French anglophile journalist Agnes Poirier, presents a delicious peak into the intellectual life of Paris from about 1940 to 1950. Left Bank (Henry & Company) centers on Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, their loves, their students, their writing, and their circle of French, British and Americans friends who lived and created on the Left Bank in Paris.
Poirier tells us about the cafes, theaters, restaurants, streets and hotels frequented by the existentialist set. Her book is a travelogue, especially useful for the reader who has never been to Paris.
Most of all, Left Bank is about lifestyle, and what lifestyles did her characters lead!
Poirier is an accomplished name dropper. She acquaints the reader with cultural figures whose names I had often heard, but whose lives I knew nothing about.
As a secondary theme, Poirier tells the political story of those times, and how the main characters edge away from the Communist Party. The book concludes with the triumph of the Marshall Plan over cultural Communism in France.