When Marianne Saradar Barakat identified the vices (and virtues) of the Lebanese bourgeoisie …

Undoubtedly she has talent for titles that appeal to you, Marianne Saradar Barakat. After the first book – inevitably autobiographical – finely titled Happiness in the sweat of my forehead, released in 2019 in France by Baudelaire editions, here he is publishing, this time under the brand Antoine bookstore, Vices (and others other virtues): the Lebanese bourgeoisie in all its forms.

A catchy title, if necessary, that promises the curious that we are all (to varying degrees!) An anthology of funny pictures and deceptive stories that evoke petty profanity, deep satire and other shortcomings of the Lebanese bourgeois microcosm.

A work in which even the cover is depicted in a pop art-style portrait of a Lebanese pin-up suggests that its pages hide small stories that describe with humor and lightness typical characters. of this social category that cultivates – in all latitudes of course, but in Lebanon even more than elsewhere – the zest in appearance and a certain snobbery…

But now, if social criticism comes naturally from Marianne Saradar Barakat’s clear and sharp pen, the reader should not expect a humorous text.

In this second opus, the journalist, known by Femme Magazine readers for her mood posts, is still full of writing that is certainly offensive but essentially informative.

Between reviews and beauty tips…

As a former columnist accustomed to describing the fashions and events that make up the zeitgeist and to dissecting the behaviors and new addictions of his contemporaries, he returns to this book in various shortcomings of his fellow citizens.

Finally, to his countrymen especially, even if he also sings out men for their machismo or culture of lies!

But Lebanese women, whose “behavioral vices” he removes both at the steering wheel and at polling stations, along with men or with their housemates, he passes under the scalpel of his sharp that stare … If in a broad part of his text he describes without satisfaction these vain women, zealous in cosmetic surgery, shopping and great hunters of wealthy wives, yet he devotes some chapters to defending their purpose against unpunished domestic violence, in particular … Then, surprisingly, here he gives them, after a few pages, advice on fashion and beauty. Suddenly the reader felt a slight loss.

As he reads, he will find chapters of practical psychology (marital relationships, money relationships, mother-child relationships, etc.) as well as a sort of comparative catalog of different aesthetic skills gynecological surgery or even, under the heading “Snobbisms”, an enumeration of the latest technological innovations that have entered the bathroom.

A mix of genres and topics that contribute to giving this book the illusion of a collection of pieces selected from texts signed by the author within the popular Lebanese French-speaking women’s monthly. His fans will appreciate it.

On the other hand, those who rely on the playful and second -level caricature of bourgeois codes usually from here will pass. Marianne Saradar Barakat has probably compiled in this “ethno-guide” (which is somewhat reminiscent of the Guinea fowl series) a lot of “psycho-societal” information with some interest but, contrary to what the title promises, it won’t take you its page behind the crisp scenes of a “Lebanese bourgeoisie in all its states”.

* “Vices (and other virtues): the Lebanese bourgeoisie in all its states” by Marianne Saradar Barakat (Antoine editions, 234 pages).

Undoubtedly she has talent for titles that appeal to you, Marianne Saradar Barakat. After the first book – inevitably autobiographical – finely titled Happiness in the sweat of my forehead, released in 2019 in France by Baudelaire editions, here he is publishing, this time under the brand Antoine bookstore, Vices (and others other virtues): the Lebanese bourgeoisie in all …

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