Françoise Sagan: Réponses 1954- 1974 (BOOK REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION)

Hello! Today I will review Réponses, a book of interviews by Françoise Sagan, another author I hold in high esteem. Perhaps best known for her first novel Bonjour Tristesse, Sagan was actually an amazingly prolific author. Sagan published 21 novels, 3 short stories collections, 2 biographical books, 7 autobiographical works and 9 plays during her life. Sagan even wrote a ballet! After Sagan's death, 8 more books of hers were published posthumously.  You could say Sagan proved many times that she is more than a one hit wonder. Still, most people know Sagan solely by her youthful hit. Maybe it is because Bonjour Tristesse  has caused such a sensation upon its publication? 

 I liked her youthful hit Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness) a lot, but her other works even more. It was once I have read Sagan's more mature works (Scars on Soul and Lost Profile) that I have really fallen in love with her writing. Obviously, when I saw a lovely copy of this book in an antique bookshop, I simply had to have it. Thank God for translators because I don't speak a word of French  (but I simply adore French literature), so translations save the day for me. I read Réponses (1974) in a  Croatian translation (Odgovori -a literal translation of the French title). This book, consisting of selected interviews with this great French writer was an extremely enjoyable read. I read it back in October, but I kept picking it up this November as well. It's the kind of book you can read many times, so I'm really glad I have this lovely vintage copy to hold onto. 

I believe that in English it was one time published under somewhat misleading title: Réponses: The autobiography of Françoise Sagan. This is no autobiography, even if  (since it is a book of interviews) it is obviously autobiographical writing. I'm only mentioning this because I would hate someone to expect an autobiography and be disappointed with this book (for it is an amazing book). What can you do? Sometimes publishers have their little tricks and who are we do judge them? An autobiography of Sagan actually exists but it was published years after this book ( Derrière l'épaule, 1998). This one doesn't seem to be translated into English (let me know if I'm wrong or if other translations exists).  After some research, I managed to find another English edition of this Réponses book that seems to be more accurate translation of the original title: Réponses (Night Bird: Conversations with Françoise Sagan, translated 1980). 


Zdravo! Danas ću podijeliti svoj ogled za Odgovore (Reponses), knjigu intervjua Françoise Sagan, još jedne spisateljice koju veoma cijenim. Možda najpoznatija po svom prvom romanu Dobro jutro tugo (Bonjour Tristesse), Sagan je zapravo bila nevjerojatno plodna autorica. Sagan je za života objavila 21 roman, 3 zbirke kratkih priča, 2 biografske knjige, 7 autobiografskih djela i 9 drama. Sagan je čak napisala i balet! Nakon Saganine smrti, posthumno je objavljeno još 8 njezinih knjiga. Moglo bi se reći da je Sagan puno puta dokazala da je više od spisateljice jednog hit čuda. Ipak, većina ljudi Sagan poznaje isključivo po njezinom mladenačkom hitu. Možda je to zato što je Dobro jutro tugo (Bonjour Tristesse) izazvao takvu senzaciju nakon svoje objave?

 Osobno veoma mi se svidio njezin mladenački hit Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness na engleskom), ali njezini ostali radovi još više. Tek kada sam pročitala Saganina zrelija djela (Modrice na duši i Izgubljeni profil) zaista sam se zaljubila u njezino pisanje. Kad u antikvarijatu vidjeh divan primjerak ove knjige, jednostavno je morah kupiti. Hvala Bogu na prevoditeljima jer ne govorim ni riječ francuskog (ali obožavam francusku književnost) pa mi prijevodi spašavaju stvar. Čitala sam Réponses (1974.) u hrvatskom prijevodu Odgovori  ( doslovni prijevod francuskog naslova) sa zadovoljstvom. Ova knjiga, koja se sastoji od odabranih intervjua s velikom francuskom spisateljicom , bila je iznimno ugodna za čitanje. Pročitala sam je još u listopadu, ali joj nisam odoljela i ovog studenog. To je knjiga koju možete pročitati puno puta, tako da mi je stvarno drago što imam ovaj lijepi primjerak (volim stara izdanja) za sebe.

