my husband and I, along with a mutual friend who speaks French--stayed in an apartment in the Montparnasse district. We pretended to live in Paris: picking up groceries in the nearby markets and shops, stopping for drinks at the numerous cafés that spill onto the streets, and riding the Metro to the convenient stops at every Paris highlight. In the end, we were simpl [...]

    21. This book got my attention when I heard Edmund White interviewed on the radio. I was interested to learn about the experiences of a man learning to live in French. I am a French reader but have never lived more than a few days in a francophone environment. The journey from basic French to full competence is one I may never make, but I can dream.It is evident that White kept a diary assiduously over his entire 16 years in Paris. How else could he possibly have remembered so many names and circums [...]

    22. A Hemingway is mentioned in passing on the penultimate page, but this is no A Moveable Feast. Anything by White is worth reading and I did enjoy this, although I have to say the book will chiefly be of value to White completists and/or historians of the largely liberal, largely artistic cultural milieu of 80s Paris (with side sections on London and the United States). No atmospheric sense of place or attempt at a portrait of a place and time - we are confined strictly to the people White interac [...]

    23. Full of literary gossip but as it's mostly French writers, I'm afraid I was amused rather than truly engaged. While White's other book might be intensely person, he managed to make them universal - after all we've all been frightened or confused teenagers or been struggling to find our place in the world in early adulthood (the topics of his best books 'A boy's own story' and 'The beautiful room in empty'). I've also been moved by his experience of loss - Farewell Symphony - and enjoyed his epis [...]

    24. I am a big fan of memoirs, and Paris is one of my favorite cities on the planet. Thus, I thought "Inside a Pearl" would be a perfect mix of things I love.Unfortunately, Edmund White's memoir felt more like a name-dropping party than a memoir. He made a big point in every single chapter of talking about rich and famous people whom he met at various dinner parties.This was not the only reason I found the book disappointing; White is an openly gay man who was living in Paris at the beginning of the [...]

    25. Edmund White might be called the gay man's gay-man. He teaches at Princeton University and is a prolific writer of novels, essays, and autobiographies. Claiming more than a thousand sexual liaisons throughout his life, he has also had a few somewhat long-term partners which he names in this book. In fact, he drops names on virtually every page of this book of the people populating the artsy circles in which he travels. Example: "When I finished The Beautiful Room is Empty in 1985 I dictated it t [...]

    26. It took me a long while to read this book, perhaps a whole month, which is unusual for me. It is written as a list of author's exhaustive memories of living in French. Actually memories are more filled with mentions who's who of art: writers, artists, playwrights, publicists. I've already forgotten most of the book by the time I finished reading the book. Perhaps I should use this book as some encyclopedia of sorts to refer to trivia about people. Otherwise, I don't see a reason why I should rea [...]

    27. Terceiro volume de memórias de Edmund White, desta vez cobrindo o período, quase duas décadas, em que viveu em França. O estilo da escrita é o mesmo de sempre, um equilíbrio perfeito entre o rigor da linguagem e uma certa leveza que não recusa, por exemplo, o coloquial ou mesmo o calão. Culto e informado, literato e sempre profundamente irónico, não resistindo ao gossip, mas com uma grande capacidade de perceber a profundidade da natureza humana. Apesar de tudo, o livro parece-se, dema [...]

    28. Well, perhaps not quite four stars, but it is Edmund White, who still fascinates me after all these years. Fascinating to the extent that I love his prose, and wonder through all those words how he was able to do what he did, this boy born in the heartland (Cincinnati)who managed to ingratiate himself to so many who were able to ease his path to becoming a successful author.This book is charming, if not overloaded with people I've never heard of, and places I've never been to. But again, it is E [...]

    29. Slightly mis-sold by the back cover: White goes to live in Paris despite knowing no French and only two people. But one of those people is a prominent socialite and it’s not long before his life involves eating in secret restaurants next to Valentino. A Rough Guide to Paris this is not.It’s well written and fairly engaging in a light way, but unless you have a good working knowledge of Paris Society life you might be left baffled as to who all these people are, what they do, and why you shou [...]

    30. Inside of a Pearl, Life in Paris by Edmund WhiteA journalist has left NY in the 80's and moves to Paris where he only knows 2 people. He learns all about the lifestyle and how to survive.Gay sex scenes. I had wanted to read this book because I love pearls and I have always wanted to travel to Paris, which we have (in TN). The structure of the Eiffel Tower has always fascinated me.This book has a bit too much scenes which I don't wish to read about so I've not finished the book.I received this bo [...]

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