Beautiful Paris Quotes

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I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
Ernest Hemingway
I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace.
Natalie Lloyd
If only Paris and the Harpies had gotten along. But Promiscuity had taken one look at the beautiful women and deemed them “too much effort.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld, #4))
If you have a beautiful face you don’t need fake boobs to get anyone’s attention
Paris Hilton
The trouble is that so many people, most of them women, think they have to have a perfect body to be loved. But all it has to do is be capable of loving—and being loved.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
There will be other lives. There will be other lives for nervous boys with sweaty palms, for bittersweet fumblings in the backseats of cars, for caps and gowns in royal blue and crimson, for mothers clasping pretty pearl necklaces around daughters' unlined necks, for your full name read aloud in an auditorium, for brand-new suitcases transporting you to strange new people in strange new lands. And there will be other lives for unpaid debts, for one-night stands, for Prague and Paris, for painful shoes with pointy toes, for indecision and revisions. And there will be other lives for fathers walking daughters down aisles. And there will be other lives for sweet babies with skin like milk. And there will be other lives for a man you don't recognize, for a face in a mirror that is no longer yours, for the funerals of intimates, for shrinking, for teeth that fall out, for hair on your chin, for forgetting everything. Everything. Oh, there are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that's not how it works. A human's life is a beautiful mess.
Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere)
Hope is a most beautiful drug.
Jeremy Mercer (Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.)
She was also incredibly confident, with a way of moving and talking that communicated that she didn't need anyone to tell her she was beautiful or worthwhile.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Had you but seen it, I promise you, your high-minded principles would have melted like candle wax. Never would you have wished such beauty away.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
Mortal beauty often makes me ache, and mortal grandeur can fill me with that longing...but Paris, Paris drew me close to her heart, so I forgot myself entirely. Forgot the damned and questing preternatural thing that doted on mortal skin and mortal clothing. Paris overwhelmed, and lightened and rewarded more richly than any promise.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
She is my morning, she is my evening; we have a love that blooms over and again, more beautifully each time than the last.
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
Beauty makes me hopeless. I don't care why anymore I just want to get away. When I look at the city of Paris I long to wrap my legs around it. When I watch you dancing there is a heartless immensity like a sailor in a dead-calm sea. Desires as round as peaches bloom in me all night, I no longer gather what falls.
Anne Carson (Plainwater: Essays and Poetry)
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.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
The one who has not seen Paris in the morning does not know how beautiful it is.
Irving Stone (Lust for Life)
He and I had already had our time, and though it was still very close and real to me, as beautiful and poignant as any place on a map, it was, in truth, another time—another country.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.
Janet Flanner (Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939)
First, we think all truth is beautiful, no matter how hideous its face may seem. We accept all of nature, without any repudiation. We believe there is more beauty in a harsh truth than in a pretty lie, more poetry in earthiness than in all the salons of Paris. We think pain is good because it is the most profound of all human feelings. We think sex is beautiful even when portrayed by a harlot and a pimp. We put character above ugliness, pain above prettiness and hard, crude reality above all the wealth in France. We accept life in its entirety without making moral judgments. We think the prostitute is as good as the countess, the concierge as good as the general, the peasant as good as the cabinet minister, for they all fit into the pattern of nature and are woven into the design of life!
Irving Stone (Lust for Life)
At night I would climb the steps to the Sacre-Coeur, and I would watch Paris, that futile oasis, scintillating in the wilderness of space. I would weep, because it was so beautiful, and because it was so useless.
Simone de Beauvoir (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter)
Or take this girl, for example. At a meeting just outside Paris, a fifteen-year-old girl came up to me and said that she'd been to see [The Double Life of] Véronique. She'd gone once, twice, three times and only wanted to say one thing really - that she realized that there is such a thing as a soul. She hadn't known before, but now she knew that the soul does exist. There's something very beautiful in that. It was worth making Véronique for that girl. It was worth working for a year, sacrificing all that money, energy, time, patience, torturing yourself, killing yourself, taking thousands of decisions, so that one young girl in Paris should realize that there is such a thing as a soul. It's worth it.
Krzysztof Kieślowski (Kieslowski on Kieslowski)
Gauguin was a stockbroker in Paris, married, had five kids. One day he came home from work and told his wife he was leaving, that he was through supporting the family, that he had had enough. Just like that he fucking took off. He said he had always felt that he was a painter, so he moved to a rat-infested shithole and started painting. His wife begged him to come back, his bosses told him he was insane, he didn't care, he was following his heart. He left Paris, moved to Rouen, went from Rouen to Arles, from Arles to Tahiti. He was searching for peace, contentment, trying to fill that fucking hole he felt inside, and he believed he could fill it. He died in Tahiti, blind and crazy from syphilis, but he did it. He filled his fucking hole, made beautiful work, made beautiful, beautiful work... It takes a brave man to walk away, to care so much that he doesn't care about anything else, to be willing to obey what he feels inside, to be willing to suffer the consequences of living for himself. Every time I stand before his work it makes me cry, and I cry because I'm proud of him, and happy for him, and because I admire him.
James Frey (My Friend Leonard)
The window gave onto a view of dove-gray roofs and balconies, each one containing the same cracked flowerpot and sleeping feline. It was as if the entire city of Paris had agreed to abide by a single understated taste. Each neighbor was doing his or her own to keep up standards, which was difficult because the French ideal wasn't clearly delineated like the neatness and greenness of American lawns, but more of a picturesque disrepair. It took courage to let things fall apart so beautifully.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
There was only today to throw yourself into without thinking about tomorrow, let alone forever. To keep you from thinking, there was liquor, an ocean's worth at least, all the usual vices and plenty of rope to hang yourself with. Love is a beautiful liar.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium-- Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.-- ''[kisses her]'' Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!-- Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again. Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips, And all is dross that is not Helena. I will be Paris, and for love of thee, Instead of Troy, shall Wertenberg be sack'd; And I will combat with weak Menelaus, And wear thy colours on my plumed crest; Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel, And then return to Helen for a kiss. O, thou art fairer than the evening air Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars; Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter When he appear'd to hapless Semele; More lovely than the monarch of the sky In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms; And none but thou shalt be my paramour!
Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus)
Beauty without wit offers love nothing but the material enjoyment of its physical charms, whilst witty ugliness captivates by the charms of the mind, and at last fulfills all the desires of the man it has captivated... Let anyone ask a beautiful woman without wit whether she would be willing to exchange a small portion of her beauty for a sufficient dose of wit. If she speaks the truth, she will say, "No, I am satisfied to be as I am." But why is she satisfied? Because she is not aware of her own deficiency. Let an ugly but witty woman be asked if she would change her wit against beauty, and she will not hesitate in saying no. Why? Because, knowing the value of her wit, she is well aware that it is sufficient by itself to make her a queen in any society.
Giacomo Casanova (The Memoirs of Casanova, Vol 2 of 6: To Paris and Prison)
Another summer day has come and gone away in Paris and Rome, but I wanna go home..." Home-Alan Chang; Amy Foster-Gillies; Michael Buble
Karla M. Nashar (Bellamore: A Beautiful Love To Remember)
On December 8, 1921, when the Leopoldina set sail for Europe, we were on board. Our life together had finally begun. We held on to each other and looked out at the sea. It was impossibly large and full of beauty and danger in equal parts-and we wanted it all.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
He lit another cigarette and inhaled deeply, the tip flaring an angry red. “Isn’t love a beautiful goddamn liar?
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Helen leaned down over her husband and ran her lips lightly across his bare shoulder in good-bye. Maybe, someday, she would find him by the River Styx. There, they could wash all their hateful memories away, and walk into a new life together, a life that didn’t have the dirty paw prints of a dozen gods and a dozen kings marring it. Such a beautiful thought. Helen vowed that she would live a hundred lives of hardship for one life—one real life—with Paris. They could be shepherds, just as they had dreamed once when they had met at the great lighthouse long ago. She’d be anything, really, a shopkeeper, or a farmer, whatever, as long as they were allowed to live their lives and each other freely. She dressed quickly, imagining herself tending a shop somewhere by the sea, hoping that someday this dream would come true.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
Intelligence is perhaps but a malady, -a beautiful malady; the oysters's pearl.
Rémy de Gourmont (Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques)
She was a committed romantic and an anarcha-feminist. This was hard for her because it meant she couldn't blow up beautiful buildings. She knew the Eiffel Tower was a hideous symbol of phallic oppression but when ordered by her commander to detonate the lift so that no-one should unthinkingly scale an erection, her mind filled with young romantics gazing over Paris and opening aerograms that said Je t'aime.
Jeanette Winterson
This life is a hospital in which each patient is possessed by the desire to change beds. One wants to suffer in front of the stove and another believes that he will get well near the window. It always seems to me that I will be better off there where I am not, and this question of moving about is one that I discuss endlessly with my soul "Tell me, my soul, my poor chilled soul, what would you think about going to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and you'll be able to soak up the sun like a lizard there. That city is on the shore; they say that it is built all out of marble, and that the people there have such a hatred of the vegetable, that they tear down all the trees. There's a country after your own heart -- a landscape made out of light and mineral, and liquid to reflect them!" My soul does not reply. "Because you love rest so much, combined with the spectacle of movement, do you want to come and live in Holland, that beatifying land? Perhaps you will be entertained in that country whose image you have so often admired in museums. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts and ships anchored at the foot of houses?" My soul remains mute. "Does Batavia please you more, perhaps? There we would find, after all, the European spirit married to tropical beauty." Not a word. -- Is my soul dead? Have you then reached such a degree of torpor that you are only happy with your illness? If that's the case, let us flee toward lands that are the analogies of Death. -- I've got it, poor soul! We'll pack our bags for Torneo. Let's go even further, to the far end of the Baltic. Even further from life if that is possible: let's go live at the pole. There the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses variety and augments monotony, that half of nothingness. There we could take long baths in the shadows, while, to entertain us, the aurora borealis send us from time to time its pink sheaf of sparkling light, like the reflection of fireworks in Hell!" Finally, my soul explodes, and wisely she shrieks at me: "It doesn't matter where! It doesn't matter where! As long as it's out of this world!
Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen)
Paris has history, it has art, it has wonderful architecture, it has literature, but much more important than all these, it has freedom! If a city cannot offer freedom to its dwellers, all its other beauties will be meaningless!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Certainly there were places of greater natural beauty—but Paris but UNNATURAL beauty, which was arguably better.' - The Runaway Queen (The Bane Chronicles, 2) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Try to roll with the punches. Keep your chin up. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Vote Democrat in every election. Ride your bike in the park. Dream about my perfect, golden body. Take your vitamins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Pull for the Mets. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t work too hard at your job. Take a trip to Paris with me. Come to the hospital when Rachel has her baby and hold my grandchild in your arms. Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t cross the street on a red light. Defend the little guy. Stick up for yourself. Remember how beautiful you are. Remember how much I love you. Drink one Scotch on the rocks every day. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes open. Stay away from fatty foods. Sleep the sleep of the just. Remember how much I love you.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
New York is perhaps the only place in America where you feel at the centre and not at the margins, in the provinces, so for that reason I prefer its horror to this privileged beauty, its enslavement to the freedoms which remain local and privileged and very particularized, and which do not represent a genuine antithesis.
Italo Calvino (Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings)
It's so beautiful here. You must come before you die.
Eloisa James (Paris in Love)
It’s a great city, Paris, a beautiful city––and––it was very good for me.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
There’s dark magic there,” Luc warned. “Creatures who like the cold, who like girls who wander into their woods. Whatever you do, don’t let them kiss you.
Megan Shepherd (Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies, #2))
This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary. A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even, possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world to be seen from a comfortable apartment high in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio, or Rome — there's no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment.
Edward Abbey
Other freshmen were already moving into their dormitory rooms when we arrived, with their parents helping haul. I saw boxes of paperbacks, stereo equipment, Dylan albums and varnished acoustic guitars, home-knitted afghans, none as brilliant as mine, Janis posters, Bowie posters, Day-Glo bedsheets, hacky sacks, stuffed bears. But as we carried my trunk up two flights of stairs terror invaded me. Although I was studying French because I dreamed of going to Paris, I actually dreaded leaving home, and in the end my parents did not want me to leave, either. But this is how children are sacrificed into their futures: I had to go, and here I was. We walked back down the stairs. I was too numb to cry, but I watched my mother and father as they stood beside the car and waved. That moment is a still image; I can call it up as if it were a photograph. My father, so thin and athletic, looked almost frail with shock, while my mother, whose beauty was still remarkable, and who was known on the reservation for her silence and reserve, had left off her characteristic gravity. Her face and my father's were naked with love. It wasn't something thatwe talked about—love. But they allowed me this one clear look at it. It blazed from them. And then they left.
Louise Erdrich
Oh Paris From red to green all the yellow dies away Paris Vancouver Hyeres Maintenon New York and the Antilles The window opens like an orange The beautiful fruit of light ("Windows")
Guillaume Apollinaire (Zone)
He was fine; he, that orphan that foundling that outcast; he felt himself august and strong; he looked full in the face that society from which he was banished, and into which he had so powerfully intervened; that human justice from which he had snatched its prey; all those tigers whose jaws perforce remained empty; those myrmidons, those judges, those executioners, all that royal power which he, poor, insignificant being, had foiled with the power of God.
Victor Hugo (Notre-Dame de Paris | The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
It’s a beautiful building, but there’s something rotten at its heart. Now he’s discovered it he can smell the stench of it everywhere.
Lucy Foley (The Paris Apartment)
A delicate scent hung in the air as we strolled down the long boulevard toward the Opera House holding hands. Paris had come to life in a very special way, the lights of the Eiffel Tower a gentle reminder that nothing mattered once that starry blanket covered the great city, except love. Love was the reason Paris existed. For those lonely in their soul, their heart a barren wasteland starving for nourishment, she offered hope. For those like Caroline and I, lucky enough to have found each other and begin the healing process to repair our brokenness, Paris was a bastion to love's transforming power. A year ago I could not have pictured myself holding hands with someone as nice as Caroline, as lovely and unpretentious. She was pretty, but her soul made her beautiful. I loved everything about her, including her damage.
