“He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.
Nothing is more sublime.”
“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 we can live happy: at home and in Paris.)
– Ernest Hemingway
Paris. City of Love. City of Light. But why Paris?
“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.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast. These quotes by Mr. Hemingway, a classic of the literary world, encapsulates my affinity and love for Paris.
Within this theme Gertrude Stein, a contemporary of Hemingway once proclaimed “America is my county, and Paris is my hometown.” Allen Ginsberg, one of the leaders of the Beat Generation often talked about “the bewildering beauty of Paris”.
Paris has been written about, filmed, snapped, recorded and painted. Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire writes “Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets–as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her–and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.”
Why Paris? Well how could it be anything else? Paris is simply a part of my being. In the Paris Wife, a novel about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, Paula McLain says “Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris” Me too!