Jean Cocteau, The White Paper
“One’s salvation cannot possibly be achieved in Paris; the soul is too distracted.”
Jean Cocteau, The White Paper
Image Credit: The Happy Years, Diaries: 1944-48
“The Eurostar made Paris and London into complementary suburbs of the essential idea of Paris-London. Paris’s gray to London’s cream and brick, London’s friendliness to Paris’s rules; female, bitchy Paris to paternal, kindly London. The only place I felt at home was between the two, neither here nor there, not in Paris or London but in the liminal space of voyage. The terror I felt during the twenty minutes underwater in the center of the Channel was a small price to pay.”
Joan Juliet Buck, The Price of Illusion
London Is a Man's Town and Paris Is a Woman's Town are both available via the Nick Harvill Libraries store. Eurostar tickets sold separately.
“There are certain cities where you can only have a good time with the help of the residents and there are others where a good time is available to all. Such is Paris, which is just, given the amount of help one generally gets from the residents.”
Julian Fellowes, Snobs, A Novel
“Frenchmen would rather be bored in Paris than bored elsewhere.”
Lady Diana Mosley, The Pursuit of Laughter: Essays, Reviews and Diary
The Latest News From Paris (1960)
"Cora [Antinori] has had another face lift with such appalling results she has to say it was a motor accident…. Violet [Trefusis] has had hers done with no results which is almost more disappointing.”
Nancy Mitford, The Mitfords, Letters Between Six Sisters
See also: "Need a Lift?"
The Circle of Life
“Like all life, a hotel has the inborn capacity to replenish itself. So, goodbye, beautiful people! Hello, beautiful people!”
Edna Ruby, Shorthand with Champagne
Image Credit: Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris (NHL has a copy of this book, but it is not yet listed on the website. If interested, please inquire.)
“All places, really, have glamour solely in essence, didn’t you know, like a drop of scent.”
Ronald Firbank, Vainglory (via 3 More Novels by Ronald Firbank)
When the Party's Over
"One year I was giving a big party and between noon and 4 o'clock [and] 45 people rang up to cancel. That was rather surprising. The answer soon became clear. A friend called Colonel Daniel Sickles, who had several glamorous daughters, and was a great book-collector, had given a buffet and dance the night before. He had served eggs from metal dishes which had poisoned many of the guests. Several of them ended up in the hospital and three died. It shows the hazards of entertaining."
--Baron Alexis de Redé, Alexis, The Memoirs of the Baron de Redé
C'est la Vie
“I thought people in New York were detached but they really care. In Paris it’s great. They are detached. They laugh at you. I thought that maybe they didn’t know anything but now I think they know everything.”
Andy Warhol, The Sixties: A Decade in Vogue
Image Credit: Warhol by Makos
The Allure of Romance
"The desire to understand other people’s dreams, the quest for new glimpses of life, the attempt to discover for one’s self the color of the other side of the world—which is the essence of romance—is the greatest joy there is. It is an amusement which leads one into strange situations and lures one with an insatiable curiosity to know what is just beyond the next corner of the street. For romance is always somewhere else, over some distant snow-capped mountain, through the blurred white haze of the desert at noon, around the next bend in some far-off river, or in the squeak of a fiddle that comes from a gaily lighted café in a lost quarter of some old-world city. But when you have crossed the mountain or turned the bend in the river or sat down in the café, then the romance is somewhere behind you; it is in the adventure of last night, or in the recollection of the silhouette of a palm tree against the sunset two years ago, or in the kiss of a dream, dim, distant, and half-forgotten. But the disillusionment in the discovery that beyond the mountain there is nothing but more dreams, that beyond the haze is only more desert with romance till somewhere else, and that in the squeak of the café fiddle there is only bad music which recalls some far gayer scene in the past, does not prevent one from going on with the quest. The world is made up of illusions, madly impossible, infinitely pathetic, but fascinating to pursue. There are always more people to see, with strange ideas of what makes life good or bad, and with quaint new names for the old deceptions. And all these things are glorious fun to watch, even though they may mean nothing at all."
C.E. Andrews, The Innocents of Paris
Shipping and Returns