Guide The Made-up Man

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Man-made fibres are spun and woven into a huge number of consumer and industrial products, including garments such as shirts, scarves, and hosiery; home furnishings such as upholstery, carpets, and drapes; and industrial parts such as tire cord, flame-proof linings, and drive belts.

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The chemical compounds from which man-made fibres are produced are known as polymers , a class of compounds characterized by long, chainlike molecules of great size and molecular weight. Many of the polymers that constitute man-made fibres are the same as or similar to compounds that make up plastics, rubbers, adhesives, and surface coatings. Indeed, polymers such as regenerated cellulose, polycaprolactam, and polyethylene terephthalate , which have become familiar household materials under the trade names rayon, nylon , and Dacron trademark , respectively, are also made into numerous nonfibre products, ranging from cellophane envelope windows to clear plastic soft-drink bottles.

As fibres, these materials are prized for their strength, toughness, resistance to heat and mildew, and ability to hold a pressed form. Man-made fibres are to be distinguished from natural fibres such as silk, cotton, and wool. Natural fibres also consist of polymers in this case, biologically produced compounds such as cellulose and protein , but they emerge from the textile manufacturing process in a relatively unaltered state.

Some man-made fibres, too, are derived from naturally occurring polymers. For instance, rayon and acetate , two of the first man-made fibres ever to be produced, are made of the same cellulose polymers that make up cotton, hemp, flax, and the structural fibres of wood. In the case of rayon and acetate, however, the cellulose is acquired in a radically altered state usually from wood-pulp operations and is further modified in order to be regenerated into practical cellulose-based fibres. Rayon and acetate therefore belong to a group of man-made fibres known as regenerated fibres.


Another group of man-made fibres and by far the larger group is the synthetic fibres. Joseph Scapellato. FSG , joseph scapellato , michael a. Rag , by Maryse Meijer. Scoundrels Among Us , by Darrin Doyle.

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Like a Champion , by Vincent Chu. FWR Partner. He had tried out for the French Air Force as an aviator and been rejected, perhaps for caste reasons, but the Free French Air Force was understandably less discriminating.

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The poor Russian-Polish Jew soon became an aviator. He flew bombing missions, experiencing the brushes with death that were bound to take place in a field where the casualties among crews often climbed toward totality. He ended the war a French hero, decorated and prepared to enter, as his mother would have dreamed, the diplomatic corps. She died in Nice during the war; in the memoir, he insists that she had, on her deathbed, arranged to have letters sent regularly to him after her passing, so as not to worry him in battle with thoughts of her health—another beautiful and filial fiction.

His fabrications hold a particular fascination because of the moral authority asserted by his novels, and by his actions. The higher forms of fiction and the lower form of fibs were, no doubt, born within minutes of each other. Anyone who is an inspired storyteller, as Gary was, knows that the essence of good storytelling is not assembling a heap of facts but having the imagination to leap through an arc of bright truths to create a great curve of invention. A story is a constellation of stars, with a recognizable shape made from shining bits of fact that may exist, empirically, at different levels and different spatial depths.

The fabulist wants to convey the dramatic experience of events, while the fraud wants to convey a false evaluation of them. The fabulist wants to dramatize himself; the fraud, to deceive others. With fable-makers like Gary, the artificiality of the material is almost always self-evident, and so is the dramatic point being sought by the story. I once knew a great fabulist who, never entirely inventing, always intensified for dramatic effect.

The Made-Up Man

The formula was to divide by five and add pants. With Gary, the formula is to divide by seven and add literature.

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The hyperbole involves raising reality—one volume of Zola becomes every volume of Proust—and his tales almost always have a literary origin. At one point in his memoir, he tells a story about promising a little Jewish neighbor of his to repeat his name in the presence of anyone famous he ever meets, and then insists that he did, even to the Queen of England. As Bellos tells us, Gary is adapting a well-known story by Gogol for his purposes. Did an old man say something like that, and did Gary then say something to the Queen? For Gary, this truth cuts both ways.

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If there are no little lives, there is no one too small to remember, and also no one too small to take responsibility for what is happening. Yet we wish, somehow, to sort this kind of untruth from the other, darker kind of falsehood that blemishes our public life. We know bad lies from good fables because the world they propose is not the mixed one we know and narrate but another, made-up world where only domination counts and the teller alone asserts himself.

A healthy literary lie often makes the speaker look more ridiculous than his fellows; an evil political lie makes its teller seem like a master of men.


The lies of tyrants and would-be tyrants are bad literature, and we know they are lies almost before they are fact-checked; we know them as lies by the world they conjure, one in which only supplicants and masters can live. Although the war hero was soon a much admired writer, Gary was never taken entirely seriously by the self-important French literary establishment. Indeed, he parodied this self-importance in his showmanship, his performance, parading around the streets of the Left Bank and holding court in bistros. But Camus wrote exclusively in the philosophical and high-minded tradition of Racine: though he insists on humanity, there are only scraps of actual human-animal behavior in his books.

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There is, in effect, a schematic divide in French literature between the lineage of Racine and that of Rabelais, between the stern, high-poetic voice of moral instruction and the low, gross voice of human experience. Gary has the human animal everywhere—feasting, farting, fucking—and this made him seem charming, and minor. In English, we are blessed to have in Shakespeare both at once: the noblest versifier of human pain, and a man who wrote page after page of piss jokes and fart jokes and funny-Welshman jokes. When Gary moved to America as the French consul general in Los Angeles, in , it seemed the perfect theatre for so theatrical a Frenchman, and his greatest fame, and success, was achieved there.

He played the part to perfection, and became a Southern California icon—until, in , he fell in love with the actress Jean Seberg, leaving his British wife for her. The trouble was that Seberg, though later the victim of a heinous campaign of blackmail and harassment by the F. His return to France in was in large part motivated by his desire to follow Seberg back there, where she was a much bigger star than she was in America.