Tête de feu

Mis en avant

In this scene from the French-American feature-length documentary Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man, George Whitman, the owner of Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the Left Bank in Paris, France, burns his hair with a candle to avoid going to a barber who « would fool around for 20 minutes. »

Publicités

Boss Made in France, Portraits d’entrepreneurs issus de l’immigration

Boss Made in France est un livre d’optimisme, qui retrace, à travers dix portraits d’hommes et de femmes – Fatema Hal, Mourad Boudjellal, Nezha Lahyani, Mustafa Yildiz, Sylvie Kébé, Didier Acouétey, Najet Smida, El Hassan Bouod, Oumie Yanssané, Mohamed Ali Ben Abda – l’aventure de jeunes entrepreneurs des « cités de l’immigration ». Boss Made in France raconte l’histoire de ces nouveaux Français connus ou moins connus du grand public, tous fils et filles d’une République ingrate avec laquelle ils entretiennent des rapports confus, mêlés d’envie, d’espoir, de rejet et d’attirance. Le livre rend compte de la vitalité, de l’exemplarité de cette génération de la diversité, qui représente un vivier d’énergies considérable, une chance que la France économique, sociale et culturelle de demain est en train de rater.

Dix histoires passionnantes

Les dix hommes et les femmes de ce livre se remémorent sans regrets ni rancunes les difficultés, les humiliations et les découragements qui ont secoué leur vie. Ils ont choisi de se battre, en prenant des chemins de traverse, en forçant les portes. Leurs témoignages apparaissent comme un cinglant démenti aux idées reçues. À l’image de ce qu’est la France d’aujourd’hui, leurs positions reflètent les contradictions et les sensibilités d’un pays vivant et remuant, preuve d’une intégration en marche, mais que les discriminations entravent encore et toujours.

À partir de témoignages parfois poignants, nous suivons pas à pas le combat pour la réussite professionnelle de ces hommes et femmes. Surpris par leur abnégation et leur faculté à apprendre des autres, par leurs capacités entrepreneuriales, par leur énergie, leur engagement, le lecteur découvrira qu’il existe désormais en France une frange méconnue de la diversité avec laquelle il faut compter. Partagés entre la République et la culture d’origine, ces entrepreneurs, portés par leur travail et leurs ambitions, ont le désir d’être reconnus comme citoyens à part entière dans une France aujourd’hui morcelée.

Voilà dix portraits de réussites individuelles, volontaires et modernes, qui témoignent du dynamisme, de l’entêtement et de la foi nécessaires à toute entreprise. Le livre porte un regard franc sur ces hommes et ces femmes dont les parcours sont des exemples d’actions positives. Il est destiné aux enfants des cités en quête de repères, aux élus concernés par l’entrepreunariat et à tous ceux qui sont curieux de découvrir les témoignages lucides et engagés de ces « Boss Made in France ».

Paroles de femmes au travail

Portraits documentaires de 52 minutes réalisé par Gonzague Pichelin dans le cadre d’un projet citoyen initié et dirigé par Stella Serfaty.

Témoignages de 9 femmes, résidentes de Montreuil, sur la discrimination au travail.

Action soutenue par le Conseil régional d’Ile-de-France, dans le cadre du projet citoyen et l’ACSE.

A collection of 185 French Love letters

185 Love Letters in French

sent from 185 women to a Parisian, offering an unmediated view of female desire in turn-of-the-millennium France. Ten of the letters are typed; 175 are handwritten.

In the summer of 2000

a handsome 36-year-old single Parisian posed (clothed) for a full-page photograph in a popular, large-circulation French woman’s magazine. Readers desiring a romantic relationship were invited to read an interview with the man and write him, care of the magazine, with details of their lives and romantic aspirations. 185 single women replied. Each letter was a manifestation, often powerful, of female desire. The bachelor, overwhelmed, decided to not meet a single woman.


Many manuscripts contain poems

drawings and photographs. Some of the sheets of paper, parchments and envelopes have been sprayed with perfume, painted with watercolors. One envelope contains a stick of still-fragrant incense. The collection includes a large selection of stamps affixed to envelopes for replies. (The buyer will receive the part of the self-addressed stamped envelope with the stamp or France’s La Poste sticker, but not the part containing the writer’s name and address.) The letters were written in France, save a dozen or so penned in Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Spain and Switzerland. The letters embody France’s strong epistolary tradition, which greatly values detailed expressions of sentiments, romantic recollections and beautiful penmanship. (Only 10 of the letters are typewritten; one is partially typed.)


Few men have read

letters from 185 women

Each wrote to a man introduced with just a single photograph and short interview, so the letters reveal their authors far more than the addressee. Written to an abstraction, they apply to an archetype of man—and therefore all men. The reader’s sensation is that he is the addressee.


The letters offer

an unmediated view of fair-sex

sentiments in turn-of-the-millennium France. Taken together, the collection provides insights—unfiltered by academics and sociologists—into French women’s emotional prerequisites for sex. (Careful reading is not always necessary; a large number of letters were written with disarming directness.) Many women offer confessions and interpret their dreams, both literal and figurative. The thrill of kissing, at times deftly described, is another recurring theme. Almost all write, some lucidly, of previous loves and exhilarations. Letters summon song lyrics, dialog from movies, and quotations from literature and poetry. A wide variety of candlelight-and-wine dinners are proposed. A few women reveal their body measurements.


Broadly speaking,

the writing styles

are variations of come-hither prose, at times perhaps coy. One young woman writes: “Le plus beau cadeau que j’ai pu offrir est mon corp [sic] mon âme oui m’offrir à un homme est le plus beau cadeau je crois.” (« The most beautiful gift I can give is my body, my soul, yes, I believe that giving myself to a man is the most beautiful gift. ») Another writes of her “charmant accent du Midi” (« charming Midi [southern-France] accent. »). Another explains that her favorite way to lift her spirits when feeling blue is to “faire l’amour” (« make love »). Another promises her “premier cadeau” (« first gift »): A “massage très long et très doux” (« a long and tender massage »).


To ensure privacy

all family names will be redacted with a black marker, along with addresses, contact details and other identifying information. (First names will only be redacted if they are unusually distinctive.) Photographs will be removed, unless faces cannot be made out.


The manuscripts

are sold as a single lot

The lot is sold with the agreement that no letter in its entirety may be published (electronically or otherwise). The buyer must return a signed legal agreement before the box will be shipped. Excerpts of the letters may be used for art projects, scholarly works, press articles, poetry, scripts, screenplays, novels and non-fiction writings. Publishers or authors interested in publishing the letters (or a selection of the letters) in their entirety should contact the seller to discuss a special arrangement. The buyer is encouraged to use the letters for the teaching of French, French culture, psychoanalysis, psychology, gender studies, penmanship or other subjects. As time passes, the letters will provide an increasingly rare and poignant portrait of turn-of-the-millennium France and its women.


Interested buyers

may review the letters for free and without obligation in Paris (contact the seller to discuss other possible arrangements for pre-sale review of the letters). Sales are final.