Take Me to Paris

The place I would most like to be transported to is Paris in the 1920’s- 1940’s. The time and place where Ernest Hemingway lived as a young man and wrote A Movable Feast. I would like to be part of the group that surrounded Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus during the time of post war France when they were trying to re-establish French civil society as was depicted in The Mandarins. This is where and when I would most like to go.

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5 thoughts on “Take Me to Paris

  1. Yes, I would love to join you in that time machine!

    Albert Camus said this, which brings my love for Paris to mind:

    ‘Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.’

    Albert Camus

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  2. The question is why Paris and presumably why Paris in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

    Aside from the fact that Paris has the reputation for being the most romantic city on earth I want to be transported back to Paris during that time and place because Paris represents for me a city where freedom of thought, expression and creativity abounds. My favorite people in the world who also happen to be writers, lived and worked there then: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus.

    For the past several years I have been reading books about the writers and by these writers and Paris has been very much in my imagination. I have fallen in love with these people and the city they lived in.

    In A Moveable Feast Hemingway details his life and adventures in Paris when he lived there as a young man. He says to a friend: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
    In her novel, The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir details what like was like in post war France when she and others were involved in putting France back together. It is a thinly disguised roman a clef where the figures of Simone, Sartre and Camus are clearly recognizable.

    Simone de Beauvoir is one of the world’s earliest and foremost feminists. Her groundbreaking book, The Second Sex, setting the model for the feminists later to come that we see today. Her importance as a philosopher is hard to overstate.
    Jean Paul Sartre was an important philosopher as well and a distinguished writer winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964.

    Camus is my favorite writer from this period his masterpiece, The Stranger, appearing in 1942, has been a major influence on my life. Camus was awarded the Nobel in 1957. Camus and Sartre were friends but had a famous falling out later in their relationship.
    These were exciting times and it would have be been fun to be part of the mise-en-scene writing in cafes and eating and drinking and celebrating life and love!

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    • Hmmm, you certainly make it sound charming, I could almost waltz back myself! What you shared about Hemingway and his friend in A Moveavable Feast, makes me wonder, which city has stayed with me. Something worth thinking about. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy Paris Benn!

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