Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris – just around the corner

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris– just around the corner. American author Gertrude Stein lived in Paris. She followed her brother Leo to London in 1902 when she was twenty-eight years old. She had lived in Paris before, but only as a three- and four-year-old with her parents, before the family returned toContinue reading “Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris – just around the corner”

Claude Monet and his Water Lilies

Claude Monet and his Water Lilies. Water Lilies is not one painting. It is a series of paintings that French Impressionist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) worked on for thirty years, inspired by the water garden at his home in Giverny in Normandy. He created about 300 paintings of water lilies, with about forty in large format.Continue reading “Claude Monet and his Water Lilies”

Parisian architecture: ‘castles in the air’

Parisian architecture: ‘castles in the air.’  In May 2015, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, wrote an article in Politico stating that the French capital has become a testing ground for new technologies. She headlined the article, in English, ‘Parisian castles in the air.’ It is an interesting headline. France is famous for its castles –Continue reading “Parisian architecture: ‘castles in the air’”

For the Parisian love of carousels

For the Parisian love of carousels. The French love the carousel, the merry-go-round: le carrousel, la manège. And I love them too.  The turning-rides and round-abouts may have been around since Roman times, but the English word ‘carousel’ originated from the French word. It originated from an eccentric 18th century Frenchman, Guillaume Joseph Roussel (1743-1807), known asContinue reading “For the Parisian love of carousels”

Trapped in Versailles? Monsieur Montespan by Jean Teule

Trapped in Versailles? Monsieur Montespan by Jean Teule. Jean Teule’s factional novel Monsieur Montespan (2008) is set in Paris from 1663 to 1707. In January 1663 eight aristocratic men, in four pairs, are involved in simultaneous duels with swords ‘at the slightest provocation.’ One is killed, six are executed for his death, and one (the Marquis deContinue reading “Trapped in Versailles? Monsieur Montespan by Jean Teule”

The Beauties and Furies by Christina Stead: Paris ‘the city of night’

The Beauties and Furies by Christina Stead: Paris ‘the city of night.’ The Beauties and Furies (1936) is set in Paris over the period of one year: 1934. But this is no lightweight romantic story. It is a challenging, complex novel in the vein of Virginia Woolf, reminding me of the magnificence of Stead’s writing.Continue reading “The Beauties and Furies by Christina Stead: Paris ‘the city of night’”

The Musée d’Orsay – the Orsay Museum, Paris

The Musée d’Orsay – the Orsay Museum, Paris. On the river Seine in Paris stands the Musée d’Orsay – the Orsay Museum. When James Joyce lived in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, the building was not a museum. Instead, the building was the Gare d’Orsay – the Orsay railway station. The trains from GareContinue reading “The Musée d’Orsay – the Orsay Museum, Paris”

The People in the Photo by Helene Gestern: book review

The People in the Photo by Helene Gestern: book review. The People in the Photo (Eux sur la photo 2011, English edition 2014) is an epistolary fictional novel set in England, France, and Switzerland, from March 2007 to April 2008. The entire narrative is seen through the correspondence (letters and email) between two people. TheContinue reading “The People in the Photo by Helene Gestern: book review”

Metropolitain to Metro to M – signs at Paris Metro stations

Metropolitain to Metro to M – signs at Paris Metro stations.  I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the time continuum, the Paris Métro station signs gradually evolved and changed. And not for the better, in my opinion.  The Paris Métro railway began operations in 1900 to take people to the Paris WorldContinue reading “Metropolitain to Metro to M – signs at Paris Metro stations”

Gladiators and lions in the Arene de Lutece—the Lutece Arena, Paris

Gladiators and lions in the Arene de Lutece—the Lutece Arena, Paris. Today I am looking for the gladiator. I know I will not find the Roman gladiator, but I will find the place where he fought so long ago in the city of Paris. The ruins of the Arene de Lutece—the Lutece Arena—are still thereContinue reading “Gladiators and lions in the Arene de Lutece—the Lutece Arena, Paris”