THE STORY BEHIND MEETING THIS BOOK
As I already said, I am very happy to have found this book. It was an interesting find that I will tell you about now. So, one October day I stumbled upon this book at an antique book shop. I also came across some other books that I really liked, but more about them some other time. Let us just say that shopping at that particular antique bookshop is always an interesting experience. This place is more something between a charity book shop and an antique bookshop really, a chaotic little shop in Split city where you can find vintage and valuable books but also just old or second hand ones. I found four books I wanted to buy and the shop owner wanted to charge me a ridiculously low sum for it. I wanted to give him more but he refused and somehow I spilled over his coffee. So, I insisted that I at least buy him coffee. So, that is how I came across this book. Do you think that it matters where we read a book? I read this book in Split in October, carrying it with me and inhaling the sea air. In November, I read it inhaling a different kind of air, one that carries the scent of rivers not the sea. Rivers have a magic of their own as well. This book to has a magic of its own. 

PRIČA IZA UPOZNAVANJA S OVOM KNJIGOM
Kao što sam već rekla, jako sam sretna što sam se susrela s ovom knjigom. Bio je to zanimljiv susret koji ću vam sada ispričati. Jednog listopadskog dana nabasah danas na ovu knjigu u antikvarijatu. Naiđoh i na neke druge knjige koje su mi se veoma svidjele, ali o njima drugi put. Ako ste iz Splita, možda vam je poznato legendarni antikvarijat kod Joze, ako niste to vam ime vjerojatno ništa ne znači. Kako god, za mene je taj kaotični antikvarijat (mala prostorija natrpana knjigama) posebno mjesto. Odabrah četiri knjige koje su mi se svidjele i krenuh ih platiti. No, htjela sam dati više vlasniku jer me tražio smiješno malo za te četiri knjige i toj raspravi sam mu i kavu prolila, tako da inzistirala da mu barem kavu platim. Što mislite imali veze gdje čitamo knjigu? Pročitala sam ovu knjigu prvo u listopadu dok sam bila  u Splitu, udišući mirise mora, a zatim u studenom u Mostaru gdje zrak miriše na rijeke, a ne more. No, rijeke također imaju svoju čaroliju, a ima i ova knjiga.


REPONSES,   A BOOK (OF  COLLECTED INTERVIEWS) BY FRANCOISE SAGAN, 4.4/5 

 Sagan is a writer I have already read  liked (I was especially impressed by her novel Scars on the Soul) so I bought the book without any thinking. I was sure Reponses was another of her novels. It surprises me a bit that this is a book in which her various answers to journalistic questions are summarized (it could be called an interview book). However, as soon as I started reading,  I realized how much I would enjoy Francoise Sagan's answers. The questions presented in this book are quite different one from another. Some of the questions asked are of  personal nature, some of the questions are related to social events and political issues of a particular time, and some are more of a literary, intellectual and artistic nature. Interestingly, Sagan’s voice is recognizable no matter what the issues she discussed were or what kind of questions were asked.

As I kept reading, what fascinated me the most was that the whole book has such a recognizable and timeless voice and tone, as if it were a very long interview, and not a series of questions and answers given over a number of years. It’s amazing how collected and thoughtful Sagan is in her answers, and even when the questions are a bit trivial she manages to either turn them into a joke or turn them into something deeper. I was very impressed by her reflections on life and art. Even her views on the events of that time (which are now a thing of the past) were very  interesting to me. The part that talks about her childhood is joyful, but it is full of criticism of the modern age. Her pessimistic view of the world seems clairvoyant to me from today's perspective. It really seems that Sagan managed to foresee the modern alienation of mankind. Sagan's critique of modern society, alienation of people, and ubiquitous vulgarization is actually very relevant for our time. I caught myself agreeing with her in many ways. It seems to me that in some things Sagan was also a visionary. I was thrilled with this book, I read it in my breath. The only thing I resent about it is that Reponses was not longer. I’m pretty sure I’ll read it again and I think that’s the best recommendation I can give.

