Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Americans in Paris: Gertrude Stein

We none of us lived in old parts of Paris then. We lived in the rue de Fleurus just a hundred year old quarter, a great many of us lived around there and on the boulevard Raspail which was not even cut through then and when it was cut through all rats and animals came underneath our house and we had to have on one of the vermin catchers of Paris come and clean us out, I wonder if they exist any more now, they have disappeared along with the horses and enormous wagons that used to clean out the sewers under the houses that were not in the new sewerage system, now even the oldest houses are in the new system. It is nice in France they adapt themselves to everything slowly they change completely but all the time they know that they are as they were.

From Paris France in Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology, Adam Gopnik, editor (New York: The Library of America, 2004), p.380.

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