32 Amazing Photographs of Paris in the 1950s by Photographer Robert Doisneau

Certainly captures the ambience and the time wonderfully.

Yesterday Today

Robert Doisneau (French: 14 April 1912 – 1 April 1994) was a French photographer. In the 1930s, he made photographs on the streets of Paris. He was a champion of humanist photography and with Henri Cartier-Bresson a pioneer of photojournalism.

Doisneau is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (The Kiss by the City Hall), a photograph of a couple kissing on a busy Parisian street.

He was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1984 by then French president, François Mitterrand.

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#Paris In July Flaubert

Author: Gustave Flaubert Genre:  novel Title:  Salammbô Published:  1862 #ParisInJuly Just awful!! Avoid this book like the plague. Greatest flaw…fraud. Title Salammbo …you would think this temptress was the main character. One expects delicate moonlit gardens ….one finds instead manure and blood and bone mixture. War is the central character…and it was so boring. Salammbo appears around […]

#Paris In July Flaubert
Book Reviews Literature Poetry

The Poems of Tishani Doshi

I came across my volume of Doshi’s poems, Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, in the Oxfam shop and retired to the Cinema’s attatched bar to peruse it. leaving aside the huge question of how we should finance our poets- surely another test of our degree of civilization- I was delighted to acquaint myself with a new poet whose website may be found at

Monsoon Poem

Because this is a monsoon poem

expect to find the words jasmine,

palmyra, Kuruntokai, red; mangoes

in reference to trees or breasts; paddy

fields, peacocks, Kurinji flowers,

flutes; lotus buds guarding love’s

furtive routes. Expect to hear a lot

about erotic consummation inferred

by laburnum gyrations and bamboo

syncopations. Listen to the racket

of wide-mouthed frogs and bent-

legged prawns going about their

business of mating while rain falls

and falls on tiled roofs and verandas,

courtyards, pagodas.

Best places in Munnar to visit to watch Neelakurinji flowers bloom after 12  years | Lifestyle News,The Indian Express

The flood of insistent images together with their sounds strikes the reader as with heavy persistent rain. This type of rainfall seems charged too with eroticism from pendulous mangoes to rutting frogs. Throughout this poem this type of rain is held in contrast to the earth itself. It indicates how in one experience and its associated feeling, another mode of being may be temporarily forgotten. It does this with beauty and subtlety.

It ends by speaking of dreams and old poems we forget that –

led us to believe that men were mountains,

that the beautiful could never remain

heartbroken, that the rains arrive

we should be delighted to be taken

in drowning, in devotion.

Old Vintage Postcard With Seascape And Space For Text Stock Photo, Picture  And Royalty Free Image. Image 20607974.

Here is the start of another Doshi poem which is engaging:-

Jungian Postcard

Dear Carl, the days here are impossible:

all silence, and the sea. Yesterday we saw

the horizon unstitch itself from the sky

so delicately, and further down the beach,

two stray dogs materialised like lost souls

from a genie’s lamp. I just had to cry.

Our anima and animus! My love cried,

being philosophically inclined and impossible

to argue with. But the way those bony animal souls

took ownership of us – one black, one gold, and saw

fit to flex their paws on that deserted beach,

unmoved by the disentangled sky

that had banished all its birds. The sky

that slumped so languidly into the sea. I had to cry

for all my complexes.

The poem sets up an intuition of homelessness and alienation which only can be overcome by an inner resolution with the poet’s lover.


Acts of Literature’ by Jacques Derrida

Derrida must be one of the most accessible and original Post-War French intellectuals. This sounds a fascinating collection.


Freud: A Life for Our Time

Gay’s work is clearly essential to knowing about Freud.s life. Also “Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst (Jewish Lives) (Jewish Lives (Yale))” is worthy of note.

The Nihilist Void

I first read Peter Gays’s 810 page biography, Freud: A Life for Our Time, upon its release in 1988 when I was 23 years old. Many things have changed since then, but having just re-read Gay’s book, I’ve found that Freud’s is still a life for our time.

A detail that stuck with me from my first reading had to do with the fact that Freud lived the last 16 years of his life battling cancer of the palate (while he continued to smoke cigars, which presumably were the cause of his disease). Vividly stamped in my memory was how, toward the end of his life, Freud’s cancer became so ulcerated that it emitted an overwhelming stench, repellent even to his beloved dog. Living his last days in London as a refugee from Nazi-controlled Austria, the smell of death was literally in the air. I recall thinking how Freud’s…

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Paul Nash: from ancient to surreal, 5 – 1943-1945

I have just come across a charming poem about Nash’s paintings by a poet called Robert Saxton in a collection called “Flying School”. The poem is called “Aerial Flowers”.

