At the age of 17 Paul Chatenoud interrupted his studies and joined a shipping company in Casablanca. It wasn’t until he was 24 that he sat his baccalauréat and embarked on a course in philosophy at the Sorbonne, under the auspices of Jankelevitch, while continuing to hold down various student jobs. Two years later he became sales director of a French company which was looking for an opening in the British market. In London he discovered Covent Garden and a number of rare opera recordings. On returning to Paris he took up singing lessons in a school of music and learnt German and Italian in order to understand the libretti. A passionate lover of music and literature, an obstinate dreamer who is determined to pursue his goals, he created the first music bookshop in Paris. Championed by Jankélevitch and held as a veritable miracle by Alain Resnais, this little shop near Notre-Dame was to become a convivial haunt where friends could meet: people such as François Régis Bastide, Arthur Rubinstein, Jean Lacouture, and many others…
For the past twenty-five years Paul Chatenoud has lived in Ireland. From his cottage which overlooks the ocean, and which provides an opening on the world, he shares his vision, at once real and imagined. Everything is there, from politics to religion, alcoholism, smoking, cancer, titles, love, the Americans. That is to say – life, in fact. At times with emotion, sometimes scathingly, but always with a good dose of humour. That’s how you’ll find him – this is vintage Chatenoud.
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