Photographer Brassai: Background information when reading Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

by Francine Prose

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2014, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2015, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Photographer Brassai

Self-Portrait of BrassaiIn Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose bases the character Gabor Tsenyi on real life photographer Gyula Halász. Known by the pseudonym Brassai, Halasz was born in 1899 in the Transylvanian (later Hungary, now Romania) city of Brasso. His father was a university professor of French literature and their family spent some time living in France, where Brassai eventually emigrated in the 1920s in order to pursue a career as a journalist. He started taking photos as a way to supplement his freelance income.

While in Paris he lived in the famous Montparnasse quarter among such bohemian greats as Henry Miller, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Jean Genet. He eventually began to devote himself entirely to photography and particularly to photographing Paris's seamier nightlife. He was enraptured with the play of light and dark in the clubs and on the streets of the city. Because he started out with equipment that was outdated – maybe even because it was so ...

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