ODGOVORI, KNJIGA (SAKUPLJENIH INTERVJUA)  FRANCOISE SAGAN, 4.4/5 

 Sagan je spisateljica koju sam već čitala i koja mi se svidjela (posebno me se dojmio njezin roman Modrice na duši) pa kupih knjigu bez imalo razmišljanja misleći da se radi o još jednom njenom romanu. Pomalo me iznenadi što je u pitanju knjiga u kojoj su sklupljeni razni njezini odgovori na novinarska pitanja (moglo bi ju se nazvati knjigom intervjua) no čim sam počela čitati shvatih koliko ću uživati u odgovorima Francoise Sagan. Pitanja se poprilično razlikuju, neka postavljena pitanja su osobne prirode, neka pitanja su vezana uz društvene događaje i politička pitanja određenog vremena, a neka su više književne, intelektualne i umjetničke naravi. Zanimljivo je da je glas Sagan prepoznatljiv bez obzira o kakvim se pitanjima radilo ili o kojim problemima raspravlja.

Dok sam čitala najviše me fasciniralo upravo to cijela knjiga ima tako prepoznatljiv i bezvremenski glas i ton, kao da se radi o jednom veoma dugačkom intervju, a ne o nizu pitanja i odgovora danih kroz niz godina. Nevjerojatno je koliko je Sagan pribrana i promišljena u svojim odgovorima, a čak i kada su pitanja pomalo i trivijalna ona ih uspjeva ili okrenuti na šalu ili pretvoriti u nešto dublje. Njena promišljanja o životu i umjetnosti su me se veoma dojmila. Čak su mi i njezini pogledi na događaje tog vremena (a koji su sada prošlost) bili zanimljivi. Dio koji govori o njenom djetinstvu je radostan, ali puna je kritika prema modernom dobu. Njeno pesimističko viđenje svijeta mi se iz današnje perspektive čini vidovitim. Doista kao da je predvidjela današnje otuđenje čovjeka. Njeno kritiziranje modernog društva, otuđenja ljudi i sveprisutne vulgarizacije je zapravo vrlo aktualno. Uhvatila sam sebe kako se u mnogočemu slažem sa njom. Čini mi se da je u nekim stvarima bila i vizionar. Oduševila me ova knjiga, pročitala sam ju u dahu. Jedino što joj zamjeram je što nije duža. Poprilično sam sigurna da ću je ponovo pročitati i mislim da je to najbolja preporuka što mogu dati.


A FEW MORE WORDS ABOUT THIS BOOK
I already mentioned that Sagan talks about different things and discusses various subjects in this book. So, what did stay with me the most? Well, I loved her thoughts about art, writing process and writing in general. In particular, I love how she discussed the difference between writing plays and novels. I wasn't even aware that she wrote plays before reading this book. I loved her thoughts about other French writers and well other writers in general. It was great learning who is the writer Sagan admires the most. I loved her commentary on fame and her reflections on her life. Sagan knows how to talk about fame with both irony and seriousness. In fact, Sagan talks about great many things with a mix of irony, humour and in want of a better syntagm- a kind of 'careful wisdom'.  Reading about Sagan's experiences recovering from a dangerous traffic accident she suffered and how it changed her was eye-opening in the sense that it showed a more serious side of her. In fact, that was  perhaps one of the most serious parts of this book. Sagan's thoughts on parenthood were really interesting well. Well, I could go on and on but I don't want to spoil the book for anyone. The topics vary from personal to political. Sometimes the questions are interesting and at other times not so much- but Sagan's answers are always brilliant. That's what makes this book so precious!


