Skip to main content
The colours of our memories
The colours of our memories
Pastoureau, Michel, 1947-2012
What remains of the colours of our childhood? What are our memories of a blue rabbit, a red dress, a yellow bike? Were they really those colours? And later on, what colours do we associate with our student years, our first loves, our adult life? How does colour leave its mark on memory? How does it stimulate memory? How does it transform it? Or, to reverse that question, how does colour become the victim of memory's whims and lapses? In an attempt to reply to these questions - and to many others - Michel Pastoureau presents us with a journal about colours that covers over half a century (1950-2010). Through personal memories, notes taken on the spot, uninhibited comments, scholarly digressions and the remarks of a professional historian, this book retraces the recent history of colours in France and Europe. Among the fields of observation that are covered or evoked are the vocabulary and data of language, fashion and clothing, everyday objects and practices, emblems and flags, sport, literature, painting, museums and the history of art. This text - playful, poetic, nostalgic - records the life of both the author and his contemporaries. We live in a world increasingly bursting with colour, in which colour remains a focus for memory, a source of delight and, most of all, an invitation to dream.
Main title:
The colours of our memories / Michel Pastoureau ; translated by Janet Lloyd.
Cambridge, [UK] ; Malden, MA : Polity, 2012.
xiv, 186 pages ; 24 cm.
Translation of: Les couleurs des nos souvenirs.Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-178) and index.
Colour : an aide-mémoire -- 1. Clothing -- In the beginning was yellow -- Turbulent stripes -- The navy-blue blazer -- Subversive trousers -- A particular blue -- From the garment to the myth -- Colour against flesh -- Neutral shades in good taste -- Mitterand beige -- Slimming colours -- In the London Underground -- 2. Daily life -- My mother's pharmacy -- The sad tale of young Philippe -- Sweet dispensers -- Choosing a colour : an impossible undertaking? -- Greyness -- Métro tickets -- Red or blue? -- Traffic lights -- Colour and desing : a missed chance? -- Eating colours -- 3. The arts and letters -- In a painter's studio -- A painter caught between two volumes -- In darkened halls -- 'Ivanhoe' -- "Vowels" -- The red and the black -- Chrétien de Troyes at the cinema -- Pink pigs and black pigs -- When Dalí assigned marks -- The colours of a great painter -- Historians without colours -- The workings of time -- 4. On sports grounds -- Goals and referees -- The yellow bike -- Bartali and the Italian flag -- The Tour de l'Ouest (the Western Cyclying Tour) -- Colour by default -- Easy colours and difficult ones -- Pink and orange -- 5. Myths and symbols -- Little Red Ridinghood -- Long live school Latin! -- My discovery of heraldry -- The black cat -- Green superstitions -- The colour of destiny -- Furling the colours -- A historical object that is alarming -- Playing chess -- Wittgenstein and heraldic colours -- 6. On tastes and colours -- An American gift -- Sunbathing through the years -- The "bling" of the 1950s -- A brief history of gold -- A mysterious shade of green -- Do you see red clearly? -- No purple for children -- The whims of memory -- Preferences and opinion polls -- 7. Words -- Brown and beige -- Spelling and grammar -- A day at the races -- The zero degree of colour -- A part that stands for the whole -- The Greek blue -- The demise of nuances -- Speaking of colours without showing them -- What is colour?.
Dewey class:
LocationCollectionCall numberStatus/Desc
Brighton LibraryHealth and Wellbeing155.91145 PASOnloan - Due: 31 Mar 2021