La Vie Parisienne
by Victor Arwas
ISBN 1901092658 (1-901092-65-8)
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Hardcover, Papadakis Dist A C, 2010
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Book summary: A saucy, light-hearted look at living in Paris before the Great War, when life was enjoyed to the fullest and the pursuit of the grisette, actress or artist's model was high on the list of male preoccupations.
La Vie Parisienne was a magical name which proclaimed itself proudly as the masthead of a way of life in which frivolity, wit and satire were as important and as relevant as literary and political intellectualism. This very popular journal attempted a fresh mix of humorous cartoons, short stories, sharp little tales of fashion-folk, up-to-the-minute gossip about prominent persons whose names are almost never fully spelled out or were given pseudonyms; columns of aphorisms on such subjects as marriage ("Marriage is the only painful operation for which no anaesthetic is allowed") or love ("Without jealousy the most violent passions would not last a week"); fashion-orientated, sophisticated banter set out as pages of dialogue; and acid comments about music, art, theater, the races, sports, and the stock exchange. Somewhat surprisingly, the mixture took. Founded in 1863, Parisians bought La Vie Parisienne in sufficient numbers week after week to ensure its survival for over a century.
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