Bobby Underwood (The Long Gray Goodbye (Seth Halliday #2))
Paris is like oxygen to a dying man, a dose of opium that comforts those addicted to urban beauty. There is no great despair that cannot be alleviated by the spectacle of Paris. There is no misadventure that cannot be forgotten, at least momentarily, thanks to its magnificence.
Federico Castigliano (Flâneur: The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris)
The world had courage, faith, beauty, and love, and it had music, which, although not merely an abstraction, was equal to the greatest abstractions and principles – its power to lift, clarify, and carry the soul forever unmatched.
Mark Helprin (Paris in the Present Tense)
His creation was a sort of new religion; the churches, gradually deserted by a wavering faith, were replaced by this bazaar, in the minds of the idle women of Paris. Women now came and spent their leisure time in his establishment, the shivering and anxious hours they formerly passed in churches: a necessary consumption of nervous passion, a growing struggle of the god of dress against the husband, the incessantly renewed religion of the body with the divine future of beauty.
Émile Zola (The Ladies' Paradise)
Beauty might be a gift to our souls from the heavens. Luxury, purchased. But suddenly she understood. There was strength in elegance.
Lynn Sheene (The Last Time I Saw Paris)
...was an elegant woman in a city of so many thousands of elegant women...
Ann Patchett (Bel Canto)
She felt happy in Paris, happier than here, but only Prague held her by a secret bond of beauty.
Milan Kundera (Ignorance)
So this book is my phone call--not from the top of a mountain, or even the top of the Eiffel Tower: the "here" is negotiable. It's so beautiful here. You must come visit before you die.
Eloisa James (Paris in Love)
Is a PLONGEUR'S work really necessary to civilization? We have a feeling that it must be 'honest' work, because it is hard and disagreeable, and we have made a sort of fetish of manual work. We see a man cutting down a tree, and we make sure that he is filling a social need, just because he uses his muscles; it does not occur to us that he may only be cutting down a beautiful tree to make room for a hideous statue. I believe it is the same with a PLONGEUR. He earns his bread in the sweat of his brow, but it does not follow that he is doing anything useful; he may be only supplying a luxury which, very often, is no luxury at all.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
When I married Jacques I understood it as an exchange. My youth and beauty for his wealth. Over the years, as is the way with this particular kind of contract, my worth only diminished as his increased.
Lucy Foley (The Paris Apartment)
He’s short, fat and, objectively speaking, not the most obvious choice of pin-up boy. But he’s smart, strong and he can probably do whatever’s necessary for a life of love. I think he’s the most beautiful man I will ever kiss,’ said Samy. ‘It’s strange that magnificent, good-hearted people like him don’t receive more love. Do their looks disguise their character so well that nobody notices how open their soul, their being and their principles are to love and kindness?
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
..."Emeninemletters," Caucasian girls from the wrong side of the tracks with big mouths and big attitudes, who weren't taking shit from anyone(except the men in their lives). They had thinly plucked eyebrows, corn-rowed hair, hip-hop vocabularies, and baby daddies, and they thought Paris Hilton was the ne plus ultra of feminine beauty." -Piper Kerman, page 137
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
A beautiful white silk scarf was around her neck, tucked below the fur collar. Her lips were well painted into a bright red cupid’s bow. Cute as hell I always told myself, with a tinge of regret. She had a steady girlfriend.
Paul A. Myers (A Farewell in Paris)
Adriana: I can never decide whether Paris is more beautiful by day or by night. Gil: No, you can't, you couldn't pick one. I mean I can give you a checkmate argument for each side. You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can't. Because you look around and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form and when you think that in the cold, violent, meaningless universe that Paris exists, these lights, I mean come on, there's nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune, but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris: The Shooting Script)
We had bought a kilo of cherries and we were eating them as we walked along. We were both insufferably childish and high-spirited that afternoon and th spectacle we presented, two grown men, jostling each other on the wide sidewalk, and aiming the cherry-pips, as though they were spitballs, into each other's facesm must have been outrageous. And I realized that such childishness was fantastic at my age and the happiness out of which it sprang yet more so; for that moment I really loved Giovanni, who had never seemed more beautiful than he was that afternoon. And, watching his face, I realized that it meant much to me that I could make his face so bright. I saw that I might be willing to give a great deal not to lose that power. And I felt myself flow toward him, as a river rushes when the ice breaks up.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
Paris. Paris. There is something silken and elegant about that word, something carefree, something made for a dance, something brilliant and festive, like champagne. Everything there is beautiful, gay, and a little drunk, and festooned with lace.
Nina Berberova (The Tattered Cloak and Other Stories)
Snapped abruptly to a realization of how rudely I had been staring, I blushed and said without thinking, "I was just wondering if you've ever been kissed by a beautiful young girl?" I went still redder as he shouted with laughter. With a broad grin, he said "Many times, madonna. But alas, it does not help. As you see. Ribbit.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Paris, however―because of her purely fortuitous beauty, because of the old things which have become a part of her, because of her entanglement of buildings and tenements―Paris yields herself in discovery as an attic beloved in our childhood gave up its secrets.
Jean Cocteau (The Paris We Love)
Jeanno, women can love so much more intelligently then us men! They never love a man for his body, even if they can enjoy that too ---- and how." Joaquin sighed with pleasure. "But women love you for your character, your strength, your intelligence. Or because you can protect a child. Because you're a good person, you're honorable and dignified. They never love you as stupidly as men love women. Not because you've got especially beautiful calves or look so good in a suit that their business partners look on jealously when they introduce you. Such women do exist, but only as a cautionary example to others.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
Usually, the murmur that rises up from Paris by day is the city talking; in the night it is the city breathing; but here it is the city singing. Listen, then, to this chorus of bell-towers - diffuse over the whole the murmur of half a million people - the eternal lament of the river - the endless sighing of the wind - the grave and distant quartet of the four forests placed upon the hills, in the distance, like immense organpipes - extinguish to a half light all in the central chime that would otherwise be too harsh or too shrill; and then say whetehr you know of anything in the world more rich, more joyous, more golden, more dazzling, than this tumult of bells and chimes - this furnace of music - these thousands of brazen voices, all singing together in flutes of stone three hundred feet high, than this city which is but one orchestra - this symphony which roars like a tempest.
Victor Hugo
Our capacity for self-delusion appears almost infinite.
John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris)
Today you are walking in Paris the women are all steeped in blood It was and I'd rather not remember it was at beauty's decline
Guillaume Apollinaire (Zone)
If you give the apple to me as the worthiest, I will make an apple pie!
Ljupka Cvetanova (The New Land)
A blast, an acceleration, the distillate, the spirit, the history, the weaponized soul of convulsive beauty went critical.
China Miéville (The Last Days of New Paris)
For me, beauty is a hint, a flash, a glimpse of the divine and a promise that the world is good.
Mark Helprin (Paris in the Present Tense)
God, he was so beautiful. It was the tragic kind of beauty too, the kind you knew was doomed from the start. A face that launched a thousand ships and dug a million graves.
Andrea Speed (Shift (Infected #5))
there is more beauty in a harsh truth than in a pretty lie, more poetry in earthiness than in all the salons of Paris.
Irving Stone (Lust For Life)
Climbing the steps to the hotel, Grace paused, taking a long look at Paris, in all its shimmering, enigmatic elegance, wearing the nigh as a beautiful woman wears diamonds.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Perfume Collector)
A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life...
Thomas Jefferson
Françoise Sagan once said, There is a certain age when a woman must be beautiful to be loved, and then there comes a time when she must be loved to be beautiful.
Isabelle Lafleche (J'adore Paris)
Intelligence is perhaps but a malady,-a beautiful malady; the oyster's pearl.
Rémy de Gourmont (Philosophic Nights in Paris,: Being Selections from Promenades Philosophiques)
when I remembered how I had truly believed, on the strength of a beautiful yellow bedroom, that somewhere deep inside him lay a tiny shred of decency, I wept at my stupidity.
B.A. Paris (Behind Closed Doors)
So. Are you going to tell me where we're going? Sure. Yeah? We're going to the most beautiful place in Paris, he says. Cool, I say. I love that place. He laughs and I decide to stop asking.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
Nearly anyone might feel like a painter walking the streets of Paris then, because the light brought it out in you, and the shadows alongside the buildings, and the bridges which seemed to want to break your heart, and the sculpturally beautiful women in Chanel's black sheath dresses, smoking and throwing back their heads to laugh. We would walk into any café and feel the wonderful chaos of it, ordering Pernod or Rhum St James until we were beautifully blurred and happy to be there together.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Do you know that high fever which invades us in our cold suffering, that aching for a land we do not know, that anguish of curiosity? There is a country which resembles you, where everything is beautiful, sumptuous, authentic, still, where fantasy has built and adorned a western China, where life is sweet to breathe, where happiness is wed to silence. That is where to live, that is where to die!" - Invitation to a Voyage
Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen and Wine and Hashish)
The prospect of death changed everything, made all the ordinary rules of restraint and politeness fall away, made beautiful moments into precious keepsakes, made the future, once taken for granted, seem extraordinary.
Natasha Lester (The Paris Seamstress)
beauty is often very relative, just as what is decent in Japan is indecent in Rome, and what is fashionable in Paris, is not fashionable in Pekin; and he saved himself the trouble of composing a long treatise on beauty.
Voltaire (Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary)
Maman had been a gifted writer. Pari has read every word Maman had written in French and every poem she had translated from Farsi as well. The power and beauty of her writing was undeniable. But if the account Maman had given of her life in the interview was a lie, then where did the images of her work come from? Where was the wellspring for words that were honest and lovely and brutal and sad? Was she merely a gifted trickster? A magician, with a pen for a wand, able to move an audience by conjuring emotions she had never known herself? Was that even possible? Pari does not know—she does not know. And that, perhaps, may have been Maman’s true intent, to shift the ground beneath Pari’s feet. To intentionally unsteady and upend her, to turn her into a stranger to herself, to heave the weight of doubt on her mind, on all Pari thought she knew of her life, to make her feel as lost as if she were wandering through a desert at night, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, the truth elusive, like a single tiny glint of light in the distance flickering on and off, forever moving, receding.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
Vanda (as Dunayev): I am a pagan. I am a Greek. I love the ancients not for their pediments or their poetry, but becausein their world Venus could love Paris one day and Anchises the next. Because they're not the moderns, who live in their mind, and because they're the opposite of Christians, who live on a cross. I don't live in my mind, or on a cross. I live on this divan. In this dress. In these stockings and these shoes. I want to live the way Helen and Aspasia lived, not the twisted women of today, who are never happy and never give happiness. Who won't admit that they want love without limit. Why should I forgo any possible pleasure, abstain from any sensual experience? I'm young, I'm rich, and I'm beautiful and I shall make the most of that. I shall deny myself nothing. Thomas (as Kushemski): I certainly respect your devotion to principle. Vanda (as Dunayev): I don't need your respect, excuse me. I'll take happiness. My happiness, not society's happiness. I will love a man who pleases me, and please a man who makes me happy--but only as long as he makes me happy, not a moment longer.
David Ives (Venus in Fur)
Cultivation, old civilization, beauty, history! Surprising turnings of streets, shapes of venerable cottages, lovely aged eaves, unexpected and gossamer turrets, steeples, the gloss, the antiquity! Gardens. Whoever speaks of Paris has never seen Warsaw. [...] Whoever yearns for an aristocratic sensibility, let him switch on the great light of Warsaw.
Cynthia Ozick
A marine snail gliding through the familiar city. Only in a dream could I move so gently along with the small human heartbeat in rhythm with the tug tug heartbeat of the tugboat, and Paris unfolding, uncurling, in beautiful undulations.
Anaïs Nin (Under a Glass Bell)
On the postcard Perdu wrote Catherine that night were the phrases Max had invented that afternoon so he could present them to Samy at dinner. Samy found them so beautiful that she kept repeating them to herself, rolling their sounds back and forth on her tongue like a crumb of cake. Star salt (the stars' reflection in a river) Sun cradle (the sea) Lemon kiss (everyone knew exactly what this meant!) Family anchor (the dinner table) Heart notcher (your first lover) Veil of time (you spin around in the sandpit to find you are old and wet your pants when you laugh) Dreamside Wishableness
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
INT. PARISIAN CAFÉ—EVENING KAMA leaves the café. The feather points at him. NEWT lets it out and it flies to KAMA’S hat. JACOB: Is that the guy we’re looking for? NEWT: Yes. NEWT and JACOB jump up to confront him. NEWT (to KAMA): Er—bonjour. Bonjour, monsieur. KAMA makes to carry on walking, ignoring NEWT. NEWT: Oh wait, no, sorry. We were . . . we were actually just wondering if you’d come across a friend of ours? JACOB:Tina Goldstein. KAMA: Monsieur, Paris is a large city. NEWT: She’s an Auror. When Aurors go missing, the Ministry tend to come looking, so . . . No, now I suppose it would probably be better if we just report her absence— KAMA (deciding): She is tall? Dark? Rather— JACOB: —intense? NEWT: —beautiful— JACOB (hasty, off NEWT’S look): —Yeah, what I meant to say—she’s very—very pretty— NEWT: She’s intense too.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay (Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay, #2))
In a place like Paris, the air is so thick with dreams they clog the streets and take all the good tables at the cafés. Poets and writers, models and designers, painters and sculptors, actors and directors, lovers and escapists, they flock to the City of Lights. That night at Polly's, the table spilled over with the rapture of pilgrims who have found their temple. That night, among new friends and safe at Shakespeare and Company, I felt it too. Hope is a most beautiful drug.
Jeremy Mercer (Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.)
Beauty is in the streets,” they say in Paris. We travelers know our favorites, Parisians know theirs. Jean Genet liked to stand with his friend Giacometti at the foot of rue Oberkampf, taking in its long uphill from the Marais to Belleville. Simone Weil loved walking the quays of Île Saint-Louis in her native river city. The scruffy streets of the ninth were François Truffaut’s muse and mother. As cities evolve and erupt, streets change; Parisians come and go. But the beauty remains.
