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Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939 Paperback – April 18, 1988


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Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939 + Paris Journal, 1944-1955
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (April 18, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156709902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156709903
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Janet Flanner (13 March, 1892 - 7 November, 1978) was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975.[1] She wrote under the pen name Genet. She also published a single novel, The Cubical City, set in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Loren D. Morrison on May 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Like many other American tourists, when I visit Paris I am searching for the Paris of Hemmingway and Fitzgerald. Amazingly enough, even though over 50 years have passed, a lot of that Paris has survived and is just waiting to be rediscovered. A lot of what I can't find on my own I find in those columns that Janet Flanner wrote from 1925 to 1939 for the NEW YORKER and which have been collected for PARIS WAS YESTERDAY.
Janet Flanner (pen name "Genet") was the resident Paris Correspondent for THE NEW YORKER. Her assignment was to write columns about "what the French thought was going on in France," Flanner became much more than a mere observer of the Parisian scene. she was an active participant. Be it a death, an opera premiere, a swindle, a political disaster, a bit of gossip about a celebrity, or nostalgia for an even earlier era, Flanner wrote about them, and wrote with wit and an occasional tongue-in-her-cheek.
The following example of her tongue-in-cheek approach, one among many, comes from a 1928 column entitled "The Italian Straw Hat." It seems that the French wanted parity with Hollywood when it came to Motion Pictures and wanted to pass a law requiring the acceptance in the U. S. of a French Film for every Hollywood made film shown in France. The first picture they wanted to export to the U. S. was a film entitled, in translation, THE ITALIAN STRAW HAT.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By S. A Troutt on May 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are rare pleasures in reading, one of which is stumbling onto a 'new' author. Ms Flanner could craft a detailed word picture almost with a single stroke of her pen. She wrote what she saw, actors, authors, lives and deaths of Knowns and Unknowns. She was there at the events, both great and small in a Paris she knew well and obviously loved. She is able to give the period between the wars a flavor and texture that makes it live and breathe. In some ways it is a gossipy diary, in others a police blotter, a literal whos-who of the literary scene of the time. Entries vary from a few pithy lines to several pages, ranging from light and humorous to somber and serious. And all extremely well written.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Scott MacLeod on March 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
Flanner (nom de plume: Genêt), a former New Yorker essayist and who lived in Paris for many years, describes the cultural and social life of Paris in the 20s and 30s. She pens wonderful glimpses into what Parisians were thinking, feeling, and doing -Parisian ways of living, wine, and art. C'est magnifique.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on June 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Paris, France of Janet Flanner's time was quite different then. In between World Wars, Paris probably thought it was on the rise of maintaining the role in attracting the finest artists, writers, and cultural elite. The American expatriate artists flocked to Europe because of the dismal great depression. Janet left before the great depression with another divorcee, Solita Solano. Janet and Solita lived modestly in Paris. Janet would eat at Cafe Deux Magots with the likes of Ernest Hemingway. Janet foresaw Hitler's evil long before anyone else. Janet loved Paris unlike every other city. Paris is quite a feminine city by design. It's pretty and it attracted the likes of lesbian expatriates Natalie Clifford Barney, Romaine Brooks, Rene Vivian, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Beach, Adrienne Monnier, Djuna Barnes, Nancy Clare Cunard who were all friends with Janet during this time. In Europe, people like Janet were accepted and tolerated especially in Paris where it was fashionable. Women like Janet and others got to be in control of their destinies. Although the 1920s were simply a time of sexual revolution, the great depression probably was the main reason for many Americans to go abroad. Anyway, Janet was a remarkable writer who worked out every word and sentence before sending it to be published. I would love to have lived in Paris between the wars where being a woman wasn't crime if you weren't married.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. J. O'Toole on February 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Janet Flanner's dry sense of humor, combined with her keen reportage, make this a great read on your flight to Paris, or to just pick up and read now and then. The historical perspective and insight is priceless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Ulis on February 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A series of essays originally appearing in the New Yorker, provide a fascinating portrait of Paris, a capital of the world for many reasons. The stories Flanner tells will stay with you through your life.
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