JOŠ PAR RIJEČI O OVOJ KNJIZI
Već spomenuh da Sagan u ovoj knjizi govori o različitim stvarima i raspravlja o raznim temama. Dakle, što mi je najviše ostalo u srcu? Pa, svidjela su mi se njezina razmišljanja o umjetnosti, procesu pisanja i pisanju općenito. Posebno mi se sviđa kako je opisala razliku  između pisanja drame i romana. Nisam ni bila svjestna da je pisala drame prije čitanja ove knjige. Rado pročitah i njezina razmišljanja o drugim francuskim piscima i općenito o drugim piscima. Bilo je sjajno saznati  kojem se  piscu Sagan najviše divi. Svidio mi se njezin komentar o slavi i njezina razmišljanja o njezinom životu. Sagan zna govoriti o slavi i s ironijom i ozbiljnošću. Zapravo, Sagan govori o mnogim stvarima s mješavinom ironije, humora i u želji za boljom sintagmom – svojevrsnom 'pažljivom mudrošću'. Čitanje o Saganinim iskustvima oporavka od opasne prometne nesreće koju je doživjela i kako ju je to promijenilo otvorilo mi  je oči u smislu da je pokazalo njenu ozbiljniju stranu. Zapravo, to je bio možda jedan od najozbiljnijih dijelova ove knjige. Saganova su razmišljanja o roditeljstvu bila također jako zanimljiva. Pa, mogao bih nabrajati u nedogled, ali ne želim nikome kvariti knjigu. Teme su različite od osobnih do političkih. Ponekad su pitanja zanimljiva, a ponekad ne toliko - ali odgovori  Francoise Sagan uvijek su briljantni. To je ono što ovu knjigu čini tako dragocjenom.






THE STORY OF AN OUTFIT- HOW I WORE THESE ITEMS BEFORE?
You know that I love to promote fashion sustainability by shopping my closet. This colourful outfit is a perfect example of that. I had all of these items for a long time but I never wore them together like this. I did wear this skirt over this dress (you can see it in my last post). I've been obsessed with figuring out ways how to sneak this lilac summer dress into my autumn wardrobe. So, far I mostly wore it under skirts or layered long cardigans over it for warmth. I think I will enjoy styling it over shorter skirts because I like to show off the bottom ruffles on this dress. Plus, it will be a fun way to bring more lilac into my autumn wardrobe. Like fellow blogger Sheila, I believe in colour therapy. You can find all kinds of colours and tonalities in this outfit: blue, green, purple, pink, brown and black. I mixed not only different tonalities and colours but also different patterns such as floral and tartan pattern. The outfit proved to be very comfortable. However, I'm not sure whether it was too much. I might try a more toned down version of this outfit in the future. Maybe try it with my magenta coat.

THE GREEN TARTAN JACKET- 28 ways to wear this alpine pro jacket HERE
THE SECOND HAND ICY BLUE KNIT- I cannot find a post with it, despite the fact I had it for a long time. 
THE FLORAL SKIRT- HERE
THE LILAC DRESS (WORN UNDER THE SKIRT AND SWEATER)- HERE and HERE
THE BLUE TIGHTS- HERE  and HERE.
THE CAMEL BOOTS- HEREHERE, ALSO HERE HERE
THE BLACK BAG- HERE


Thank you for reading and visiting. Take care and have a nice day.  / Hvala na posjeti i čitanju. Svako dobro i ugodan dan vam želim!

Comments

  1. Great pictures!
    This sounds like a great book :)

    https://www.heyimwiththeband.com.br/

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  2. So cool to wear the plaid with the floral. Sweet mix! Awesome to hear of this author. I will defiitely look for her. Recently, I had read a book where the main male lead character is named Sagan. Thanks so much.

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  3. The author sounds like someone to cherish. Love the review. Beautiful blue sweater with this outfit, as well!

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  4. Really interesting writer and person, definitely I have to read Bonjour Tristesse and also this book sounds great.
    It had to be wonderful experience to read this book near the sea.
    I like your outfit and the combo of plaid and floral is really gorgeous, you look beautiful!

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  5. I've never heard of this author, so thank you for this eye-opening look at one of her books, Ivana!

    I like your outfit, but I think your colour story is a bit overwhelming. While I love the aqua tights, I think they are a bit too much - lilac or rose pink tights would have melded more. Still, I really admire you for getting the most mileage you can from what you already own (and thank you for the shout-out!). I've been buying less this year and shopping my own closet more too!

    Big hugs to you, my friend.

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    Replies
    1. thanks dear, it is fun to shop one's closet, isn't it?