Susan Cahill (The Streets of Paris: A Guide to the City of Light Following in the Footsteps of Famous Parisians Throughout History)
I can never understand why Londoners fail to see that they live in the most wonderful city in the world. It is, if you ask me, far more beautiful and interesting than Paris and more lively than anywhere but New York—and even New York can’t touch it in lots of important ways. It has more history, finer parks, a livelier and more varied press, better theaters, more numerous orchestras and museums, leafier squares, safer streets, and more courteous inhabitants than any other large city in the world.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
Tanya, I can not tell you how Leningrad looks today. I used to say that Paris is the most beautiful in the world, and now I am ashamed. every time I come to Russia I'll bring you flowers. And as is our only tryst lost, wasted, gone, I give you my word that I will teach my children to hate war and to be good people. Secondly, apart from vodka, except the tears, I do not know how.
Miroslav Antić
Just to be heading away from the sea, to be immersed in a beautiful landscape again, to hear the sound of crows, was such a welcome change, and all to be seen so very appealing, a land of peace and plenty, every field perfectly cultivated, hillsides bordering the river highlighted by white limestone cliffs, every village and distant château so indisputably ancient and picturesque.
David McCullough (The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris)
Look inside the green heart of Paris and you will see the exquisite beauty of one of the world’s most cherished places. That beauty quickens the love of life and stirs our desire for more. People—travelers—always want to come back to Paris again and again.
Susan Cahill (Hidden Gardens of Paris: A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light)
on the continent I'm soft. I dream too. I let myself dream. I dream of being famous. I dream of walking the streets of London and Paris. I dream of sitting in cafes drinking fine wines and taking a taxi back to a good hotel. I dream of meeting beautiful ladies in the hall and turning them away because I have a sonnet in mind that I want to write before sunrise. at sunrise I will be asleep and there will be a strange cat curled up on the windowsill. I think we all feel like this now and then. I'd even like to visit Andernach, Germany, the place where I began, then I'd like to fly on to Moscow to check out their mass transit system so I'd have something faintly lewd to whisper into the ear of the mayor of Los Angeles upon to my return to this fucking place. it could happen. I'm ready. I've watched snails crawl over ten foot walls and vanish. you mustn't confuse this with ambition. I would be able to laugh at my good turn of the cards - and I won't forget you. I'll send postcards and snapshots, and the finished sonnet.
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
Every year when i travel around the world, i wonder if it’ll be diferent, maybe one year won’t come to the show or you’ll be less festival, but what i realized during ARTPOP is that we belong together and some stories have no end. I will follow you around the world as long as you’ll have me because i love making music, i love making art and i love, love meeting all you beautiful, creative people“.
Lady Gaga
Why, there's the air, the sky, the morning, the evening, moonlight, my friends, women, the beautiful architecture of Paris to study, three big books to write and all sorts of other things. Anaxagoras used to say that he was in the world in order to admire the sun. And then I have the good fortune to be able to spend my days from morning to night in the company of a man of genius - myself - and it's very pleasant.
Victor Hugo (Notre-Dame de Paris | The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book about Jazz)
She loves filming and taking photographs. I can imagine her making beautiful films in France or India or somewhere with a gorgeously colourful culture. She somehow reminds me of my favourite place in the world, she and Paris I can romanticize and immortalize in ceaseless poetry for the rest of my life.
Moonie
Her voice was polished with a hint of a New England-boarding-school accent that shouted refinement over geographic locale. I was trying not to stare. She saw that and smiled a little. I don't want to sound like some kind of pervert because it wasn't like that. Femal beauty gets to me. I don't think I'm alone in that. It gets to me like a work of art gets to me. It gets to me like a Rembrandt or Michelangelo. It gets to me like night views of Paris or when the sun rises on the Grand Canyon or sets in the turquoise Arizona sky. My thoughts were not illicit. Ther were, I self-rationalized, rather artistic.
Harlan Coben (The Woods)
Here’s what I’ve learned about the people in this city,” Darcy was saying. “They grade their women on a curve. If someone is described as sophisticated, it means once during college she visited Paris, and if someone is described as beautiful, it means she’s fifteen pounds overweight instead of forty. And
Curtis Sittenfeld (Eligible)
She was beautiful and lithe, with soft skin the color of bread and eyes like green almonds, and she had straight black hair that reached to her shoulders, and an aura of antiquity that could just as well have been Indonesian as Andean. She was dressed with subtle taste: a lynx jacket, a raw silk blouse with very delicate flowers, natural linen trousers, and shoes with a narrow stripe the color of bougainvillea. ‘This is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,’ I thought, when I saw her pass by with the stealthy stride of a lioness, while I waited in the check-in line at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for the plane to New York.
Gabriel García Márquez (Strange Pilgrims: Twelve Stories)
It feels like we’re making love. Like we’re saying new phrases with our bodies. Talking in a bold new language. One that says I love this, and you’re mine, and let’s not stop, let’s never stop. Soon, I’m seeing stars and saying his name, and this feels like surrendering to love. It’s terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
Lauren Blakely (Part-Time Lover (From Paris with Love, #2))
What say you, can you love the gentleman? This night you shall behold him at our feast. Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, And find delight writ there with beauty's pen; Examine every married lineament, And see how one another lends content; And what obscured in this fair volume lies Find written in the margent of his eyes. This precious book of love, this unbound lover, To beautify him only lacks a cover. The fish lives in the sea, and 'tis much pride For fair without the fair within to hide. That book in many's eyes doth share the glory, That in gold clasps locks in the golden story. So shall you share all that he doth possess, By having him, making yourself no less.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
She carried herself like a queen,: gracefully, regal, and dignified. She was all woman and every inch a lady, and he had never seen her equal, not even in Paris. He was thinking she would make the perfect mistress, but at the same time, he wonder if she would accept such a role. Beautiful, arousing, and complicated meant nothing but trouble.-Alysandir
Elaine Coffman (The Bride of Black Douglas (Black Douglas, #1))
Familiarity does not breed contempt, anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful. And that is all as it should be.
Gertrude Stein (Paris France)
Maybe that's the point. Beauty changes as we change, doesn't it? The things we thought we were supposed to do and be once upon a time, they evolve as we do.
Kristy Cambron (The Paris Dressmaker)
Isn’t love a beautiful goddamn liar?
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Opium had artistic significance, you know. Picasso smoked. He said the scent of opium was the least stupid smell in the world, except for that of the sea.
John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris)
Love is a beautiful liar? Beauty was a liar too.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Isn't love a beautiful goddamn liar?
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
The illusion of beauty - the rule of comparisons.
Lesley Pearse
Something breathing, something bleeding, something blue. It was time to cast her first spell as the Gargoyle.
Megan Shepherd (Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies, #2))
We’ve scrambled for our lives,” she said softly. “Now we have to scramble for our world.
Megan Shepherd (Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies, #2))
What allowed a person sitting in front of this strange giant to call forth beautiful sounds just by moving his fingers up and down?
Thad Carhart (The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier)
In Paris, even the subways are required to be beautiful.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation (Vintage Contemporaries))
Your grandparents are English?" "Grandfather is,but Grandmere is French. And my other grandparents are American,of course." "Wow.You really are a mutt." St. Clair smiles. "I'm told I take after my English grandfather the most, but it's only because of the accent." "I don't know.I think of you as more English than anything else.And you don't just sound like it,you look like it,too." "I do?" He surprised. I smile. "Yeah,it's that...pasty complexion. I mean it in the best possible way," I add,at his alarmed expression. "Honestly." "Huh." St. Clair looks at me sideways. "Anyway.Last summer I couldn't bear to face my father, so it was the first time I spent the whole holiday with me mum." "And how was it? I bet the girls don't tease you about your accent anymore." He laughs. "No,they don't.But I can't help my height.I'll always be short." "And I'll always be a freak,just like my dad. Everyone tells me I take after him.He's sort of...neat,like me." He seems genuinely surprised. "What's wrong with being neat? I wish I were more organized.And,Anna,I've never met your father,but I guarantee you that you're nothing like him." "How would you know?" "Well,for one thing,he looks like a Ken doll.And you're beautiful." I trip and fall down on the sidewalk. "Are you all right?" His eyes fill with worry. I look away as he takes my hand and helps me up. "I'm fine.Fine!" I say, brushing the grit from my palms. Oh my God, I AM a freak. "You've seen the way men look at you,right?" he continues. "If they're looking, it's because I keep making a fool of myself." I hold up my scraped hands. "That guy over there is checking you out right now." "Wha-?" I turn to find a young man with long dark hair staring. "Why is he looking at me?" "I expect he likes what he sees." I flush,and he keeps talking. "In Paris, it's common to acknowledge someone attractive.The French don't avert their gaze like other cultures do. Haven't you noticed?" St. Clair thinks I'm attractive. He called me beautiful. "Um,no," I say. "I hadn't noticed." "Well.Open your eyes." But I stare at the bare tree branches, at the children with balloons, at the Japanese tour group. Anywhere but at him. We've stopped in front of Notre-Dame again.I point at the familiar star and clear my throat. "Wanna make another wish?" "You go first." He's watching me, puzzled, like he's trying to figure something out. He bites his thumbnail. This time I can't help it.All day long, I've thought about it.Him.Our secret. I wish St. Clair would spend the night again.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
This man's music has become part of Souren's mornings, as essential as the sun rising over the rooftops of the city. The familiar melody offers him a moment of quiet grace, and this gives him strength for the day ahead. The pianist knows nothing of this, of course. He plays only for himself. Souren wonders how the arc of the man's own days is changed by creating such beauty each morning. He watches as the pianist makes his lonely way down the street. The man looks tired, defeated. He does not play for joy, thinks Souren. He plays for survival.
Alex George (The Paris Hours)
It is a traveler’s fallacy that one should shop for clothing while abroad. Those white linen tunics, so elegant in Greece, emerge from the suitcase as mere hippie rags; the beautiful striped shirts of Rome are confined to the closet; and the delicate hand batiks of Bali are first cruise wear, then curtains, then signs of impending madness. And then there is Paris.
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
Watching Paris is Burning, I began to think that the many yuppie-looking, straight -acting, pushy, predominantly white folks in the audience were there because the film in no way interrogates “whiteness.” These folks left the film saying it was “amazing,” “marvellous,” incredibly funny,” worthy of statements like, “Didn’t you just love it?” And no, I didn’t love it. For in many ways the film was a graphic documentary portrait of the way in which colonized black people (in this case black gay brothers, some of whom were drag queens) worship at the throne of whiteness, even when such worship demands that we live in perpetual self-hate, steal, go hungry, and even die in its pursuit. The "we" evoked here is all of us, black people/people of color, who are daily bombarded by a powerful colonizing whiteness that seduces us away from ourselves, that negates that there is beauty to be found in any form of blackness that is not imitation whiteness.
bell hooks (Black Looks: Race and Representation)
Say something, Monty. Be a friend, be a gentleman, be a human being. It’s Percy, your best friend, Percy who you’ve gotten foxed with, who plays you his violin, who used to spit apple seeds at you from high up in the orchard treetops. Percy who you kissed in Paris, who looks so damn beautiful, even now. Say something kind. Something that will make him stop looking so alone and afraid.
Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1))
But Paris, 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.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
And when wine has soaked Cupid’s drunken wings, he’s stayed, weighed down, a captive of the place. ... Wine rouses courage and is fit for passion: care flies, and deep drinking dilutes it. ... Don’t trust the treacherous lamplight overmuch: night and wine can harm your view of beauty. Paris saw the goddesses in the light, a cloudless heaven, when he said to Venus: ‘Venus, you win, over them both.’ Faults are hidden at night: every blemish is forgiven, and the hour makes whichever girl you like beautiful. Judge jewellery, and fabric stained with purple, judge a face, or a figure, in the light.
Ovid (The Art of Love)
With a mixture of naïveté and British arrogance, she had always thought of London as the center of all culture and knowledge, but Paris was a revelation. The city was astonishingly modern, making London look like a dowdy country cousin. And yet for all its intellectual and social advancements, the streets of Paris were nearly medieval in appearance; dark, narrow and crooked as they twined through arrondissements of artfully shaped buildings. It was a messy, delightful assault to the senses, with architecture that ranged from the gothic spires of ancient churches to the solid grandeur of the Arc de Triomphe.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Smiling slyly, pleased with herself, Lady Dant shut the wardrobe door, but she could not shut out from the mind of Mrs Harris what she had seen there: beauty, perfection, the ultimate in adornment that a woman could desire. Mrs Harris was no less a woman than Lady Dant, or any other. She wanted, she wanted, she wanted a dress from what must be surely the most expensive shop in the world, that of Mr Dior in Paris.
Paul Gallico (Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris)
Back in Paris," he said, "I knew a girl who was so different, so daring, so ahead of her time that people mocked her until the day they found themselves imitating her. Do you know what she used to say?" Belle shook her head. She used to say, 'The people who talk behind your back are destined to stay there.'" Maurice paused for a moment, letting the worlds sink in. Then he added. "Behind your back. Never to catch up.
Elizabeth Rudnick (Beauty and the Beast Novelization)
Finding a taxi, she felt like a child pressing her nose to the window of a candy store as she watched the changing vista pass by while the twilight descended and the capital became bathed in a translucent misty lavender glow. Entering the city from that airport was truly unique. Charles de Gaulle, built nineteen miles north of the bustling metropolis, ensured that the final point of destination was veiled from the eyes of the traveller as they descended. No doubt, the officials scrupulously planned the airport’s location to prevent the incessant air traffic and roaring engines from visibly or audibly polluting the ambience of their beloved capital, and apparently, they succeeded. If one flew over during the summer months, the visitor would be visibly presented with beautifully managed quilt-like fields of alternating gold and green appearing as though they were tilled and clipped with the mathematical precision of a slide rule. The countryside was dotted with quaint villages and towns that were obviously under meticulous planning control. When the aircraft began to descend, this prevailing sense of exactitude and order made the visitor long for an aerial view of the capital city and its famous wonders, hoping they could see as many landmarks as they could before they touched ground, as was the usual case with other major international airports, but from this point of entry, one was denied a glimpse of the city below. Green fields, villages, more fields, the ground grew closer and closer, a runway appeared, a slight bump or two was felt as the craft landed, and they were surrounded by the steel and glass buildings of the airport. Slightly disappointed with this mysterious game of hide-and-seek, the voyager must continue on and collect their baggage, consoled by the reflection that they will see the metropolis as they make their way into town. For those travelling by road, the concrete motorway with its blue road signs, the underpasses and the typical traffic-logged hubbub of industrial areas were the first landmarks to greet the eye, without a doubt, it was a disheartening first impression. Then, the real introduction began. Quietly, and almost imperceptibly, the modern confusion of steel and asphalt was effaced little by little as the exquisite timelessness of Parisian heritage architecture was gradually unveiled. Popping up like mushrooms were cream sandstone edifices filigreed with curled, swirling carvings, gently sloping mansard roofs, elegant ironwork lanterns and wood doors that charmed the eye, until finally, the traveller was completely submerged in the glory of the Second Empire ala Baron Haussmann’s master plan of city design, the iconic grand mansions, tree-lined boulevards and avenues, the quaint gardens, the majestic churches with their towers and spires, the shops and cafés with their colourful awnings, all crowded and nestled together like jewels encrusted on a gold setting.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
It was told that during the wedding feast, Eris [Discordia], a daughter of Nyx, threw a golden apple into their midst, intended as a prize for the most beautiful amongst the three Goddesses at the table: Athena, Hera & Aphrodite, the daughter, wife & clandestine lover of Zeus, respectively. And Zeus wisely dodged the responsibility of making such a tough decision,directing that it should be made by Paris of Troy instead.
