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The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris

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The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“One has the impression, reading The Flâneur, of having fallen into the hands of a highly distractible, somewhat eccentric poet and professor who is determined to show you a Paris you wouldnt otherwise see…Edmund White tells such a good story that Im ready to listen to anything he wants to talk about.”—New York Times Book Review

A flâneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. In the hands of the learned White, a walk through Paris is both a tour of its lush, sometimes prurient history and an evocation of the citys spirit. The Flâneur leads us to bookshops and boutiques, monuments and palaces, giving us a glimpse into the inner human drama. Along the way we learn everything from the latest debates among French lawmakers to the juicy details of Colettes life.

Edmund Whites novels include Fanny: A Fiction, A Boys Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, A Married Man, and Hotel de Dream. He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, and a memoir, My Lives. He lives in New York and teaches at Princeton University.
A flâneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. In the hands of the learned White, a walk through Paris is both a tour of its lush, sometimes prurient history and an evocation of the citys spirit. The Flâneur leads us to bookshops and boutiques, monuments and palaces, giving us a glimpse into the inner human drama.

“One has the impression, reading The Flâneur, of having fallen into the hands of a highly distractible, somewhat eccentric poet and professor who is determined to show you a Paris you wouldnt otherwise see . . . Edmund White tells such a good story that Im ready to listen to anything he wants to talk about.”—The New York Times Book Review

“For readers familiar with both the author and his subject, certain features of this ramble through Paris past and present will come as no surprise: the Place de la Concorde in 1793, the Café Flore in 1940, the cruising history of the Tuileries. But White's genius as a flâneur is revealed in his affinity for unexpected pleasures, and he includes many for our delectation, from his encounters with present-day royalists to Colette's one-time antidote for food poisoning: a stuffed cabbage and a currant tart.”—The New Yorker

“This is the first volume of a new series by Bloomsbury in which the world's novelists reveal the secrets of the city they know best. White, a gay writer who has lived in Paris for 16 years, has named this collection of essays after the aimless stroller celebrated by the poet Baudelaire, and Paris is certainly ideal for such explorations. White reflects on African Americans who took Paris by storm between the wars, French Jews, small and bizarre museums such as the Gustave Moreau Museum, relics from a royalist France, the gay scene, and more. A gifted writer who notices the little details missed by other guidebooks like the ivy-covered wall above the Seine that resembles the side of a galleon, White is richly informed, and his evocative writing should appeal to both armchair travelers and visitors to Paris.”—Ravi Shenoy, Library Journal

“Esteemed novelist White's marvelous little book inaugurates a new series entitled The Writer and the City, in which Bloomsbury USA will match accomplished writers to cities with which they are intimately familiar. If White's personal, loving, and saucy look at the city in which he, an American, was a fond resident for many years is an indication of things to come, the series will prove to be prime reading for travel lovers. White defines the flaneur of his title as an ‘aimless stroller who loses himself in the crowd, who has no destination and goes wherever caprice or curiosity direct his or her step. White assumes the role of flaneur to perambulate the narrow streets and grand boulevards of Paris, to gather impressions of people and places. He certainly sees the soul beneath the skin as he explores such topics as writers, royalty, and sex and what part each plays in the Parisian experience. He may be in love with Paris, but he is not blinded by it; in fact, he refers to the city as it exists today as a cultural backwater.”—Brad Hooper, Booklist

“The first in Bloomsbury's new, ‘occasional series The Writer and the City, White's collection of impressions stands in marked contrast to many travel books published today. The organizing principle is the combined force of White's perception, imagination, frame of reference and voice. He moves seamlessly from an eyeglasses museum to the Hotel de Lauzun—home to Baudelaire as a young man—and a discussion of the poet's dandyism and struggle with syphilis. White includes personal memories and anecdotes of gay Paris—in both senses of the phrase—past and present. ‘To be gay and cruise is perhaps an extension of the flâneur's very essence, or at least its most successful application, even as the flâneur's wandering is ‘meant to be useless. White describes his own favorite cruising spots as well as those of Louis XIV's homosexual brother, and notes that Napoleon officially decriminalized homosexuality. Other gems include a visit to the street where Colette lay bedridden with arthritis and spied on Cocteau across the way, and a discussion of the expatriation of African-Americans like Josephine Baker (Cocteau said of her, ‘Eroticism has found a style) and Richard Wright (who wrote of Paris, ‘There is such an absence of race hate that it seems a little unreal). White's charming book is for literati, voyeurs and aesthetes, and for travelers who love familiar terrain from a different viewpoint.”—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

“One has the impression, reading The Flâneur, of having fallen into the hands of a highly distractible, somewhat eccentric poet and professor who is determined to show you a Paris you wouldnt otherwise see…Edmund White tells such a good story that Im ready to listen to anything he wants to talk about.”—New York Times Book Review

A flâneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. In the hands of the learned White, a walk through Paris is both a tour of its lush, sometimes prurient history and an evocation of the citys spirit. The Flâneur leads us to bookshops and boutiques, monuments and palaces, giving us a glimpse into the inner human drama. Along the way we learn everything from the latest debates among French lawmakers to the juicy details of Colettes life.

About the Author

Edmund Whites novels include Fanny: A Fiction, A Boys Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, A Married Man, and Hotel de Dream. He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, and a memoir, My Lives. He lives in New York and teaches at Princeton University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582342122
Author:
White, Edmund
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Travel - France
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.77 x 6.46 x 0.71 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Europe » France » Paris
Travel » Europe » France
Travel » Travel Writing » Europe
Travel » Travel Writing » France
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582342122 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
“One has the impression, reading The Flâneur, of having fallen into the hands of a highly distractible, somewhat eccentric poet and professor who is determined to show you a Paris you wouldnt otherwise see…Edmund White tells such a good story that Im ready to listen to anything he wants to talk about.”—New York Times Book Review

A flâneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. In the hands of the learned White, a walk through Paris is both a tour of its lush, sometimes prurient history and an evocation of the citys spirit. The Flâneur leads us to bookshops and boutiques, monuments and palaces, giving us a glimpse into the inner human drama. Along the way we learn everything from the latest debates among French lawmakers to the juicy details of Colettes life.

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