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Donatien Grau

Dr. Donatien Grau is a scholar of 19th and early 20th century art, literature, and culture. He is the author, editor and translator of a number of publications on these and other topics.

Guest Critic

Not New, Not French, Not Theory

French Theory is no theory. It is a well-known fact that “Theory,” as in “French Theory,” is neither a theoretical endeavor nor a theoretical manifestation of thought. “Theory” as in “French Theory” has evidently little to do with Plato’s apex of human evolution: contemplation of the ideal form as such. In the Platonic sense, theory is the ultimate abstraction.

Paul McCarthy: A&E

The series of performances titled A&E was the first half of a European program that brought McCarthy and Lilith Stangenberg first to the SchauSpielHaus in Hamburg for five nights in a row and then to the Volkstheater in Vienna for four nights.

Theoretical Brutality: Cézanne And Gauguin

In his conversations with Emile Bernard, Paul Cézanne had very violent words about his fellow painter—someone who had actually been his friend for a while: Paul Gauguin.

Barbara Chase-Riboud’s I Always Knew: A Memoir

I Always Knew: A Memoir (Princeton University Press, 2022) is the intimate, profound introduction to a life constantly driven by intelligence, creativity, restless at times, always thoughtful.

Beyond Contested Memories

History as we know it is an inquiry into establishing facts in order to create a common space. Décolonisations, Pierre Singaravélou’s recent French television project, offers an attempt to bridge the gap between contradicting views.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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