Nicholas Chong
She reflected on her time in Paris and thought how it seemed as if she'd spent half her life drinking wine in bed and covered with contusions. This, it occurred to her, was how it must feel to be Melanie Griffith.
Chuck Palahniuk (Beautiful You)
By Jove, it's great! Walk along the streets on some spring morning. The little women, daintily tripping along, seem to blossom out like flowers. What a delightful, charming sight! The dainty perfume of violet is everywhere. The city is gay, and everybody notices the women. By Jove, how tempting they are in their light, thin dresses, which occasionally give one a glimpse of the delicate pink flesh beneath! "One saunters along, head up, mind alert, and eyes open. I tell you it's great! You see her in the distance, while still a block away; you already know that she is going to please you at closer quarters. You can recognize her by the flower on her hat, the toss of her head, or her gait. She approaches, and you say to yourself: 'Look out, here she is!' You come closer to her and you devour her with your eyes. "Is it a young girl running errands for some store, a young woman returning from church, or hastening to see her lover? What do you care? Her well-rounded bosom shows through the thin waist. Oh, if you could only take her in your arms and fondle and kiss her! Her glance may be timid or bold, her hair light or dark. What difference does it make? She brushes against you, and a cold shiver runs down your spine. Ah, how you wish for her all day! How many of these dear creatures have I met this way, and how wildly in love I would have been had I known them more intimately. "Have you ever noticed that the ones we would love the most distractedly are those whom we never meet to know? Curious, isn't it? From time to time we barely catch a glimpse of some woman, the mere sight of whom thrills our senses. But it goes no further. When I think of all the adorable creatures that I have elbowed in the streets of Paris, I fairly rave. Who are they! Where are they? Where can I find them again? There is a proverb which says that happiness often passes our way; I am sure that I have often passed alongside the one who could have caught me like a linnet in the snare of her fresh beauty.
Guy de Maupassant (Selected Short Stories)
I put some nice thick socks and my Alpine slippers and then curled up in a chair by the fire to read The Beautiful and Damned. 'Fitzgerald's a poet', Shakespear had said when she recommended it, […]. The writing was exquisite, I had to admit, but it was making me sad to read about Gloria and Anthony. They talked prettily and had nice things, but their lives were hollow. I didn't have the stomach for such a dire picture of marriage, not just now.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Setting suns always seem sad, beautiful but tragic in their way. It's another goodbye, a farewell to a day that can never be relived, never be recaptured. It's gone forever, lost in imperfect memories of what might have been.
Dmytry Karpov (Kiss Me in Paris (Kiss Me, #1))
I was never happier than on the nights we stayed home, lying on the living room rug. We talked about classes and poetry and politics and sex. Neither of us were in love with the Iowa Writers' Workshop, but it didn't really matter because we had no place else to go. What we had was the little home we made together, our life in the ugly green duplex. We lived next door to a single mother named Nancy Tate who was generous in all matters. She would drive us to the grocery store and give us menthol cigarettes and come over late at night after her son was asleep to sit in our kitchen and drink wine and talk about Hegel and Marx. Iowa City in the eighties was never going to be Paris in the twenties, but we gave it our best shot.
Ann Patchett (Truth & Beauty)
My wife and I had called on Miss Stein, and she and the friend who lived with her had been very cordial and friendly and we had loved the big studio with the great paintings. I t was like one of the best rooms in the finest museum except there was a big fireplace and it was warm and comfortable and they gave you good things to eat and tea and natural distilled liqueurs made from purple plums, yellow plums or wild raspberries. Miss Stein was very big but not tall and was heavily built like a peasant woman. She had beautiful eyes and a strong German-Jewish face that also could have been Friulano and she reminded me of a northern I talian peasant woman with her clothes, her mobile face and her lovely, thick, alive immigrant hair which she wore put up in the same way she had probably worn it in college. She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places. Her companion had a very pleasant voice, was small, very dark, with her hair cut like Joan of Arc in the Boutet de Monvel illustrations and had a very hooked nose. She was working on a piece of needlepoint when we first met them and she worked on this and saw to the food and drink and talked to my wife. She made one conversation and listened to two and often interrupted the one she was not making. Afterwards she explained to me that she always talked to the wives. The wives, my wife and I felt, were tolerated. But we liked Miss Stein and her friend, although the friend was frightening. The paintings and the cakes and the eau-de-vie were truly wonderful. They seemed to like us too and treated us as though we were very good, well-mannered and promising children and I felt that they forgave us for being in love and being married - time would fix that - and when my wife invited them to tea, they accepted.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
The breakdown of the neighborhoods also meant the end of what was essentially an extended family....With the breakdown of the extended family, too much pressure was put on the single family. Mom had no one to stay with Granny, who couldn't be depended on to set the house on fire while Mom was off grocery shopping. The people in the neighborhood weren't there to keep an idle eye out for the fourteen-year-old kid who was the local idiot, and treated with affection as well as tormented....So we came up with the idea of putting everybody in separate places. We lock them up in prisons, mental hospitals, geriatric housing projects, old-age homes, nursery schools, cheap suburbs that keep women and the kids of f the streets, expensive suburbs where everybody has their own yard and a front lawn that is tended by a gardener so all the front lawns look alike and nobody uses them anyway....the faster we lock them up, the higher up goes the crime rate, the suicide rate, the rate of mental breakdown. The way it's going, there'll be more of them than us pretty soon. Then you'll have to start asking questions about the percentage of the population that's not locked up, those that claim that the other fifty-five per cent is crazy, criminal, or senile. WE have to find some other way....So I started imagining....Suppose we built houses in a circle, or a square, or whatever, connected houses of varying sizes, but beautiful, simple. And outside, behind the houses, all the space usually given over to front and back lawns, would be common too. And there could be vegetable gardens, and fields and woods for the kids to play in. There's be problems about somebody picking the tomatoes somebody else planted, or the roses, or the kids trampling through the pea patch, but the fifty groups or individuals who lived in the houses would have complete charge and complete responsibility for what went on in their little enclave. At the other side of the houses, facing the, would be a little community center. It would have a community laundry -- why does everybody have to own a washing machine?-- and some playrooms and a little cafe and a communal kitchen. The cafe would be an outdoor one, with sliding glass panels to close it in in winter, like the ones in Paris. This wouldn't be a full commune: everybody would have their own way of earning a living, everybody would retain their own income, and the dwellings would be priced according to size. Each would have a little kitchen, in case people wanted to eat alone, a good-sized living space, but not enormous, because the community center would be there. Maybe the community center would be beautiful, lush even. With playrooms for the kids and the adults, and sitting rooms with books. But everyone in the community, from the smallest walking child, would have a job in it.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
There is a real medical condition for which Japanese tourists are sometimes treated after visiting Paris. It is called Paris Syndrome, and symptoms include depression and nausea due to realising that the city isn’t as beautiful and romantic as they had previously been led to believe.
Jack Goldstein (101 Amazing Facts)
When Paris, a Trojan prince, stole the beautiful Helen from her husband, the King of Sparta, that,’ he pointed to the Marathonisi, ‘is where the runaways first dropped anchor. They left the caique and spent the first night together on the island. Homer wrote about it. It used to be called Kranae.’ We were dumbfounded. Kranae! I had always wondered where it was. The whole of Gytheion was suddenly transformed. Everything seemed to vanish except the dark silhouette of the island where thousands of years ago that momentous and incendiary honeymoon began among the whispering fennel.
Patrick Leigh Fermor (Mani)
You'd think the sight of beautiful Place Vendôme would lift my spirits but oddly the arc of jewellery - so obviously beyond the means of a jobless person like me - only depresses me more. I plod on feeling confused, guilty even, that I should feel unhappy in a place that looks like paradise.
Sarah Turnbull (Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris)
Then she stood on tiptoe and kissed him sweetly on the lips, “I promise you a love affair with a sun-bathed Austrian princess beyond anything you imagine—in love, in beauty, in intensity. A love that will power you to the end of our time together. You are going to be a fortunate man, Geoffrey Ashbrook.
Paul A. Myers (Vienna 1934: Betrayal at the Ballplatz)
Rodin was on the brink of a grand passion. But unlike Bernhardt’s, his lover would become the greatest inspiration of his career. Her name was Camille Claudel, and if she was not pretty in a conventional way, she was as beautiful and alive as quicksilver. She was also an extraordinarily gifted sculptor in her own right.
Mary McAuliffe (Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends)
Die young, stay pretty. Blondie, right? We think of it as a modern phenomenon, the whole youth thing, but really, consider all those great portraits, some of them centuries old. Those goddesses of Botticelli and Rubens, Goya's Maja, Madame X. Consider Manet's Olympia, which shocked at the time, he having painted his mistress with the same voluptuous adulation generally reserved for the aristocratic good girls who posed for depictions of goddesses. Hardly anyone knows anymore, and no one cares, that Olympia was Manet's whore; although there's every reason to imagine that, in life, she was foolish and vulgar and not entirely hygienic (Paris in the 1860s being what it was). She's immortal now, she's a great historic beauty, having been scrubbed clean by the attention of a great artist. And okay, we can't help but notice that Manet did not choose to paint her twenty years later, when time had started doing its work. The world has always worshipped nascence. Goddamn the world.
Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall)
the essence of Paris is lost if seen through the double glazing of a hotel room or from the top of a tour bus. You must be on foot, with chilled hands thrust into your pockets, scarf wrapped round your throat, and thoughts of a hot café crème in your imagination. It made the difference between simply being present and being there.
John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris)
This extraordinary young woman does not photograph like a model (so many of whom seem unalive, unpleasant, and stupid), because her beauty is not fixed but the result of what she is as she moves and speaks. The life within her is what makes him love her, and he thinks how lucky he is to have met her when both of them are so young.
Mark Helprin (Paris in the Present Tense)
Corey was hanging out down by the port one afternoon with Karl and Jacques when a bus-load of american tourists drove by, and in a moment of clarity Corey suddenly perceived Karl in the light of reality rather than through the kaleidoscope of fashion: the tourists were staring open-mouthed through the bus windows, ice creams held in mid-air, gawping at the apparition that was Karl. Jacques was driving the mobylette and Karl sat behind riding side-saddle dressed in hot pants, long strands of pearls and dark glasses; he was wielding a raw frankfurter straight from the packet in one hand and a bottle of coca-cola in the other. I remember thinking "I am with this total freak," says Corey.
Alicia Drake (The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris)
I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil. Then I went back to writing and I entered far into the story and was lost in it. I was writing it now and it was not writing itself and I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor order any more rum St. James. I was tired of rum St. James without thinking about it. Then the story was finished and I was very tired. I read the last paragraph and then I looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she’s gone with a good man, I thought. But I felt sad.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
How long have you ever been genuinely happy in one stretch? Jean considered this. "About four hours. I was driving from Paris to Mazan. I wanted to see my sweetheart, and we'd arranged to meet at a small hotel called Le Siecle, opposite the church. I was happy then. For the whole journey. I sang. I imagined her whole body and I sang to it. "Four hours? That's so terribly beautiful." "Yes. I was happier in those four hours than during the four days that followed. But looking back, I'm happy to have had those four days too." Jean faltered. "Do we only decide in retrospect that we've been happy? Don't we notice when we're happy, or do we realize only much later that we were?" Samy sighed. "That would be really stupid.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
The flowers on the entryway table have wilted, and a dozen or so petals have fallen to the floor. I kneel down to clean them up but stop, suddenly struck by the unexpected beauty in what might otherwise be considered debris in need of a broom and dustpan. I reach for my sketchbook and pencils and begin capturing the scene as I see it, a perfect, beautiful mess.
Sarah Jio (All the Flowers in Paris)
Celine raised her pointed chin. Angry tears welled in her eyes. "I killed a man with my own two hands." Her fists balled at her sides. "It's why I ran away from Paris." She inhaled, her body trembling. "And I don't feel sorry for it, not in the slightest. I'm not afraid of death, Sébastian Saint Germain. Nor am I afraid of you. It is you who should be afraid of me.
Renée Ahdieh (The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1))
FAUSTUS: Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss. Here will I dwell, for heaven is in those lips, And all is dross that is not Helena. I will be Paris, and for love of thee Instead of Troy shall Wittenberg be sacked, And I will combat with weak Menelaus, And wear thy colors on my plumed crest. Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel, And then return to Helen for a kiss. Oh, thou art fairer than the evening's air, Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars. Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter, When he appeared to hapless Semele: More lovely than the monarch of the sky, In wanton Arethusa's azure arms, And none but thou shalt be my paramour.
Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus)
The sun finally died in beauty, flinging out its crimson flames, which cast their reflection on the faces of passers-by, giving them a strangely feverish look. The darkness of the trees became deeper. You could hear the Seine flowing. Sounds carried farther, and people in their beds could feel, as they did every night, the vibration of the ground as buses rolled past.
Georges Simenon (L'Enterrement de Monsieur Bouvet)
Nathaniel Willis, having spent his first week walking the city in drizzling rain, said that when the sun burst forth at last it so changed all his previous impressions that he had to set off and see it all a second time. “And it seemed to me another city,” he wrote. “I never realized so forcibly the beauty of sunshine. Architecture, particularly, is nothing without it.
