Other Paris: An Illustrated Journey Through a City's Poor and Bohemian Past
Paris, the City of Light. We think of it as the city of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, of white facades, discreet traffic and well-mannered exchanges. But there was another Paris, hidden from view and virtually extinct today - the Paris of the working and criminal classes that shaped the city over the past two centuries. In the voices of Balzac and Hugo, assorted boulevardiers, barflies, rabble-rousers and tramps, Sante takes the reader on a vivid journey through the seamy underside of Paris: the improvised accommodations of the original bohemians; the flea markets, the rubbish tips, and the hovels. Featuring over 300 illustrations, The Other Paris is a lively tour of labour conditions, prostitution, drinking, crime, and popular entertainment, of the reporters, realiste singers, pamphleteers, serial novelists, and poets who chronicled their evolution. It upends the story of the French capital, reclaiming the city from the bon vivants and the speculators, and lighting a candle to the works and days of the forgotten poor.
A tour of the lost Paris of the last two centuries - poor, unvarnished and truly bohemian.
Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium. His other books include Low Life: Lures and Snares in Old New York, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, and Kill All Your Darlings. He has contributed to the New York Review of Books since 1981, and has written for many other magazines. He is Visiting Professor of Writing and the History of Photography at Bard College and lives in Ulster County, New York.