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This review is taken from PN Review 77, Volume 17 Number 3, January - February 1991.

MAGAZINE MONTAGE europe: revue littéraire mensuelle, vol. 68, nos. 729-735 (Paris: Jan-Jul 1990). Monthly. Editor: Pierre Gamarra.

europe, founded in 1923 by Romain Rolland - it received a mention in the fourth issue of The Criterion - and numbering Aragon, Elsa Triolet and éluard among its guiding spirits, now provides substantial monthly issues - running to 200-odd pages - which cover a range of past and present writing, mainly but not exclusively French. Each issue focuses on one or on two writers, or on a specific literary topic, and contains appreciative and analytic articles, and other material - for instance, samples of the writer's work, interviews, a chronology and bibliography. The 'Cahiers du Création' section in each issue contains original poems and prose, and the 'Chroniques' cover literature, music, theatre, cinema and the visual arts. Sometimes there is also a memoir.

Writers of the past discussed in these issues are Montaigne (January-February 1990), and (April 1990) the remarkable Rétif de la Bretonne (1734-1806), the peasant's son who became a printer, rioted in the slums and stews of Paris, lived through the Revolution, and wrote long hybrid works, mixing novel and memoir, that drew on his low-life experiences and were sometimes pornographic (a word he seems to have invented). He sometimes composed his work directly on to the press - in this issue, Jacques Gaucheron calls him 'un fou de la typographie', 'un écrivain-typographe', and some examples of his work are reproduced). It is surprising that he has not lately received more attention from Anglo-American critics concerned with dialogic, transgressive texts. In this issue, David ...


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