David McCullough (The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris)
Drab and colorless as her existence would seem to have been, Mrs. Harris had always felt a craving for beauty and color and which up to this moment had manifested itself in a love for flowers.... Outside the windows of her basement flat were two window boxes of geraniums, her favorite flower, and inside, wherever there was room, there was a little pot containing a geranium struggling desperately to conquer its environment, or a single hyacinth or tulip, bought from a barrow for a hard-earned shilling. Then too, the people for whom she worked would sometimes present her with the leavings of their cut flowers which in their wilted state she would take home and try to nurse back to health, and once in a while, particularly in the spring, she would buy herself a little box of pansies, primroses or anemones. As long as she had flowers Mrs. Harris had no serious complaints concerning the life she led. They were her escape from the somber stone desert in which she lived. These bright flashes of color satisfied her. They were something to return to in the evening, something to wake up to in the morning.
Paul Gallico (Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris)
#Outlander QOTD Claire and Master Raymond. Snapped abruptly to a realization of how rudely I had been staring, I blushed and said without thinking, "I was just wondering if you've ever been kissed by a beautiful young girl?" I went still redder as he shouted with laughter. With a broad grin, he said "Many times, madonna. But alas, it does not help. As you see. Ribbit.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
The episcopal palace was a huge and beautiful house, built of stone at the beginning of the last century by M. Henri Puget, Doctor of Theology of the Faculty of Paris, Abbe of Simore, who had been Bishop of D—— in 1712. This palace was a genuine seignorial residence. Everything about it had a grand air,—the apartments of the Bishop, the drawing-rooms, the chambers, the principal courtyard, which was very large, with walks encircling it under arcades in the old Florentine fashion, and gardens planted with magnificent trees. In the dining-room, a long and superb gallery which was situated on the ground-floor and opened on the gardens, M. Henri Puget had entertained in state, on July 29, 1714, My Lords Charles Brulart de Genlis, archbishop; Prince
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Madame de Pompadour never seems to have sold any of the objects which belonged to her. They accumulated in their thousands, and filled all her many houses to overflowing; after her death Marigny was obliged to take two big houses in Paris which, as well as the Elysée and the Réservoirs, contained her goods until the sale of them began. Furniture, china, statues, pictures, books, plants, jewels, linen, silver, carriages, horses, yards and hundreds of yards of stuff, trunks full of dresses, cellars full of wine; the inventory of all this, divided into nearly three thousand lots, very few lots containing less than a dozen objects, took two lawyers more than a year to make. Few human beings since the world began can have owned so many beautiful things.
Nancy Mitford (Madame de Pompadour)
Some guns were fired to give notice that the departure of the balloon was near. ... Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great balloon's rising so high as might endanger its bursting. Several bags of sand were taken on board before the cord that held it down was cut, and the whole weight being then too much to be lifted, such a quantity was discharged as would permit its rising slowly. Thus it would sooner arrive at that region where it would be in equilibrio with the surrounding air, and by discharging more sand afterwards, it might go higher if desired. Between one and two o'clock, all eyes were gratified with seeing it rise majestically from above the trees, and ascend gradually above the buildings, a most beautiful spectacle. When it was about two hundred feet high, the brave adventurers held out and waved a little white pennant, on both sides of their car, to salute the spectators, who returned loud claps of applause. The wind was very little, so that the object though moving to the northward, continued long in view; and it was a great while before the admiring people began to disperse. The persons embarked were Mr. Charles, professor of experimental philosophy, and a zealous promoter of that science; and one of the Messrs Robert, the very ingenious constructors of the machine. {While U.S. ambassador to France, writing about witnessing, from his carriage outside the garden of Tuileries, Paris, the first manned balloon ascent using hydrogen gas by Jacques Charles on the afternoon of 1 Dec 1783. A few days earlier, he had watched the first manned ascent in Montgolfier's hot-air balloon, on 21 Nov 1783.}
Benjamin Franklin (Writings: The Autobiography / Poor Richard’s Almanack / Bagatelles, Pamphlets, Essays & Letters)
In the history of terrible holidays, this ranks as the worst ever. Worse than the Fourth of July when Granddad showed up to see the fireworks in a kilt and insisted on singing "Flower of Scotland" instead of "America the Beautiful." Worse than the Halloween when Trudy Sherman and I both went to school dressed as Glinda the Good Witch,and she told everyone her costume was better than mine,because you could see my purple "Monday" panties through my dress AND YOU TOTALLY COULD. I'm not talking to Bridgette.She calls every day,but I ignore her.It's over. The Christmas gift I bought her,a tiny package wrapped in red-and-white striped paper,has been shoved into the bottom of my suitcase.It's a model of Pont Neuf,the oldest bridge in Paris. It was part of a model train set,and because of my poor language skills, St. Clair spent fifteen minutes convincing the shopkeeper to sell the bridge to me seperately. I hope I can return it. I've only been to the Royal Midtown 14 once,and even though I saw Hercules, Toph was there,too.And he was like, "Hey, Anna.Why won't you talk to Bridge?" and I had to run into the restroom. One of the new girls followed me in and said she thinks Toph is an insensitive douchebag motherhumping assclown,and that I shouldn't let him get to me.Which was sweet,but didn't really help.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Everyone's here except for St. Clair." Meredith cranes her neck around the cafeteria. "He's usually running late." "Always," Josh corrects. "Always running late." I clear my throat. "I think I met him last night. In the hallway." "Good hair and an English accent?" Meredith asks. "Um.Yeah.I guess." I try to keep my voice casual. Josh smirks. "Everyone's in luuurve with St. Clair." "Oh,shut up," Meredith says. "I'm not." Rashmi looks at me for the first time, calculating whether or not I might fall in love with her own boyfriend. He lets go of her hand and gives an exaggerated sigh. "Well,I am. I'm asking him to prom. This is our year, I just know it." "This school has a prom?" I ask. "God no," Rashmi says. "Yeah,Josh. You and St. Clair would look really cute in matching tuxes." "Tails." The English accent makes Meredith and me jump in our seats. Hallway boy. Beautiful boy. His hair is damp from the rain. "I insist the tuxes have tails, or I'm giving your corsage to Steve Carver instead." "St. Clair!" Josh springs from his seat, and they give each other the classic two-thumps-on-the-back guy hug. "No kiss? I'm crushed,mate." "Thought it might miff the ol' ball and chain. She doesn't know about us yet." "Whatever," Rashi says,but she's smiling now. It's a good look for her. She should utilize the corners of her mouth more often. Beautiful Hallway Boy (Am I supposed to call him Etienne or St. Clair?) drops his bag and slides into the remaining seat between Rashmi and me. "Anna." He's surprised to see me,and I'm startled,too. He remembers me. "Nice umbrella.Could've used that this morning." He shakes a hand through his hair, and a drop lands on my bare arm. Words fail me. Unfortunately, my stomach speaks for itself. His eyes pop at the rumble,and I'm alarmed by how big and brown they are. As if he needed any further weapons against the female race. Josh must be right. Every girl in school must be in love with him. "Sounds terrible.You ought to feed that thing. Unless..." He pretends to examine me, then comes in close with a whisper. "Unless you're one of those girls who never eats. Can't tolerate that, I'm afraid. Have to give you a lifetime table ban." I'm determined to speak rationally in his presence. "I'm not sure how to order." "Easy," Josh says. "Stand in line. Tell them what you want.Accept delicious goodies. And then give them your meal card and two pints of blood." "I heard they raised it to three pints this year," Rashmi says. "Bone marrow," Beautiful Hallway Boy says. "Or your left earlobe." "I meant the menu,thank you very much." I gesture to the chalkboard above one of the chefs. An exquisite cursive hand has written out the morning's menu in pink and yellow and white.In French. "Not exactly my first language." "You don't speak French?" Meredith asks. "I've taken Spanish for three years. It's not like I ever thought I'd be moving to Paris." "It's okay," Meredith says quickly. "A lot of people here don't speak French." "But most of them do," Josh adds. "But most of them not very well." Rashmi looks pointedly at him. "You'll learn the lanaguage of food first. The language of love." Josh rubs his belly like a shiny Buddha. "Oeuf. Egg. Pomme. Apple. Lapin. Rabbit." "Not funny." Rashmi punches him in the arm. "No wonder Isis bites you. Jerk." I glance at the chalkboard again. It's still in French. "And, um, until then?" "Right." Beautiful Hallway Boy pushes back his chair. "Come along, then. I haven't eaten either." I can't help but notice several girls gaping at him as we wind our way through the crowd.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Less knows so well the pleasures of youth - danger, excitement, losing oneself in a dark club with a pill, a shot, a stranger's mouth - and, with Robert and his friends, the pleasures of age - comfort and ease, beauty and taste, old friends and old stories and wine, whiskey, sunset over water. His entire life, he has alternated between the two. There is his own distant youth, that daily humiliation of rinsing out your one good shirt and putting on your onw good smile, along with the daily rush of newness: new pleasures, new people, new reflections of yourself. There is Robert's middle age of selecting his vices as carefully as tiles in a Paris shop, napping in the sunlight on an afternoon and getting up from a chair and hearing the creak of death. The city of youth, the country of age. But in between, where Less is living - that exurban existence? How has he never learned to live it?
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
He took a deep drag and looked up into the cold night sky and saw a sea of stars above him. He knew nothing about constellations or astronomy, but he enjoyed the beautiful sight. In Paris, he had never even noticed the night sky, but out in the country it was immense, almost drawing you up into the heavens. One couldn’t help but be awed by the sight. As he smoked, he continued to stare at the sky, marveling at the vast number and configurations of stars.
Charles Belfoure (The Paris Architect)
And I loved her. Because of that moment, I will always love her.” He said the words as simply as if he were describing the sun going up and coming down. “No matter that I live and she is dead,” Romeo went on earnestly. “It is nothing to me. Were she a revenant and ripping the flesh from my bones, I would love her still, and still I would try—” “Stop it,” said Paris, and then quickly added, “if you want. But I really don’t care about your beautiful feelings.
Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1))
The Romanovs inhabit a world of family rivalry, imperial ambition, lurid glamour, sexual excess and depraved sadism; this is a world where obscure strangers suddenly claim to be dead monarchs reborn, brides are poisoned, fathers torture their sons to death, sons kill fathers, wives murder husbands, a holy man, poisoned and shot, arises, apparently, from the dead, barbers and peasants ascend to supremacy, giants and freaks are collected, dwarfs are tossed, beheaded heads kissed, tongues torn out, flesh knouted off bodies, rectums impaled, children slaughtered; here are fashion-mad nymphomaniacal empresses, lesbian ménage à trois, and an emperor who wrote the most erotic correspondence ever written by a head of state. Yet this is also the empire built by flinty conquistadors and brilliant statesmen that conquered Siberia and Ukraine, took Berlin and Paris, and produced Pushkin, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky and Dostoevsky; a civilization of towering culture and exquisite beauty.
Simon Sebag Montefiore (The Romanovs: 1613-1918)
Still tripping after the flight, I decided I was going to hitchhike from Luxembourg, and I took one of my big photographs and wrote on the back in big black letters: Paris. I had no idea how far away it was, or even that it was in another country. I stood on this big highway—it was a beautiful day. I felt I looked pretty hot in my cape and hat, certainly worth someone stopping for to find out what the story was, but all these sports cars whizzed past me without stopping, totally ignoring me. None of them stopped. I thought, Everyone in Europe is so rude! Eventually, a sports car skidded to a halt. It backed up to me, and the driver said, in English, by the way, “You’re on the wrong side of the road. Paris is the other way! I think it’s safer for you to catch a train,” and he took me to the train station. He helped me get a ticket and onto the train, heading for Paris. I’m not sure if he was being kind or just wanted to get rid of me. I didn’t speak a word of French, not one word.
Grace Jones (I'll Never Write My Memoirs)
On the flight to LaGuardia I remember thinking that the most beautiful things I had ever seen had all been seen from airplanes. The way the American west opens up. The way in which, on a polar flight across the Arctic, the islands in the sea give way imperceptibly to lakes on the land. The sea between Greece and Cyprus in the morning. The Alps on the way to Milan. I saw all those things with John. How could I go back to Paris without him, how could I go back to Milan, Honolulu, Bogotá? I couldn’t even go to Boston.
Joan Didion
One of the first things that greet your eye in Rouen is the beautiful monument erected to Flaubert in the very wall of the Museum, which is Rouen's holy of holies. Just across from him, in front of a dense cluster of sycamores, is his friend and pupil Guy de Maupassant. The Maupassant statue at rouen is, I think, quite as impressive as that in Paris—perhaps more so—and it is even more happily placed. Besides there is something very fitting in the idea of commemorating together the master and the pupil who surpassed him.
Willa Cather (Willa Cather in Europe: Her Own Story of the First Journey)
I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor's boots, nor does he give a moment's consideration to Bellini's masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor's Feathered Hat. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor's raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion ... Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity ... Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor's taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Hey, non dispera! There is a way out. Come to beautiful Oasis. No crime, no madness, no bad stuff of any kind, a brand new home, home on the range, no or antelope but hey, accentuate the positive, there never is a discouraging word, nobody rapes you or tries to reminisce about Paris in the springtime, no sense sniffing that old vomit, right? Cut the strings, blank the slate, let go of Auschwitz and the Alamo and the ... the fucking Egyptians for God’s sake, who needs it, who cares, focus on tomorrow. Onward and upward. Come to beautiful Oasis.
Michel Faber (The Book of Strange New Things)
I would walk round that beautiful, unspoilt little island, with its population of under a hundred and where there isn’t a single tarmac road, thinking about how he would truly sound. Perhaps the quietness of the island helped me do so. ‘Everybody thinks he’s French,’ I said to myself as I walked across the great stones that littered the beach at Rushy Bay, or stomped over the tussocky grass of Heathy Hill, with its famous dwarf pansies. ‘The only reason people think Poirot is French is because of his accent,’ I muttered. ‘But he’s Belgian, and I know that French-speaking Belgians don’t sound French, not a bit of it.’" "I also was well aware of Brian Eastman’s advice to me before I left for Bryher: ‘Don’t forget, he may have an accent, but the audience must be able to understand exactly what he’s saying.’ There was my problem in a nutshell." "To help me, I managed to get hold of a set of Belgian Walloon and French radio recordings from the BBC. Poirot came from Liège in Belgium and would have spoken Belgian French, the language of 30 per cent of the country’s population, rather than Walloon, which is very much closer to the ordinary French language. To these I added recordings of English-language stations broadcasting from Belgium, as well as English-language programmes from Paris. My principal concern was to give my Poirot a voice that would ring true, and which would also be the voice of the man I heard in my head when I read his stories. I listened for hours, and then gradually started mixing Walloon Belgian with French, while at the same time slowly relocating the sound of his voice in my body, moving it from my chest to my head, making it sound a little more high-pitched, and yes, a little more fastidious. After several weeks, I finally began to believe that I’d captured it: this was what Poirot would have sounded like if I’d met him in the flesh. This was how he would have spoken to me – with that characteristic little bow as we shook hands, and that little nod of the head to the left as he removed his perfectly brushed grey Homburg hat. The more I heard his voice in my head, and added to my own list of his personal characteristics, the more determined I became never to compromise in my portrayal of Poirot.
