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The Other Paris
by Luc Sante


Overview -

A trip through Paris as it will never be again-dark and dank and poor and slapdash and truly bohemian

Paris, the City of Light, the city of fine dining and seductive couture and intellectual hauteur, was until fairly recently always accompanied by its shadow: the city of the poor, the outcast, the criminal, the eccentric, the willfully nonconforming.  Read more...


 
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More About The Other Paris by Luc Sante
 
 
 
Overview

A trip through Paris as it will never be again-dark and dank and poor and slapdash and truly bohemian

Paris, the City of Light, the city of fine dining and seductive couture and intellectual hauteur, was until fairly recently always accompanied by its shadow: the city of the poor, the outcast, the criminal, the eccentric, the willfully nonconforming. In The Other Paris, Luc Sante gives us a panoramic view of that second metropolis, which has nearly vanished but whose traces are in the bricks and stones of the contemporary city, in the culture of France itself, and, by extension, throughout the world.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.
A lively survey of labor conditions, prostitution, drinking, crime, and popular entertainment, and of the reporters, realiste 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.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374299323
  • ISBN-10: 0374299323
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publish Date: October 2015
  • Page Count: 320


Related Categories

Books > History > Europe - France
Books > History > Social History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-08-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

This vivid and thorough compendium describes the history of the Paris neighborhoods historically occupied by the poor, the dirty, and other undesirables. Focusing primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries, Sante zigzags through the arrondissements, touring the history of the hospitals, bordellos, cafes, and drinking establishments of the poor. He takes readers into the noisy arcades, past the guillotine, and by the cour des miracles, a cluster of dilapidated houses beyond the reach of the law. Nearly every page includes beautiful old photos, drawings, and accompanying images in the margins that help tell the story of the often unmentioned side of Paris. In a chapter on insurgents, Sante recounts the story of an anarchist named Ravachol, who planted two bombs (that killed no one) in March 1982 but was so feared that he was blamed for a long list of unsolved crimes and then publicly executed. Sante, a flaneur, does not want to glamorize the past but rather gives readers an intense “reminder of what life was like” when cities were wild and savage and survival was uncertain. The sheer volume and variety of the obscure stories gathered here make this eclectic history a rambunctious and wholly entertaining guide to Paris and an educational experience worth savoring. 377 illus. (Oct.)

 
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