Staying true to my goals for 2013, I’ve been doing more reading than before. Currently, I’ve dipped into Adam Gopnik’s Paris to the Moon for the second time.
Having read the book over a decade ago, before ever travelling to France, I remember it as an interesting, entertaining and giggle-inducing read – all of which holds true in the re-read.
Now, six trips to Paris later (including 2 month-long visits) the book has a new appeal. I’m laughing at the commentary not as an observer, but as someone who is in on the joke. Gopnik covers fashion, history, politics, food and aspects of daily life in the French capital for him and his family – endless sources of commentary!
Also interesting is the strikingly similar economic climate in current day France as in the late 1990s. Times are tough for citizens and business owners, strikes and protests are frequent and the impact of a new government remains to be seen.
As I look ahead to this month’s haute couture presentations in Paris, Gopnik’s observations on the spectacles are noteworthy:
“A haute couture défilé is an oddly heart-lifting occasion, inflected with hope. The fashion editors are hoping that one of the models’ dresses will give them a point, a theme, something to write about. The fashion merchants are hoping that one of the models’ dresses, suitably adapted, will make them a fortune. The aficionados are hoping that one of the models’ dresses will supply a ‘couture moment’. The photographers are hoping that one of the models’ dresses will fall off. “
Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon
I’m planning on returning to Paris this year and look forward to having Paris to the Moon fresh in my mind – who knows what inside jokes I’ll pick up on next time around?