David Suchet (Poirot and Me)
My fingers clutch the wooden edges of the podium. “My sister, Isabelle, was a woman of great passions,” I say quietly at first. “Everything she did, she did full speed ahead, no brakes. When she was little, we worried about her constantly. She was always running away from boarding schools and convents and finishing school, sneaking out of windows and onto trains. I thought she was reckless and irresponsible and almost too beautiful to look at. And during the war, she used that against me. She told me that she was running off to Paris to have an affair, and I believed her.
Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
Paris is a sensuous woman every man has loved, even if only in his dreams. Once he has been deep inside her, walked her streets and tasted her delights, he can never forget her. Yet no matter how strong the memory of her remains, it cannot prepare him for the sheer beauty of her nakedness as he gazes upon her for the second time; the intoxicating fragrance of her hair as it brushes against him as it did when she let him love her; the softness of her skin beneath his fingertips as he strokes her breathtakingly graceful form; or the searing fire which courses through every fiber of his soul now that she is within reach. For every man blessed with a woman's love, she is a shrine to his happiness now that he need search no more. But for those who reside in obscurity within the lonely domicile of an empty heart, she is the hope of finding love. In his tortured heart, love waits for him at a corner cafe in the woman's smile two tables away; it lingers in the melodic laughter of a girl riding past him on a bicycle; and sometimes, when the woman is smiling at someone else, and the girl rides past him without notice, he finds love beneath the skirt of the darkly sensual woman waiting for him under a streetlamp.
Bobby Underwood (The Gentle Tide (Matt Ransom #3))
I will tell you what Jews are like. Once, in the early months of the war, we were on the march, and we had halted at a village for the night. A horrible old Jew, with a red beard like Judas Iscariot, came sneaking up to my billet. I asked him what he wanted. ‘Your honour,’ he said, ‘I have brought a girl for you, a beautiful young girl only seventeen. It will only be fifty francs.’ ‘Thank you,’ I said, ‘you can take her away again. I don’t want to catch any diseases.’ ‘Diseases!’ cried the Jew, ‘mais, monsieur le capitaine, there’s no fear of that. It’s my own daughter!’ That is the Jewish national character for you.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
I will tell you what Jews are like. Once, in the early months of the war, we were on the march, and we had halted at a village for the night. A horrible old Jew, with a red beard like Judas Iscariot, came sneaking up to my billet. I asked him what he wanted. ‘Your honour,’ he said, ‘I have brought a girl for you, a beautiful young girl only seventeen. It will only be fifty francs.’ ‘Thank you,’ I said, ‘you can take her away again. I don’t want to catch any diseases.’ ‘Diseases!’ cried the Jew, ‘mais, monsieur le capitaine, there’s no fear of that. It’s my own daughter!’ That is the Jewish national character for you. “Have
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
In Paris, Simon Thibault had loved his wife, though not always faithfully or with a great deal of attention. They had been married for twenty-five years. There had been two children, a summer month spent every year at the sea with friends, various jobs, various family dogs, large family Christmases that included many elderly relatives. Edith Thibault was an elegant woman in a city of so many thousands of elegant women that often over the course of years he forgot about her. Entire days would pass when she never once crossed his mind. He did not stop to think what she might be doing or wonder if she was happy, at least not Edith by herself, Edith as his wife. Then, in a wave of government promises made and retracted, they were sent to this country, which, between the two of them was always referred to as ce pays maudit, “this godforsaken country.” Both of them faced the appointment with dread and stoic practicality, but within a matter of days after their arrival a most remarkable thing happened: he found her again, like something he never knew was missing, like a song he had memorized in his youth and had then forgotten. Suddenly, clearly, he could see her, the way he had been able to see her at twenty, not her physical self at twenty, because in every sense she was more beautiful to him now, but he felt that old sensation, the leaping of his heart, the reckless flush of desire. He would find her in the house, cutting fresh paper to line the shelves or lying across their bed on her stomach writing letters to their daughters who were attending university in Paris, and he was breathless. Had she always been like this, had he never known? Had he known and then somehow, carelessly, forgotten? In this country with its dirt roads and yellow rice he discovered he loved her, he was her. Perhaps this would not have been true if he had been the ambassador to Spain. Without these particular circumstances, this specific and horrible place, he might never have realized that the only true love of his life was his wife.
Ann Patchett (Bel Canto)
It would be pleasant to believe that the age of pessimism is now coming to a close, and that its end is marked by the same author who marked its beginning: Aldous Huxley. After thirty years of trying to find salvation in mysticism, and assimilating the Wisdom of the East, Huxley published in 1962 a new constructive utopia, The Island. In this beautiful book he created a grand synthesis between the science of the West and the Wisdom of the East, with the same exceptional intellectual power which he displayed in his Brave New World. (His gaminerie is also unimpaired; his close union of eschatology and scatology will not be to everybody's tastes.) But though his Utopia is constructive, it is not optimistic; in the end his island Utopia is destroyed by the sort of adolescent gangster nationalism which he knows so well, and describes only too convincingly. This, in a nutshell, is the history of thought about the future since Victorian days. To sum up the situation, the sceptics and the pessimists have taken man into account as a whole; the optimists only as a producer and consumer of goods. The means of destruction have developed pari passu with the technology of production, while creative imagination has not kept pace with either. The creative imagination I am talking of works on two levels. The first is the level of social engineering, the second is the level of vision. In my view both have lagged behind technology, especially in the highly advanced Western countries, and both constitute dangers.
Dennis Gabor (Inventing The Future)
Well, you did walk away from that beautiful creature in the kitchen without so much as a glance, so I don't know about the genius part," the other woman said, and DJ felt his face warm. "You want to go back in there? I'll introduce you. You can celebrate for real." Both women broke into giggles. DJ almost smiled; maybe he'd overreacted in there a bit. "No thank you," the good doctor said in that voice of hers. "But thanks for thinking I'm desperate enough to be set up with the hired help." DJ stepped away from the door, the warmth on his face turning into an angry burn. The hired help? He had worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant, for crying out loud. For years. People across Paris knew his name. Who the bloody hell did this woman think she was? Sometimes he really, truly hated rich people.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
His tone was odd, a mixture of restraint and subtle conviction. He did not make light of the question, nor did he attempt to couch his words in chivalrous courtesy. “He wants you, Marian.” She sighed. “So he says, when it is the lands he wants—” “No.” He cut her off. “DeLacey wants you.” She grimaced. “Because of what I have—” “Because of what you are.” She scowled at him. “What am I, then? Sir Hugh FitzWalter’s daughter, ward to King Richard—” “Marian.” His face was stripped free of the mask. What she saw now was blazing, naked emotion. “What you are is a woman he wants very badly in bed. And I think he would do anything to make sure he gets you there.” Her shocked denial was instantaneous. “Oh no—” “Oh yes.” She stared at him, undone by his conviction. This was nothing she had anticipated, this brutal, male truth. “I—don’t understand ...” And she didn’t, not really, not fully. She was only beginning to, and it frightened her very badly. His smile was wintry. “I am not the one to explain in elaborate detail why a man, any man, might feel as deLacey does.” Why not?” Robin sighed. “Helen of Troy.” It baffled her utterly. “What?” “Helen of Troy. Have you no knowledge of the classics?” “Of course I do; I was told all the stories. Helen was married to Menelaus of Sparta, until Paris of Troy cast his eyes upon her and fell in love with her at once. He stole her and took her to Troy. Agamemnon and Menelaus followed to get her back, and Troy was destroyed.” Robin nodded. “For the love of a beautiful woman.” “Yes, but—” She stopped. “Oh no--” “Yes.” “But—I’m not—” “Ask any man,” he said.
Jennifer Roberson (Lady of the Forest)
You know,” I said, “you don’t owe New Fiddleham anything. You don’t need to help them.” “Look,” Charlie said as we clipped past Market Street. He was pointing at a man delicately painting enormous letters onto a broad window as we passed. NONNA SANTORO’S, it read, although the RO’S was still just an outline. “That Italian restaurant?” “Yes,” he smiled. “They will be opening their doors for the first time very soon. Sweet family. I bought my first meal in New Fiddleham from that man. A couple of meatballs from a street cart were about all I could afford at the time. He’s an immigrant, too. He’s going to do well. His red sauce is amazing.” “That’s grand for him, then,” I said. “I like it when doors open,” said Charlie. “Doors are opening in New Fiddleham every day. It is a remarkable time to be alive anywhere, really. Do you think our parents could ever have imagined having machines that could wash dishes, machines that could sew, machines that do laundry? Pretty soon we’ll be taking this trolley ride without any horses. I’ve heard that Glanville has electric streetcars already. Who knows what will be possible fifty years from now, or a hundred. Change isn’t always so bad.” “Your optimism is both baffling and inspiring,” I said. “The sun is rising,” he replied with a little chuckle. I glanced at the sky. It was well past noon. “It’s just something my sister and I used to say,” he clarified. “I think you would like Alina. You often remind me of her. She has a way of refusing to let the world keep her down.” He smiled and his gaze drifted away, following the memory. “Alina found a rolled-up canvas once,” he said, “a year or so after our mother passed away. It was an oil painting—a picture of the sun hanging low over a rippling ocean. She was a beautiful painter, our mother. I could tell that it was one of hers, but I had never seen it before. It felt like a message, like she had sent it, just for us to find. “I said that it was a beautiful sunset, and Alina said no, it was a sunrise. We argued about it, actually. I told her that the sun in the picture was setting because it was obviously a view from our camp near Gelendzhik, overlooking the Black Sea. That would mean the painting was looking to the west. “Alina said that it didn’t matter. Even if the sun is setting on Gelendzhik, that only means that it is rising in Bucharest. Or Vienna. Or Paris. The sun is always rising somewhere. From then on, whenever I felt low, whenever I lost hope and the world felt darkest, Alina would remind me: the sun is rising.” “I think I like Alina already. It’s a heartening philosophy. I only worry that it’s wasted on this city.” “A city is just people,” Charlie said. “A hundred years from now, even if the roads and buildings are still here, this will still be a whole new city. New Fiddleham is dying, every day, but it is also being constantly reborn. Every day, there is new hope. Every day, the sun rises. Every day, there are doors opening.” I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. “When we’re through saving the world,” I said, “you can take me out to Nonna Santoro’s. I have it on good authority that the red sauce is amazing.” He blushed pink and a bashful smile spread over his face. “When we’re through saving the world, Miss Rook, I will hold you to that.
William Ritter (The Dire King (Jackaby, #4))
If I knew you were going to die, I'd make your last moment on earth last forever. I'd take you to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and make sure that you have the most romantic dinner your life. I'd fill your room with hundreds of wild sunflowers, so that even in death, you may carry the scent of something beautiful. If you were to die I'd make sure to drag you through an amusement park and ride all the crazy rides with you, eat all that ice cream with you, win all those stuffed animals for you. If you were to die, I’d beat up every single person in the world who has ever hurt you. I’d protect you with my life. I’ll protect you with everything I own, everything I have, everything I can give. If I knew you were going to die, I’d cut out my own heart for you. I’d cut it out so you could have it. So that you could live. Because I sure as hell can't live without you.
Anonymous
The pressure is on. They've teased me all week, because I've avoided anything that requires ordering. I've made excuses (I'm allergic to beef," "Nothing tastes better than bread," Ravioli is overrated"), but I can't avoid it forever.Monsieur Boutin is working the counter again. I grab a tray and take a deep breath. "Bonjour, uh...soup? Sopa? S'il vous plait?" "Hello" and "please." I've learned the polite words first, in hopes that the French will forgive me for butchering the remainder of their beautiful language. I point to the vat of orangey-red soup. Butternut squash, I think. The smell is extraordinary, like sage and autumn. It's early September, and the weather is still warm. When does fall come to Paris? "Ah! soupe.I mean,oui. Oui!" My cheeks burn. "And,um, the uh-chicken-salad-green-bean thingy?" Monsieur Boutin laughs. It's a jolly, bowl-full-of-jelly, Santa Claus laugh. "Chicken and haricots verts, oui. You know,you may speek Ingleesh to me. I understand eet vairy well." My blush deepends. Of course he'd speak English in an American school. And I've been living on stupid pears and baquettes for five days. He hands me a bowl of soup and a small plate of chicken salad, and my stomach rumbles at the sight of hot food. "Merci," I say. "De rien.You're welcome. And I 'ope you don't skeep meals to avoid me anymore!" He places his hand on his chest, as if brokenhearted. I smile and shake my head no. I can do this. I can do this. I can- "NOW THAT WASN'T SO TERRIBLE, WAS IT, ANNA?" St. Clair hollers from the other side of the cafeteria. I spin around and give him the finger down low, hoping Monsieur Boutin can't see. St. Clair responds by grinning and giving me the British version, the V-sign with his first two fingers. Monsieur Boutin tuts behind me with good nature. I pay for my meal and take the seat next to St. Clair. "Thanks. I forgot how to flip off the English. I'll use the correct hand gesture next time." "My pleasure. Always happy to educate." He's wearing the same clothing as yesterday, jeans and a ratty T-shirt with Napolean's silhouette on it.When I asked him about it,he said Napolean was his hero. "Not because he was a decent bloke, mind you.He was an arse. But he was a short arse,like meself." I wonder if he slept at Ellie's. That's probably why he hasn't changed his clothes. He rides the metro to her college every night, and they hang out there. Rashmi and Mer have been worked up, like maybe Ellie thinks she's too good for them now. "You know,Anna," Rashmi says, "most Parisians understand English. You don't have to be so shy." Yeah.Thanks for pointing that out now.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
You know why Antoinette will persevere, just as you and I will?" "Why?" she asks, searching my eyes. "Because she's a lotus, and so are we." "A lotus?" I smile to myself, recalling the story Papa told me as a girl. "The flower. Have you seen one?" "They're gorgeous," I say. "But my point isn't about their beauty. Lotus flowers lead harrowing journeys. Their seeds sprout in murky swamp water, thick with dirt and debris and snarls of roots. For a lotus to bloom, she must forge her way through this terrible darkness, avoid being eaten by fish and insects, and keep pressing onward, innately knowing, or at least hoping, that there is sunlight somewhere above the water's surface, if she can only summon the strength to get there. And when she does, she emerges unscathed by her journey and blooms triumphantly." I place both of my hands on her shoulders. "Suzette, you are a lotus.
