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The Secret Paris of the '30sby Brassai
Synopses & Reviews
"During my first years in Paris I lived at night, going to bed at sunrise, getting up at sunset, wandering about the city from Montparnasse to Montmartre. And even though I had always ignored and disliked photography before, I was inspired to become a photographer by my desire to translate all the things that enchanted me in the nocturnal Paris I was experiencing." Alone, or in the company of friends, Brassaï discovered and recorded the forbidden Paris of the 1930s, its brothels, whores, pimps, opium dens, and transvestite cafés ? the sordid yet fascinating bas-monde where high society mingled with the underworld.
The Secret Paris of the '30s is one of the most remarkable photographic memoirs ever published: like his predecessor Toulouse-Lautrec, Brassaï chose to portray a hidden and daring subject matter. His photographs reveal a milieu previously known only through books such as the novels of Henry Miller (a frequent companion of Brassaï's nocturnal rambles), the seamy, grimy, yet infinitely exciting reality that tourists still think of when they seek "Paris by night."
These unique pictures are accompanied by an immensely interesting text in which Brassaï reminisces and describes the extraordinary conditions under which he took his photographs.
Brassaï (Gyula Halász) was born in 1899 in the Transylvanian village of Brasso. A painter, he arrived in Paris in 1923 and was introduced to photography by André Kertész in 1929. He is legendary for his discreet yet intimate photos of the nocturnal world of Paris.
"Brassaï's text is superb; his photographs are unforgettable...the poignant evocation of a world vivid and complete in itself and now completely gone." Virginia Quarterly Review
"In Brassaï's photography we have a textbook example of candid photography being used as a tool for cultural investigation at the beginning of its golden age." New Republic
"A gorgeous new paperback edition of the Hungarian photographer Brassaï's classic photographic memoir. Here are his photos of the pre-war City of Light's verboten nighttime haunts. The accompanying text, also by Brassaï, is stylish, funny, and riveting." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review here)
This volume contains many photographs taken by Brassai which have never had wide circulation before because of their daring nature. His subject is the forbidden Paris of the 1930s, its opium dens, its brothels and its whores, where high society mingled with the underworld.
Alone, or in the company of friends, Brassa discovered and recorded the forbidden Paris of the 1930s--the sordid yet fascinating bas-monde where high society mingled with the underworld. "The Secret Paris of the '30s" is one of the most remarkable photographic memoirs ever published. 150 photos.
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