De Baecque, Antoine
de BAECQUE, Antoine
PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Paris, Ph.D., 1992.
CAREER: Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, France, editor-in-chief, 1996-99; Musée du cinéma Henri Langlois, Paris, France, director, 2000-01; University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, professor; New York University Institute of French Studies, visiting faculty member.
La caricature révolutionnaire, preface by Michel Vovelle, Presses du CNRS (Paris, France), 1988.
(With others) Ils ont pensé les droits de l'homme: Textes et débats, 1789-1793, Ligue des Droits de l'Homme (Paris, France), 1989.
Andrei Tarkovski, Éditions de l'Étoile (Paris, France), 1989.
(With others) Dictionnaire des ministres de 1789 à1989, Perrin (Paris, France), 1990.
Une Histoire de la démocratie en Europe, Le Monde (Paris, France), 1991.
(With Michel Vovelle) Recherches sur la révolution: un bilan des travaux scientifiques du bicentaire, Institut d'Histoire de la Révolution Français (Paris, France), 1991.
Les cahiers du cinéma: histoire d'une revue, two volumes, Seuil (Paris, France), 1991.
(With others) L'espirit de l'Europe, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1993.
Le corps de l'histoire: métaphores et politique (1770-1800), Calmann-Lévy (Paris, France), 1993, translation by Charlotte Mandell published as The Body Politic: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France, 1770-1800, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1997.
Le cinéma des écrivains, Éditions de l'Étoile (Paris, France), 1995.
(With Thierry Jousse and Arnaud Desplechin) Le retour du cinéma, Hachette (Paris, France), 1996.
(With Serge Toubiana) François Truffaut, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1996, translation by Catherine Temerson published as Truffaut, Knopf (New York, NY), 1999.
La gloire et l'effroi: sept morts sous la terreur, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1997, translation by Charlotte Mandell published as Glory and Terror: Seven Deaths under the French Revolution, Routledge (New York, NY), 2001.
(With others) L'ABCdaire de Prud'hon et le néoclassicisme, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1997.
(Editor) Les écrivains face à l'histoire (France, 1920-1996): actes du colloque organisé à la Bibliothéque publique d'information, le 22 mars 1997, en relation avec le parcours littéraire de l'exposition Face à l'histoire, Bibliothèque publique d'information, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), 1998.
(With others) De l'histoire au cinéma, Éditions Complexe (Paris, France), 1998.
La nouvelle vague: Portrait d'une jeunesse, Flammarion (Paris, France), 1998.
Les éclats du rire: la culture des rieurs au XVIIIe siècle, Calmann-Lévy (Paris, France), 2000.
(With others) Les années 68: le temps de la contestation, Éditions Complexe (Brussels, Belgium), 2000.
(Editor) Calembours et autres jeux sur les mots d'esprit, Payot (Paris, France), 2000.
La cérémonie du pouvoir: Les duels sur la scène politique française de la Révolution à nos jours, Grasset (Paris, France), 2002.
La cinéphilie: invention d'un regard, histoire d'une culture, 1944-1968, Fayard (Paris, France), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Débat, Histoire, Vertigo, and Règle du jeu.
SIDELIGHTS: Antoine de Baecque took a highly original approach to history in his book La gloire et l'effroi: sept morts sous la terreur, translated as Glory and Terror: Seven Deaths under the French Revolution. De Baecque maintains that the French Revolution was spurred on by a series of deaths of significant cultural figures, including Louis XVI, Voltaire, Robespierre, and the Princesse de Lamballe, who was a favorite of Marie Antoinette. Some died in the name of the Revolution, others were victims of it. The author analyzes the circumstances of each death and the ways in which it affected the French conflict. The result, according to Margaret Flanagan in Booklist, is a "stunningly original" and "groundbreaking" study. The work has a decidedly morbid edge, covering events such as the public execution and dismemberment of the Princesse de Lamballe. Though much of the legend is probably false, it was widely said that her heart was roasted and eaten, and that Marie Antoinette was forced to view the murdered woman's mutilated remains. De Baecque points out that whether true or exaggerated, the ways in which the stories of these deaths were cast is culturally significant. His work established him as "one of the most original and interesting historians in France," according to New Republic reviewer David A. Bell. According to Bell, readers unafraid to tackle Glory and Terror will yield rewards. "De Baecque's historical method is original and provocative. His insights into the French Revolution are startling and fresh," Bell concluded.
De Baecque and coauthor Serge Toubiana chronicle the life of François Truffaut, one of the world's most influential filmmakers, in François Truffaut, translated and published in the United States as Truffaut. Born to an unwed, teenaged mother in 1932, Truffaut grew up unloved and unwanted, and his avant-garde films reflect his restless, unsatisfied psyche. Many of these films, such as The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Shoot the Piano Player, are acknowledged masterworks. Truffaut's enigmatic nature is well-portrayed by his biographers, according to Cineaste reviewer Gilberto Perez, who commented: "We have much to thank François Truffaut for. And we should thank de Baecque and Toubiana for giving us a lucid account of the facts without discounting the mysteries of a life." Perez went on to state, "Because they don't pretend to have all the answers, they allow us to ask the questions we want to ask about a complicated man and a complicated artist." While many books have analyzed Truffaut's films, de Baecque and Toubiana remain focused on the man behind the camera; and, because of this approach, their work is deemed especially valuable. Discussing Truffaut in New Republic, David Thomson mused, "Above all, this biography succeeds as a portrait of a thwarted, and prolonged, childhood." A Publishers Weekly contributor advised that "some fans may pick up Truffaut's biography solely for its survey of his work, but the life that shaped it . . . is moving in its pathos."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 1999, Bonnie Smothers, review of Truffaut, p. 1282; January 1, 2000, review of Truffaut, p. 813; July, 2001, Margaret Flanagan, review of Glory and Terror: Seven Deaths under the French Revolution, p. 1973.
Cineaste, winter, 1999, Gilberto Perez, review of Truffaut, p. 55.
Journal of Modern History, June, 2000, Paul Friedland, review of The Body Politic: Corporeal Metaphor in Revolutionary France, 1770-1880, p. 534.
Library Journal, May 15, 1999, Stephen Rees, review of Truffaut, p. 97; May 15, 2001, Marie Marmo Mullaney, review of Glory and Terror, p. 140.
New Republic, June 7, 1999, David Thomson, review of Truffaut, p. 48; August 6, 2001, David A. Bell, review of Glory and Terror, p. 42.
New York Times, April 20, 1999, Michiko Kakutani, review of Truffaut.
Publishers Weekly, April 26, 1999, review of Truffaut, p. 65.
New York University Web site,http://www.nyu.edu/ (October 6, 2004), "Antoine de Baecque."*