On Monday 16 April 2012 I took the Eurostar from London to Paris to arrive in plenty of time for the launch of a book – my own (co-authored with Matthieu Pinette) L’Oeil de Ruskin: l’exemple de la Bourgogne (Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2011).
The book is the result of a fruitful co-operation over several years between two bi-lingual colleagues, Cynthia Gamble based in London and Matthieu Pinette at Germolles in Burgundy. Cynthia did the basic research and the structure, and the two authors worked together for intensive, almost non-stop sessions of about five days each, alternating between the two countries with long breaks between during which work continued apace by email. The authors had already collaborated on joint projects such as exhibitions and books from 2000 and knew that they could work together harmoniously and happily to achieve an end result. So it proved in the case of this book.
The launch took place in an art gallery in the Quartier Latin, at Gimpel & Müller, 12 rue Guénégaud. Rather than standing around with a glass of wine in a crowded, noisy room for hours, like so many traditional book launches, the evening was organised differently. It was decided to have a Table Ronde, a presentation of the authors and of the book by the authors, chaired by Mireille Naturel, Secretary of the Proust Society and an academic at the University of Paris 3. Mireille had structured the questions so that the main themes (travelling through Burgundy with Ruskin, Turner and Proust, art, architecture, wine) could be highlighted. After this, there was more lively discussion with members of the audience (40 comfortably seated in a relaxing setting of contemporary works of art). The evening concluded with drinks, book sales and signing, more conversation and more invitations to speak. The event was recorded and videoed.
Above all, it was great fun!
Cynthia Gamble, who lives in London, is a lively speaker and would be delighted to talk about her book accompanied by her richly illustrated Powerpoint slide show.
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