Sarah Jio (All the Flowers in Paris)
Further light - a whole flood of it - is thrown upon this attraction of the male in petticoats for the female, in the diary of Abbé de Choisy, one of the most brilliant men-women of history, of whom we shall hear a great deal more later. The abbé, a churchman of Paris, was a constant masquerader in female attire. He lived in the days of Louis XIV, and was a great friend of Louis' brother, also addicted to women's clothes. A young girl, Mademoiselle Charlotte, thrown much into his company, fell desperately in love with the abbe, and when the affair had progressed to liaison, the abbe asked her how she came to be won... "I stood in no need of caution as I should have with a man. I saw nothing but a beautiful woman, and why should I be forbidden to love you? What advantages a woman's dress gives you! The heart of a man is there, and and what makes a great impression upon us, and on the other hand, all the charms of the fair sex fascinate us, and prevent us from taking precautions.
C.J. Bulliet
Recently, a judge of the prestigious 2014 British Forward Prize for Poetry was moved to observe that “there is an awful lot of very powerful, lyrical, and readable poetry being written today,” but we need education, because “we have lost the sense that poetry sits halfway between prose and music—that you can’t expect to read it like a novel.” A few years ago, the New York Times published an op-ed of mine, about learning poetry by heart. The response to it confirmed that people of all ages think about poetry as a kind of inspired music, embodying beauty and insight. On one hand, poetry has always flowed from music, as rap and hip-hop remind us big-time. Rappers know how poetry walks and talks. So we have music, or deeply felt recitations of poems that belong to collective memory. On the other hand, we have overly instructive prose poems, as well as the experiments of certain critical ideologies, or conceptual performance art. These aspects seem to represent the public, Janus face of poetry.
Carol Muske-Dukes
Paris is elegant and old. Being there made me feel elegant and young. It helped me forgive America for our arrogance and fury. In Paris, surrounded by ruins of ancient baths, guillotines, and churches more than a thousand years old, humanity’s mistakes and beauty are unfurled like a mural. In America, we are so new. We still fancy ourselves conquerors and renegades. We’re all still trying to be the “firsts” to do this or that. Can you imagine? We are all competing for our parents’ attention, and we have no parents. It makes us a little jumpy. Paris is not jumpy. Paris is calm and certain. It’s not going to startle easily, and it already knows the words to all the songs. Everywhere I looked in Paris, I found proof that leaders come and go, buildings are built and fall, revolutions begin and end; nothing—no matter how grand—lasts. Paris says: We are here for such a short time. We might as well sit down for a long while with some good coffee, company, and bread. Here, there is more time to be human, maybe because there has been more time to learn how.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
the vows before the Superior elected. Shortly before nine o’clock he went to see Father Ignatius to say goodbye. He found him out of bed and just finished dressing. Ignatius put his arm round the younger man’s shoulders and limped with him to the door. “Rodriguez left a quarter of an hour ago”, he said. It was a very beautiful morning. “Who is going to do all those letters now?” Francis blurted out. Ignatius smiled—without answering. And suddenly Francis knew that he would never see this man again, this incredible man whom he loved more than he had loved anybody else on earth; he knew that there was between them a very special love, beyond all the ties with the other companions, born of the air and soil and blood of their country, born out of the very hardships of the battle Ignatius had waged to win him over during all those long years in Paris. And he knew that the gateway to heaven could look like a man and be a man, a small, frail, bald man, who was for Christ on earth what Saint Michael was for God in heaven. “Go”, said Ignatius. “Go and set all afire.
Louis de Wohl (Set All Afire)
... The influence of the Pre-Raphaelites was felt less through their paintings than through a book, The Poems of Tennyson, edited by Moxon and wonderfully illustrated by Rossetti and Millais. The influence on Maeterlinck stems less from the poems themselves than from the illustrations. The revival of illustrated books in the last two years of the century derives from this Tennyson, the books printed at William Morris' press, the albums of Walter Crane. These last two and the ravishing little books for children by Kate Greenaway were heralded by Huysmans as early as 1881. Generally speaking, it is the English Aesthetic Movement rather than the Pre-Raphaelites which influenced the Symbolists, a new life-style rather than a school of painting. The Continent, passing through the Industrial Revolution some fifty years after England, found valuable advice on how to escape from materialism on the other side of the Channel. Everything that one heard about the refinements practised in Chelsea enchanted Frenchmen of taste: furniture by Godwin, open-air theatricals by Lady Archibald Campbell, the Peacock Room by Whistler, Liberty prints. As the pressure of morality was much less pronounced in France than in England, the ideal of Aestheticism was not a revolt but a retreat towards an exquisite world which left hearty good living to the readers of the magazine La Vie Parisienne ('Paris Life') and success to the readers of Zola. If one could not write a beautiful poem or paint a beautiful picture, one could always choose materials or arrange bouquets of flowers. Aesthetic ardour smothered the anglophobia in the Symbolist circle. The ideal of a harmonious life suggested in Baudelaire's poem L' Invitation au Voyage seemed capable of realization in England, whose fashions were brought back by celebrated travellers: Mallarmé after 1862, Verlaine in 1872. Carrière spent a long time in London, as did Khnopff later on. People read books by Gabriel Mourey on Swinburne, and his Passé le Détroit ('Beyond the Channel') is particularly important for the artistic way of life ... Thus England is represented in this hall of visual influences by the works of Burne-Jones and Watts, by illustrated books, and by objets d'art ...
Philippe Jullian (The Symbolists)
Teilhard de Chardin—usually referred to by the first part of his last name, Teilhard, pronounced TAY-yar—was one of those geniuses who, in Nietzsche’s phrase (and as in Nietzsche’s case), were doomed to be understood only after their deaths. Teilhard, died in 1955. It has taken the current Web mania, nearly half a century later, for this romantic figure’s theories to catch fire. Born in 1881, he was the second son among eleven children in the family of one of the richest landowners in France’s Auvergne region. As a young man he experienced three passionate callings: the priesthood, science, and Paris. He was the sort of worldly priest European hostesses at the turn of the century died for: tall, dark, and handsome, and aristocratic on top of that, with beautifully tailored black clerical suits and masculinity to burn. His athletic body and ruddy complexion he came by honestly, from the outdoor life he led as a paleontologist in archaeological digs all over the world. And the way that hard, lean, weathered face of his would break into a confidential smile when he met a pretty woman—by all accounts, every other woman in le monde swore she would be the one to separate this glamorous Jesuit from his vows.
Tom Wolfe (Hooking Up)
Gervex's painting had a lurid and well-known literary source: it was based on Alfred de Musset's poem "Rolla," published in 1833 and 1840. The poem, a paradigm of July Monarchy romanticism, chronicles the disgrace that befalls Jacques Rolla, a son of the bourgeoisie, in the big city. The narrative of his decline — he squandered his fortune and committed suicide — is interleaved with lamentations over the moral and spiritual decadence of contemporary life. Thenineteen-year-old Rolla becomes the "most debauched man" in Paris, "where vice is the cheapest, the oldest and the most fertile in the world." The poem tells a second story as well, that of Marie (or Maria or Marion), a pure young girl who becomes a degraded urban prostitute. Her story amplifies the poet's theme — a world in moral disarray - and provides the instrument of, and a sympathetic companion for, Rolla's climactic self-destruction. Musset is clear about his young prostitute's status: she was forced into a prostitution de la misère by economic circumstances ("what had debased her was, alas, poverty /And not love of gold"), and he frequently distinguishes her situation from that of the venal women of the courtesan rank ("Your loves are golden, lively and poetic; . . . you are not for sale at all"). He is also insistent about the tawdry circumstances in which the young woman had to practice her miserable profession ("the shameful curtains of that foul retreat," "in a hovel," "the walls of this gloomy and ramshackle room"). The segments of the poem from which Gervex drew his story — and which were published in press reviews of the painting — are these: With a melancholy eye Rolla gazed on The beautiful Marion asleep in her wide bed; In spite of himself, an unnameable and diabolical horror Made him tremble to the bone. Marion had cost dearly. — To pay for his night He had spent his last coins. His friends knew it. And he, on arriving, Had taken their hand and given his word that In the morning no one would see him alive. When Rolla saw the sun appear on the roofs, He went and leaned out the window. Rolla turned to look at Marie. She felt exhausted, and had fallen asleep. And thus both fled the cruelties of fate, The child in sleep, and the man in death! It was a moment of inaction, then, that Gervex chose to paint - that of weary repose for her and melancholic contemplation for Rolla, following the night of paid sex and just prior to his suicide.
Hollis Clayson (Painted Love: Prostitution and French Art of the Impressionist Era)
When we came back to Paris it was clear and cold and lovely. The city had accommodated itself to winter, there was good wood for sale at the wood and coal place across our street, and there were braziers outside of many of the good cafés so that you could keep warm on the terraces. Our own apartment was warm and cheerful. We burned boulets which were molded, egg-shaped lumps of coal dust, on the wood fire, and on the streets the winter light was beautiful. Now you were accustomed to see the bare trees against the sky and you walked on the fresh-washed gravel paths through the Luxembourg gardens in the clear sharp wind. The trees were beautiful without their leaves when you were reconciled to them, and the winter winds blew across the surfaces of the ponds and the fountains were blowing in the bright light. All the distances were short now since we had been in the mountains. Because of the change in altitude I did not notice the grade of the hills except with pleasure, and the climb up to the top floor of the hotel where I worked, in a room that looked across all the roofs and the chimneys of the high hill of the quarter, was a pleasure. The fireplace drew well in the room and it was warm and pleasant to work.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
Little Brother, an aspiring painter, saved up all his money and went to France, to surround himself with beauty and inspiration. He lived on the cheap, painted every day, visited museums, traveled to picturesque locations, bravely spoke to everyone he met, and showed his work to anyone who would look at it. One afternoon, Little Brother struck up a conversation in a café with a group of charming young people, who turned out to be some species of fancy aristocrats. The charming young aristocrats took a liking to Little Brother and invited him to a party that weekend in a castle in the Loire Valley. They promised Little Brother that this was going to be the most fabulous party of the year. It would be attended by the rich, by the famous, and by several crowned heads of Europe. Best of all, it was to be a masquerade ball, where nobody skimped on the costumes. It was not to be missed. Dress up, they said, and join us! Excited, Little Brother worked all week on a costume that he was certain would be a showstopper. He scoured Paris for materials and held back neither on the details nor the audacity of his creation. Then he rented a car and drove to the castle, three hours from Paris. He changed into his costume in the car and ascended the castle steps. He gave his name to the butler, who found him on the guest list and politely welcomed him in. Little Brother entered the ballroom, head held high. Upon which he immediately realized his mistake. This was indeed a costume party—his new friends had not misled him there—but he had missed one detail in translation: This was a themed costume party. The theme was “a medieval court.” And Little Brother was dressed as a lobster. All around him, the wealthiest and most beautiful people of Europe were attired in gilded finery and elaborate period gowns, draped in heirloom jewels, sparkling with elegance as they waltzed to a fine orchestra. Little Brother, on the other hand, was wearing a red leotard, red tights, red ballet slippers, and giant red foam claws. Also, his face was painted red. This is the part of the story where I must tell you that Little Brother was over six feet tall and quite skinny—but with the long waving antennae on his head, he appeared even taller. He was also, of course, the only American in the room. He stood at the top of the steps for one long, ghastly moment. He almost ran away in shame. Running away in shame seemed like the most dignified response to the situation. But he didn’t run. Somehow, he found his resolve. He’d come this far, after all. He’d worked tremendously hard to make this costume, and he was proud of it. He took a deep breath and walked onto the dance floor. He reported later that it was only his experience as an aspiring artist that gave him the courage and the license to be so vulnerable and absurd. Something in life had already taught him to just put it out there, whatever “it” is. That costume was what he had made, after all, so that’s what he was bringing to the party. It was the best he had. It was all he had. So he decided to trust in himself, to trust in his costume, to trust in the circumstances. As he moved into the crowd of aristocrats, a silence fell. The dancing stopped. The orchestra stuttered to a stop. The other guests gathered around Little Brother. Finally, someone asked him what on earth he was. Little Brother bowed deeply and announced, “I am the court lobster.” Then: laughter. Not ridicule—just joy. They loved him. They loved his sweetness, his weirdness, his giant red claws, his skinny ass in his bright spandex tights. He was the trickster among them, and so he made the party. Little Brother even ended up dancing that night with the Queen of Belgium. This is how you must do it, people.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
They call me Mac. The name's unimportant. You can best identify me by the six chevrons, three up and three down, and by that row of hashmarks. Thirty years in the United States Marine Corps. I've sailed the Cape and the Horn aboard a battlewagon with a sea so choppy the bow was awash half the time under thirty-foot waves. I've stood Legation guard in Paris and London and Prague. I know every damned port of call and call house in the Mediterranean and the world that shines beneath the Southern Cross like the nomenclature of a rifle. I've sat behind a machine gun poked through the barbed wire that encircled the International Settlement when the world was supposed to have been at peace, and I've called Jap bluffs on the Yangtze Patrol a decade before Pearl Harbor. I know the beauty of the Northern Lights that cast their eerie glow on Iceland and I know the rivers and the jungles of Central America. There are few skylines that would fool me: Sugar Loaf, Diamond Head, the Tinokiri Hills or the palms of a Caribbean hellhole. Yes, I knew the slick brown hills of Korea just as the Marines knew them in 1871. Fighting in Korea is an old story for the Corps. Nothing sounds worse than an old salt blowing his bugle. Anyhow, that isn't my story.