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  6. Françoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse book is popular here too. Also we can find easily her other books here. Bye the way, outfits photos you shared in this post look great and very colorful. Thanks for the review.

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  7. I like your print mixing outfit too! I haven't heard of this author before but it's great you could find a translation of this book and that you enjoyed reading it :)

    Hope that your week is going well :) Another rainy spring one here!

    Away From The Blue | Handbag Gift Guide

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  8. So that's where you find such a wide variety of books Ivana!!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  9. Luces muy linda, parece un libro muy interesante. Te mando un beso

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  10. Great review.
    I love your outfit ♥

    Have a great day !

    Ann
    https://roomsofinspiration.blogspot.com/

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  11. I didn't know about this author before and the book sounds interesting.
    Love your jacket! Have a great day!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  12. Dear Ivana, how nice to mention Bonjour Tristesse. When I was young it was one of my favourite books and from time to time I still open it to read again some chapters. I also like Un certain sourire (I don't know the translation English). Your outfit is really beautiful.
    Have a nice weekend!
    Lovely
    Felicitas

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    Replies
    1. It is a lovely book and it is really remarkable Sagan wrote it at such a young age. I didn't read the Un certain sourire but I will look it up. Have a nice weekend too Felicitas.

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  13. Now there's a book I read and loved as a teenager. I think it deserves a revisit now I'm almost a pensioner!
    It's lovely to see you having fun with the clothes you already own, proving that you don't have to constantly shop for new clothes to look stylish! xxx

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  14. Di Sagan ho letto solo Bonjour tristesse parecchio tempo fa (andavo al Liceo) e, anche se non lo ricordo più benissimo, ricordo che mi piacque molto all'epoca.
    Probabilmente è un autore che ho sottovalutato in tutti questi anni, perchè da come hai descritto questo suo libro sembrerebbe davvero interessante.
    Credo che dovrei dargli una nuova possibilità!
    Carinissima la storia in libreria e s uper originale e stiloso il tuo outfit, mi piace molto l'effetto delle due gonne sovrapposte! :)
    Baci e buon week end!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

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  15. I've only read Bonjour Tristesse, when I was a young girl myself. Thank you for re-introducing Françoise Sagan and introducing some other works by her. She really was a most prolific writer, it seems.
    As for your outfit, I am a firm believer in colour therapy myself. Your outfit is a visual delight, and I'm particularly enchanted by your floral skirt and the ruffled hem of your lilac dress peeking out from underneath! Wishing you a great weekend, Ivana. I do hope your weather is better than ours! xxx

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    Replies
    1. Our weather is rainy but I suppose one cannot avoid rain in Autumn. I plan to paint some rainy scene tomorrow, so make the most out of the atmosphere.

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  16. hi
    Thank you for introducing me to this writer, I had never heard of him or his books, I was curious to hear his thoughts on writing!
    As for your look, I think you risked a lot in this look, very colorful and with different patterns, I think it's a very beautiful vintage look!
    xoxo

    marisasclosetblog.com

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  17. I love how you have worn the lilac dress underneath the floral skirt- it looks like a petticoat, giving this look a dual vintage-modern look to it! Clever styling!
    Re the book, I think, from what you said about her and her commentary on modern-life and her views on parenting etc as well as her joy when talking about her childhood (which is how I talkof mine), she sounds very much my type of person. I'd not heard of her.
    Your antique book shop story was intriguing! I'd like to read a novel about his shop! Maybe you should write one!

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    Replies
    1. yes, that's exactly what I wanted it to look like, like a pettycoat.

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  18. No idea about the book but I love your style and those blue tights. I am a fan of cool tights :-D

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  19. Lovely outfit, so brilliant layering and beautiful colours!
    And I'm really interested in reading this book, totally my kind of thing as I prefer non-fiction and really love assorted themes in a book, and also love Sagan. I've found it was translated into spanish, years ago, so I'll ask my fav books shop to find it!
    Thanks for this!
    besos

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    Replies
    1. I hope you will enjoy it. Sagan is a wonderful writer!

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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