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There are quartiers or neighborhoods where unexplained recurrences are the norm, and many are devoted to a single specialty, whether it’s street performers, prostitutes, pickpockets, or beggars.They have been self-contained places where generations spent their entire lives, living, working, and dying.Taking Paris to the desperate years after World War II, Sante sees continuance of the “historical regurgitation, when all the ghosts came out maybe for a last dance.” All who love Paris will love this book.
Gallant discusses at crucial points the way French, as opposed to Americans, view certain behaviors, and even within the French context it is not always easy to explain what happened.
The boy’s parents ultimately decided to press charges, and thus began a horrifying downward slide for Gabrielle Russier.
Her write moves from the fine to the fabulous -- some of this material weighty, some as light as mist. Mavis Gallant moved to Europe in 1950, and after trying out a few other cities settled in Paris, where she lived until her death in 2014.
She was fluent in French, and lived her life as part of her chosen city rather than as one passing through or relegated to the fringes.
Drawing on testimony from a great range of witnesses-from Balzac and Hugo to assorted boulevardiers, rabble-rousers, and tramps-Sante, whose thorough research is matched only by the vividness of his narration, takes the reader on a whirlwind tour.
Richly illustrated with more than three hundred images, The Other Paris scuttles through the knotted streets of pre-Haussmann Paris, through the improvised accommodations of the original bohemians, through the whorehouses and dance halls and hobo shelters of the old city.
The students were protesting in the United States also, but as Gallant points out, the students protested and rioted at Columbia University and elsewhere and everyone else went about their business.
Her description of how the city, its workers, residents, government employees, and others, reacted to the student protests is remarkable for its detail.
A lively survey of labor conditions, prostitution, drinking, crime, and popular entertainment, and of the reporters, réaliste singers, pamphleteers, and poets who chronicled their evolution, The Other Paris is a book meant to upend the story of the French capital, to reclaim the city from the bons vivants and the speculators, and to hold a light to the works and lives of those expunged from its center by the forces of profit.
I'm enjoying the text but this book costs 25 quid !