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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Paris?, 20 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Paris (Marion Boyars Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Many of the short essays in this book were written in the middle 1940's, fairly soon after the end of the Occupation. All were originally in French and are presented with an English translation. Green was born at the turn of the Century in France of American parents and was bilingual, but almost all his writing was in French. At the time when these were written he was about half way through his very long life and had been exiled from his beloved city during the war years.
This is not a tourist guide. The Eiffel Tower is wished at the bottom of the ocean on the first page! It is an eclectic selection of places, buildings, and walks in Paris that the author wants the reader to appreciate. Anyone fluent in French will, I suppose, find the English text superfluous, perhaps even an irritation. Those such as myself who can only cope with a little French may find the side by side presentation of languages interesting and quite evocative.
Of course the blatant romanticism and nostalgia is forgivable, even appealing, and it is made less cloying by the preciseness of observation and the objectivity of the style.
Any reader who is familiar with some of the locations, or like myself has intermittently visited Paris for many years, will derive much pleasure from this short book. Anyone who is eagerly looking forward to his or her first trip to France should perhaps seek information elsewhere. And to get the most out of this short book it does help to have a decent map to hand even if you know Paris well.
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Paris (Marion Boyars Modern Classics)
Paris (Marion Boyars Modern Classics) by Julian Green (Paperback - 21 July 2005)
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