Exiled in Paris


Exiled in Paris is a 1994 (reprinted 2001) book by James Campbell, a Scottish cultural historian specialising in American Literature and culture. He is the former editor of the New Edinburgh Review and works for the Times Literary Supplement. The book is a study of Left Bank cafe society in post-war Paris, particularly the influence of American expatriates, as indicated by its subtitle: Richard Wright, LOLITA, Boris Vian and others on the Left Bank 1946–1960. The time frame of the book's scope, 1946–1960, mirrors that of Richard Wright's arrival in Paris from the US until his death. This begins with the arrival of Wright at Gertrude Stein's Paris apartment, effectively handing the baton over from the pre-war artist-led bohemian Paris of Stein, Anaïs Nin, and Henry Miller to the more literary-focused cafe society. As the subtitle suggests, it also covers Boris Vian and Vladimir Nabokov. It ranges through the existentialism of Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre, African American writers such as James Baldwin and Chester Himes, as well as Frantz Fanon and Sadegh Hedayat. The book also considers Maurice Girodias' Olympia Press, particularly Alexander Trocchi's contribution and the influence of Trocchi's Merlin, which included Samuel Beckett and Sartre as contributors. The book ends by assessing the influence of the Beat Hotel, which saw the familiar ensemble of Beat writers including Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in Paris. The last vestiges of this era can be found at Shakespeare and Company. In the United Kingdom, the book was issued as Paris Interzone, a reference to Burroughs.
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date of publication: 1994

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