Saturday, August 7, 2010
Americans in Paris: John Dos Passos
Running up the grimy steps of the metro at the Place de Clichy, it was hard not to feel in my ears the different ring the name had had other times, ten years back, twenty years back, the longago Paris-on-leave ring of barroom chatter, funny stories, comic prostitutes, all the sidewalk cafe Saturdaynight jingle that went with the gone mythological sound of Montmartre. But twenty years from war to war have somewhat eroded the venereal mount of martyrs of bidet and makeupbox, and taken the glitter out of the last lingering tinsel of nineteenth century whoopee.
From A Spring Month in Paris in Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology, Adam Gopnik, editor (New York: The Library of America, 2004), p. 405.