Paris is one of those cities that evokes passions and Canadian author Keith Spicer shares his with a new book “Paris Passion, Watching the French Being Brilliant and Bizarre.” ” She seduced me when I was twenty.” says Spicer ” Half a century later, I’m still her head-over-heels love-addict. Over the centuries, Paris has snared countless lovers, but she always seems to have room for one or two more.”
This book is not a museum-by-museum Paris travel guide. It’s a personal, highly idiosyncratic, survey of French people and institutions – of ‘curiosities’ that may help you understand how the French think, feel, and look at the world. Drawing on fifteen years of living in Paris – “watching” from a metaphorical sidewalk café-Spicer touches on wildly different topics. Their common thread says the author “I found them all interesting. In some way fascinating, troubling, absurd, inspiring, infuriating, touching, or hilarious. Or just – hence the subtitle – bizarre.”
The first eight chapters tend to look at longstanding realities of Paris and France. The last six, while still anchored in the past, weave in many of the startling changes now underway in French society and politics. The book paces reading by leaping from serious to satirical, from philosophy to frivolity, from hard-core analysis to softer glances at Parisian life.
Whether you’re visiting Paris or just dreaming about it, the author hopes this book will give you something of a long-term resident’s feel for Paris and France. Naturally, it looks up-close at Paris itself. But it moves on to intriguing French people and French activities – whether within France or farther afield.