Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Americans in Paris: Anita Loos

So we came to the Ritz Hotel and the Ritz Hotel is devine. Because when a girl can sit in a delightful bar and have delicious champagne cocktails and look at all the important French people in Paris, I think it is devine. I mean when a girl can sit there and look at the Dolly sisters and Pearl White and Maybelle Gilman Corey, and Mrs. Nash, it is beyond worlds. Because when a girl looks at Mrs. Nash and realizes what Mrs. Nash has got out of gentlemen, it really makes a girl hold her breath.

And when a girl walks around and reads all of the signs with all of the famous historical names it really makes you hold your breath. Because when Dorothy and I went on a walk, we only walked a few blocks but in only a few blocks we read all of the famous historical names, like Coty and Cartier and I knew we were seeing something educational at last and our whole trip was not a failure.

From Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology, Adam Gopnik, editor (New York: The Library of America, 2004), p. 295.


Colin said...

One thing I find most striking about the women of Paris is their beautiful brunette hair. They may dye their hair some pretty unnatural colours, but it isn't blonde. The fixation on being blonde in the US has become so boring.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

I'm really enjoying these excerpts from the book, Anne. I'm currently reading an overview/traveler's history of Paris, and I'm finding that these excerpts really capture the specific times and places in Paris Before and enrich my reading experience of Paris' history. I'd like to get a hold of the Gopnik book really soon.

I also confess I had no idea who Anita Loos was, but just got educated via Wikipedia. I'm also really taken with how this excerpt reads like a female version of "The Catcher in the Rye." It was fun to learn more about a very interesting person! (And the comment before mine makes a lot more sense now, too! :) )

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