David Downie

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David Downie

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November 2011


Paris, Paris Goes to Politics & Prose in Washington, DC

Writer and teacher Janet Hulstrand teaches courses at the great indie bookstore Politics & Prose in Washington, DC. This year her class is entitled "Paris: The Literary Adventure Continues" and it features among half a dozen classics new and vintage my modest little book Paris, Paris.

Here's the lede of the course description and a link to keep reading.

In “Paris: The Literary Adventure Cont Read more of this blog post »
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Published on January 09, 2013 07:01
Average rating: 3.72 · 2,599 ratings · 369 reviews · 38 distinct worksSimilar authors
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David Downie is now friends with June Fletcher
A Passion for Paris by David Downie
"After reading David Downie's book I might suggest you shall now be itching to fly to Paris and walk with the romantics be it in Montmartre, the Jardins de Luxembourg, the Marais or along the Quai de Voltaire. This book oozes atmosphere created with b" Read more of this review »
A Passion for Paris by David Downie
"I have never been to Paris but Paris has always been on my mind and David Downie’s latest book, A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light beautifully illustrates why that is so!

I am an ardent student of the Romantic period, bo" Read more of this review »
A Passion for Paris by David Downie
"David Downie brings Paris into your living room so authentically, you'll swear you can smell croissants baking!"
David Downie asked a question about A Passion for Paris:
A Passion for Paris by David Downie
Looking forward to your comments and reviews of this book? You bet! I hope to meet all of you somewhere along the route of my nationwide book tour in spring 2015... details on my website. Merci!
A Passion for Paris by David Downie
" Carol wrote: "Ordering it from our bookstore today!"

How wonderful! Merci... I look forward to your review and comments!! dd
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“Depending on which flavor of academic scholarship you prefer, that age had its roots in the Renaissance or Mannerist periods in Germany, England, and Italy. It first bloomed in France in the garden of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 1780s. Others point to François-René de Chateaubriand’s château circa 1800 or Victor Hugo’s Paris apartments in the 1820s and ’30s. The time frame depends on who you ask. All agree Romanticism reached its apogee in Paris in the 1820s to 1840s before fading, according to some circa 1850 to make way for the anti-Romantic Napoléon III and the Second Empire, according to others in the 1880s when the late Romantic Decadents took over. Yet others say the period stretched until 1914—conveniently enduring through the debauched Belle Époque before expiring in time for World War I and the arrival of that other perennial of the pigeonhole specialists, modernism.

There are those, however, who look beyond dates and tags and believe the Romantic spirit never died, that it overflowed, spread, fractured, came back together again like the Seine around its islands, morphed into other isms, changed its name and address dozens of times as Nadar and Balzac did and, like a phantom or vampire or other supernatural invention of the Romantic Age, it thrives today in billions of brains and hearts. The mother ship, the source, the living shrine of Romanticism remains the city of Paris.”
David Downie, A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light

“For the French, talent excuses much, genius excuses all, and prudishness is inexcusable.”
David Downie, A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light

“During the wars of the Empire while husbands and brothers were in Germany, anxious mothers gave birth to an ardent, pale, and neurotic generation,” wrote Alfred de Musset in 1836. “Behind them a past destroyed, still writhing on its ruins with the remnants of centuries of absolutism, before them the dawn of an immense horizon, the first gleams of the future, and between these two worlds—like the ocean separating the Old World from the New—something vague and floating, a troubled sea filled with wreckage, traversed from time to time by some distant sail or ship trailing thick clouds of smoke: the present … only the present remained, the spirit of the time, angel of the dawn that’s neither night nor day.” All that was left for the Lost Generations of Musset and other Romantics, the forebears of modernist revival rebels, was the bottle, the hookah, and the whorehouse, followed by the sanatorium, the madhouse, and the morgue.”
David Downie, A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light

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