Thursday, September 4, 2014

"J'ai deux amours": the eternal delights of Parisian food, fashion, art, music, books & more

Detail from La Vie de Monseigneur Saint Denis, 1517, depicting Parisian people at leisure. Love the dancing bear and the wine-drinking party on the Seine!
“Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux: chez soi et à Paris. ("There are only two places in the world where one can live happy: at home and in Paris.”)—Hemingway
“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.”―Hemingway
A game of bocce. From the Chansonnier de Paris, c.1280—1315. (The British Library Board)
“Everything ends this way in France—everything. Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs—everything is a pretext for a good dinner.”—Jean Anouilh
These quotes and the lovely images above and below put me in mind of a recent Spotlight feature we did called Paris in the Springtime. The illuminations are from a new Folio Society edition of Paris in the Middle Ages by Simone Roux.
Shop-lined Paris streets. From Le livre du gouvernement des princes by Gilles Romain.
We always maintain a particularly deep collection of great titles relating to Paris and its history, as well ones reflecting its importance as a capitol of art and design (with books on Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, Fabergé, Lalique, et al.); as a longtime nexus of fashion innovation; as a center of superior food and music; and as a source of marvelous films, novels, and poetry. Click here to peruse our current offerings. At right: Andre Lhote, Expressive Head, 1920-24. From Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris: The T. Catesby Jones Collections at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the University of Virginia Art Museum.
Selected Paris-related titles in stock now:
  • The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
  • The Louvre and the Masterpiece
  • The Tender Hour of Twilight: Paris in the '50s, New York in the '60s: A Memoir of Publishing's Golden Age
  • The Crimes of Paris: A True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection
  • Jacques Offenbach and the Paris of His Time
  • The Harlequin Years: Music in Paris 1917-1929
  • The Food Lover's Guide to Paris: The Best Restaurants, Bistros, Cafes, Markets, Bakeries, and More City Fashion Paris 
  • The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916
  • The Montmarte Investigation: A Victor Legris Mystery
  • the Elizabeth Taylor movie Paris When It Sizzles
  • the CD anthology Cafe De Paris: 50 Grands Succes Francais, with Piaf, Trenet, Chevalier, Grappelli, Montand, Josephine Baker, and more.
As Baker sang, "J'ai deux amours": Paris et toi.


  1. As another culture-lover, I'm not sure if you listen to the Slate Cultural Gabfest (which I recommend), but they just had a conversation on this weeks episode about the American love of Paris! You're in the same mindset!