The Eclectic Light Company

When Paul Nash was staying with Hilda Harrison in her house on Boar’s Hill, near Oxford, he could see a landscape which had come to obsess him from childhood: two hills (technically the Sinodun Hills) with clumps of trees at the top, the Wittenham Clumps. As he completed his final paintings of the Second World War, he turned to the Wittenham Clumps in series of paintings which accompanied his steadily declining health.

nashpbagleywoods Paul Nash (1892–1946), Landscape of the Bagley Woods (1943), oil on canvas, 56 x 86.3 cm, Private collection. The Athenaeum.

Not far from Boar’s Hill is an ancient wood, owned by St John’s College, Oxford, which Nash depicts in his Landscape of the Bagley Woods (1943). Using his oil paint with the subtlety of watercolour, the rolling fields of the foreground are quickly replaced by dense woodland. At the leading edge of the wood, some trees assume the…

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#Paris in July 2021 “Charlotte”

There has been so much discussion about her. Her self portrait is magnificent. Thanks again for this delightful post!


  • Author:  David Foenkinos
  • Genre:  adapted  biography
  • Title:  Charlotte
  • Published:  2014
  • Language: French (also available in English)
  • Setting: France and Germany
  • Timeline: 1913 – 1943 
  • Trivia: This book won Le  Prix Renaudot 2014 .
  • #ParisInJuly


  • Charlotte learned to read her first name on a tombstone.
  • This is the first line of the book. She was named after her aunt who committed suicide.
  • Death is at the heart of Charlotte’s life.
  • Charlotte Salomon was born in 1917, to Albert Salomon, a surgeon, and Fraziska Grunwald.
  • The Salomon’s were a liberal family that defined themselves as “Germans of the Mosaic persuasion.”
  • In 1939, after Kristallnacht, Charlotte was forced to leave her home in Germany, and she moved to her grandparent’s home in France.
  • The book begins with Charlotte’s aunt’s suicide.
  • Foenkinos goes on to tell the story of Charlotte’s life and that of her family during World War…

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#Paris In July Honoré Balzac

Very interesting- I am currently reading Lire Magazine olume 19 which is on Balzac and hoping to improve my French. I am sure that you would agree that Austen and Balzac were very different writers. The wit exchanged in a Bath drawing room compared to the drama in a Parision atelier. Balzac makes you think hard and was concerned with the realistic dichotomies in levels of French society so I find myself thinking about George Eliot and we know he was an influence on Dickens. I wonder if Proust might not suit us both better. I keep wondering about tackling Lacan!!


  • Author: Honoré Balzac
  • Genre: novella
  • Title: La Maison du Chat Qui Pelote
  • Published: 1830

  • I’m starting this month of Paris in July by reading a few books
  • written in “L’âge d’or du roman 19th C”.
  • The major literary work I do not have the courage to read
  • is Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine.
  • Why? …because it will take a lifetime to read in French!
  • It contains nearly 100 novels and plays.
  • The vast numbers of characters Blazac created
  • represent an entire society in his head!
  • The completed Comédie Humaine totalled
  • 2472 named characters and 566 unnamed characters.

  • I at least read the first words (novella) of La Comédie Humaine
  • La Maison du Chat Qui Pelote. (95 pages).
  • You can find all the plot information on the Wikipedia page.


  • The novella felt like I was reading Sense and Sensibility
  • …but with a sad ending.
  • Thank goodness Ms…

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50 Amazing Vintage Photos Showing Paris During the 1950s

Lovely, lovely photographs– how can we return there??

Yesterday Today

Born 1920 in the Amsterdam working-class district called ‘de Jordaan’, Dutch photographer Kees Scherer began working as a freelance photographer and reached the pinnacle of photojournalism with high-profile reports about the flood disaster in the province of Zeeland (1953) and the Hungarian uprising (1956), shortly after WWII.

Scherer initiated World Press Photo in 1955 with Bram Wisman. In addition to his extensive work in color, Scherer’s early work in black and white has also been receiving increasing attention in recent years. He depicted his favourite cities in exhaustive detail, namely Paris, New York, and especially Amsterdam.

Scherer died in 1993 at the age of 73.

These amazing black and white photos are part of Scherer’s work that documented everyday life of Paris in the 1950s.

(Photo © Kees Scherer)

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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (India)

I always meant to read this. It sounds really worthwhile as well.

Reading and Watching the World: Books, Film and Art

Review no 162

Book 5 of my #20booksofsummer

The God of Small Things is one of those books that everyone reading this will have heard of, but I don’t suppose everyone will have read. It won the Booker Prize in 1997 and rapidly became the biggest-selling work of Indian fiction by a non-expat writer. Arundhati Roy steered clear of fiction after writing her prize-winning novel, focusing on her political writing, although a second novel was published in 2017, some 20 years after her first.

The story, set in the southern Indian state of Kerala, is concerned with the Ipe family, focusing in particular on disgraced adult daughter Ammu and her twin children. Ammu has returned to her family home in the small town of Ayemenem after divorcing her alcoholic husband, but lives miserably there, filled with “The infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber

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