Oscar Wilde once said that if good Americans die, they go the Heaven; if they've been very good, they go to Paris and M.F.K.Fisher added that Paris "Should always be seen, the first time with the eyes of childhood or of love."
Paris in Mind Edited and with an Introduction by Jennifer Lee is an indispensable book, published on 2003 by Vintage if you plan a visit to Paris, because it gives you the essence of this city, beloved substantially by everyone. Divided in four sections, Love, Food, The Art of Living, Tourism, these writings, book extracts, letters, articles, involve important established American writers and politicians who decided at some point to live a part of their existence in Paris. Here their opinions about the french capital.
There are contributions of E.B. White and Wharton about the end of the first and second World War.
Why everyone is in love for Paris?
For the atmosphere first of all.
You will read an extract from the book A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and in his memories of the years spent to Paris in the 1920s when he decided of giving up his career as reporter receiving a lot of rejections in the world of literature; he was pretty starved but close to him there was a reassuring angel guardian in Sylvia Beach, owner of Shakespeare and Company worried because he had to eat sufficiently good, and comforting him regarding his future as a writer.
We will read an extract of Sylvia Beach from his book/biography Shakespeare and Company.
Patrick Kuh worked on the Boulevards des Italiens and for a lot of time as well! Naomi Barry immersed herself in a land of chocolate. As adds the writer "Chocolate in France is seductive, recherché, noble and expensive." You will learn the favorite chocolate tastes of parisiennes, dark, unsweetened and intense. At La Maison du Chocolat the owner clarified: "Good chocolate won't make you sick. It won't ever make you fat. Bitter chocolate is full of potassium and magnesium."
You will learn how to prepare the best chocolate drink, while later you will discover thanks to Grant Rosenberg the magical atmosphere of a Parisian Café. Irwin Shaw, differently, will complain about weather in a funny piece where he describes Paris during its cloudy winter season. Saul Bellow wrote: "Paris was one of the permanent setting, a theater, if you like, where the greatest problems of existence might be represented." Langston Hughes told that his visa had taken "Nearly all my money" but although in difficult conditions he found a way.
Paris in these written words most of the time is a place where a person finds the best of himself/herself thanks to the discovery of an enchanting city plenty of surprises, calm, harmony for everyone.
Anna Maria Polidori