Leon Uris (Battle Cry)
In the meantime, he anxiously awaited visitors, and on occasion even attempted some visits of his own—including one to his nearby Bellevue neighbor, the charming and notorious courtesan Valtesse de la Bigne. Red-haired and beautiful, Valtesse de la Bigne had brought several rich and titled men to financial ruin. She had also captivated some of the most sophisticated men in town, including Manet, who referred to her as “la belle Valtesse” and had painted her the year before. Born Louise Emilie Delabigne, Valtesse de la Bigne was sufficiently intelligent and charming to draw an entourage of admiring writers and artists such as Manet. Zola also paid court to Valtesse—although in his case from a desire to get the characters and setting right for his upcoming novel Nana. Flattered by his journalistic interest, Valtesse even agreed to show him her bedroom—until then off-limits to all but her most highly paying patrons. Zola (who seems to have limited his visit to note taking) used her over-the-top boudoir as the model for Nana’s bedroom. Even if the fictional Nana was nowhere near the sophisticated creature that Valtesse had become, the bed said it all. It was “a bed such as had never existed before,” Zola wrote, “a throne, an altar, to which Paris would come in order to worship her sovereign nudity.
Mary McAuliffe (Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends)
David Chang, who had become the darling of the New York restaurant world, thanks to his Momofuku noodle and ssäm bars in the East Village, opened his third outpost, Momofuku Milk Bar, just around the corner from my apartment. While everyone in the city was clamoring for the restaurants' bowls of brisket ramen and platters of pig butt, his pastry chef, Christina Tosi, was cooking up "crack pie," an insane and outrageous addictive concoction made largely of white sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar, with egg yolks, heavy cream, and lots of butter, all baked in an oat cookie crust. People were going nuts for the stuff, and it was time for me to give this crack pie a shot. But as soon as I walked into the industrial-style bakery, I knew crack could have nothing on the cookies. Blueberry and cream. Double chocolate. Peanut butter. Corn. (Yes, a corn cookie, and it was delicious). There was a giant compost cookie, chock-full of pretzels, chips, coffee grounds, butterscotch, oats, and chocolate chips. But the real knockout was the cornflake, marshmallow, and chocolate chip cookie. It was sticky, chewy, and crunchy at once, sweet and chocolaty, the ever-important bottom side rimmed in caramelized beauty. I love rice crisps in my chocolate, but who would have thought that cornflakes in my cookies could also cause such rapture?
Amy Thomas (Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate))
France is to me the only country in the world. She has experienced everything. But it is in little things that she is great—in tenderness, in patience, in reverence. France does not lust to dominate the world. She is like a woman, rather, who seduces you. She is not even a beautiful woman at first sight. But she knows how to entwine herself in your affections. She reveals herself slowly, circumspectly, always holding back the real charm, the real treasures, until the moment when they will be justly appreciated. She does not fling herself at you like a whore. The soul of France is chaste and pure, like a flower. We are reticent not out of timidity but because we have much to give. France is an inexhaustible treasure vault and we, the people of France, are the humble guardians of that great treasure. We are not generous like you—perhaps because what we possess we have gained through great suffering. Every inch of our soil has been fought over time and again. If we love our soil, as few people in the world do, it is because it has been well watered by the blood of our forefathers. To you it may seem like a small life that we lead but to us it is deep and rich—especially to us who live in the provinces. I have lived in Paris and I adore it, but this is the real life here among the people of the soil. We are bored sometimes, it is true, but that passes. We remain French—that is the important thing.
Henry Miller (The Air-Conditioned Nightmare)
Congress displayed contempt for the city's residents, yet it retained a fondness for buildings and parks. In 1900, the centennial of the federal government's move to Washington, many congressmen expressed frustration that the proud nation did not have a capital to rival London, Paris, and Berlin. The following year, Senator James McMillan of Michigan, chairman of the Senate District Committee, recruited architects Daniel Burnham and Charles McKim, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to propose a park system. The team, thereafter known as the McMillan Commission, emerged with a bold proposal in the City Beautiful tradition, based on the White City of Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition. Their plan reaffirmed L'Enfant's avenues as the best guide for the city's growth and emphasized the majesty of government by calling for symmetrical compositions of horizontal, neoclassical buildings of marble and white granite sitting amid wide lawns and reflecting pools. Eventually, the plan resulted in the remaking of the Mall as an open lawn, the construction of the Lincoln Memorial and Memorial Bridge across the Potomac, and the building of Burnham's Union Station. Commissioned in 1903, when the state of the art in automobiles and airplanes was represented by the curved-dash Olds and the Wright Flyer, the station served as a vast and gorgeous granite monument to rail transportation.
Zachary M. Schrag (The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro)
True beauty is found not in the exceptional but in the commonplaces Where does the beauty lie, in the exceptional or the commonplace? Some people believe, true beauty can be find only in exceptional and there isn’t any beauty in commonplaces, and it seems, they are all quotidian objects; but yet, another group of people attribute to the factual beauty of commonplaces and believe the beauty of exceptional seems artificial and it’ll be ephemeral. After weighing the evidence, it is certain that the true beauty lie in the commonplace not in the exceptional. People are most move by natural feature than the artificial ones. Those people that believe the beauty lie in the exceptional prefer the artificial beauties, which is made by human, to the natural beauties. Consider Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Liza, one of the most beautiful painting in the world. For sure it is beautiful and few people who view the painting are not moved by the sheer beauty of it. But how much time a person can enjoy watching this art work and praise it? One hour? Two hours? One week? Like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Liza, the cathedral of north dame in Paris is another exceptional object which is wonderful and there are too many tourist that travel untold miles to view cathedral. Nobody can tell it is not beautiful; but, does it sacrifice people’s tendency as much as the original beauties do? People interest to visit these beautiful building and wonderful painting at least one time to be familiar with those great art work but it cannot be considered as a true beauty which is one of the requirement of human to be alive. On the other hand, the natural beauties which are around us are fantastic and eternal. They are always improve motivation on people and make them pleased. Consider a flower, although every people have seen many kind of flowers, it is always beautiful and move people to appropriate them. Like flower, plants, stars, sun, moon, sky, sea every object in the nature can be caused of an excited on people and motivate them to be alive. The common place beauties are the most part of the human’s life. If people every time don’t appreciate every beauty around him, and he praise exceptional object when he encounter, it cannot be a fair conclusion that the exceptional objects are true beauty. Indeed people believe nature is constantly compeer of human along the history, like one of his organs, he is not praising them every time, but it is incredible for human to feel he must be alive without common place beauty. Ultimately, after considering both sides of the issue, it must be concluded that the true beauty lie in the commonplace not in the exceptional. Exceptional are the beauties which can be as a complementary for the natural beauties. Because people’s life can be current even without exceptional but without commonplace beauties it is impossible for people to be alive.
Haleh Moghaddasi
He sometimes thought that the real thing that distinguished him and Malcolm from Jude and Willem was not race or wealth, but Jude’s and Willem’s depthless capacity for wonderment: their childhoods had been so paltry, so gray, compared to his, that it seemed they were constantly being dazzled as adults. The June after they graduated, the Irvines had gotten them all tickets to Paris, where, it emerged, they had an apartment—“a tiny apartment,” Malcolm had clarified, defensively—in the seventh. He had been to Paris with his mother in junior high, and again with his class in high school, and between his sophomore and junior years of college, but it wasn’t until he had seen Jude’s and Willem’s faces that he was able to most vividly realize not just the beauty of the city but its promise of enchantments. He envied this in them, this ability they had (though he realized that in Jude’s case at least, it was a reward for a long and punitive childhood) to still be awestruck, the faith they maintained that life, adulthood, would keep presenting them with astonishing experiences, that their marvelous years were not behind them. He remembered too watching them try uni for the first time, and their reactions—like they were Helen Keller and were just comprehending that that cool splash on their hands had a name, and that they could know it—made him both impatient and intensely envious. What must it feel like to be an adult and still discovering the world’s pleasures?
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
We will always be black, you and I, even if it means different things in different places. France is built on its own dream, on its collection of bodies, and recall that your very name is drawn from a man who opposed France and its national project of theft by colonization. It is true that our color was not our distinguishing feature there, so much as the Americanness represented in our poor handle on French. And it is true that there is something particular about how the Americans who think they are white regard us—something sexual and obscene. We were not enslaved in France. We are not their particular “problem,” nor their national guilt. We are not their niggers. If there is any comfort in this, it is not the kind that I would encourage you to indulge. Remember your name. Remember that you and I are brothers, are the children of trans-Atlantic rape. Remember the broader consciousness that comes with that. Remember that this consciousness can never ultimately be racial; it must be cosmic. Remember the Roma you saw begging with their children in the street, and the venom with which they were addressed. Remember the Algerian cab driver, speaking openly of his hatred of Paris, then looking at your mother and me and insisting that we were all united under Africa. Remember the rumbling we all felt under the beauty of Paris, as though the city had been built in abeyance of Pompeii. Remember the feeling that the great public gardens, the long lunches, might all be undone by a physics, cousin to our rules and the reckoning of our own country, that we do not fully comprehend.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
In 1853, Haussmann began the incredible transformation of Paris, reconfiguring the city into 20 manageable arrondissements, all linked with grand, gas-lit boulevards and new arteries of running water to feed large public parks and beautiful gardens influenced greatly by London’s Kew Gardens. In every quarter, the indefatigable prefect, in concert with engineer Jean-Charles Alphand, refurbished neglected estates such as Parc Monceau and the Jardin du Luxembourg, and transformed royal hunting enclaves into new parks such as enormous Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. They added romantic Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Parc Montsouris in areas that were formerly inhospitable quarries, as well as dozens of smaller neighborhood gardens that Alphand described as "green and flowering salons." Thanks to hothouses that sprang up in Paris, inspired by England’s prefabricated cast iron and glass factory buildings and huge exhibition halls such as the Crystal Palace, exotic blooms became readily available for small Parisian gardens. For example, nineteenth-century metal and glass conservatories added by Charles Rohault de Fleury to the Jardin des Plantes, Louis XIII’s 1626 royal botanical garden for medicinal plants, provided ideal conditions for orchids, tulips, and other plant species from around the globe. Other steel structures, such as Victor Baltard’s 12 metal and glass market stalls at Les Halles in the 1850s, also heralded the coming of Paris’s most enduring symbol, Gustave Eiffel’s 1889 Universal Exposition tower, and the installation of steel viaducts for trains to all parts of France. Word of this new Paris brought about emulative City Beautiful movements in most European capitals, and in the United States, Bois de Boulogne and Parc des Buttes Chaumont became models for Frederick Law Olmsted’s Central Park in New York. Meanwhile, for Parisians fascinated by the lakes, cascades, grottoes, lawns, flowerbeds, and trees that transformed their city from just another ancient capital into a lyrical, magical garden city, the new Paris became a textbook for cross-pollinating garden ideas at any scale. Royal gardens and exotic public pleasure grounds of the Second Empire became springboards for gardens such as Bernard Tschumi’s vast, conceptual Parc de La Villette, with its modern follies, and “wild” jardins en mouvement at the Fondation Cartier and the Musée du Quai Branly. In turn, allées of trees in some classic formal gardens were allowed to grow freely or were interleaved with wildflower meadows and wild grasses for their unsung beauty. Private gardens hidden behind hôtel particulier walls, gardens in spacious suburbs, city courtyards, and minuscule rooftop terraces, became expressions of old and very new gardens that synthesized nature, art, and outdoors living.
Zahid Sardar (In & Out of Paris: Gardens of Secret Delights)
Naturally, without intending to, I transitioned from these dreams in which I healed myself to some in which I cared for others: I am flying over the Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris. Below me, thousands of people are marching, demanding world peace. They carry a cardboard dove a kilometer long with its wings and chest stained with blood. I begin to circle around them to get their attention. The people, astonished, point up at me, seeing me levitate. Then I ask them to join hands and form a chain so that they can fly with me. I gently take one hand and lift. The others, still holding hands, also rise up. I fly through the air, drawing beautiful figures with this human chain. The cardboard dove follows us. Its bloodstains have vanished. I wake up with the feeling of peace and joy that comes from good dreams. Three days later, while walking with my children along the Champs-Élysées Avenue, I saw an elderly gentleman under the trees near the obelisk whose entire body was covered by sparrows. He was sitting completely still on one of the metal benches put there by the city council with his hand outstretched, holding out a piece of cake. There were birds flitting around tearing off crumbs while others waited their turn, lovingly perched on his head, his shoulders, his legs. There were hundreds of birds. I was surprised to see tourists passing by without paying much attention to what I considered a miracle. Unable to contain my curiosity, I approached the old man. As soon as I got within a couple of meters of him, all the sparrows flew away to take refuge in the tree branches. “Excuse me,” I said, “how does this happen?” The gentleman answered me amiably. “I come here every year at this time of the season. The birds know me. They pass on the memory of my person through their generations. I make the cake that I offer. I know what they like and what ingredients to use. The arm and hand must be still and the wrist tilted so that they can clearly see the food. And then, when they come, stop thinking and love them very much. Would you like to try?” I asked my children to sit and wait on a nearby bench. I took the piece of cake, reached my hand out, and stood still. No sparrow dared approach. The kind old man stood beside me and took my hand. Immediately, some of the birds came and landed on my head, shoulders, and arm, while others pecked at the treat. The gentleman let go of me. Immediately the birds fled. He took my hand and asked me to take my son’s hand, and he another hand, so that my children formed a chain. We did. The birds returned and perched fearlessly on our bodies. Every time the old man let go of us, the sparrows fled. I realized that for the birds when their benefactor, full of goodness, took us by the hand, we became part of him. When he let go of us, we went back to being ourselves, frightening humans. I did not want to disrupt the work of this saintly man any longer. I offered him money. He absolutely would not accept. I never saw him again. Thanks to him, I understood certain passages of the Gospels: Jesus blesses children without uttering any prayer, just by putting his hands on them (Matthew 19:13–15). In Mark 16:18, the Messiah commands his apostles, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” St. John the Apostle says mysteriously in his first epistle, 1.1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)