If many have written about Paris, very few have given such as vivid picture of the city as Henry Miller (1891-1980). The American writer spent 10 years in Paris in the 1930’s, which were important as much for his career –a.o. with the meeting of writer Anaïs Nin, who supported him financially through the decade, but was also his lover– as for the descriptions of the life in the city that he gave.
Living between Clichy and the 18th arrondissement, in the Villa Seurat, he was –and still is– considered as a provocative writer. He is also sometimes described as misogynistic because of the accounts of his sexual experiences and his sometimes-disrespectful behaviour towards women.
But the power of his novels and his essays has remained strong until today and Georges Orwell himself considered him at the time as “the only imaginative prose-writer of the slightest value who has appeared among the English-speaking races for some years past”.
Blurring the lines between his own life and his imagination, Miller created a world of his own that is open to everyone, reflecting the generosity of the writer. Here is the description he gave of Brasserie Wepler, on the place de Clichy, in his book Quiet Days in Clichy:
« On the grey days, when it was chilly everywhere except in the big cafés, I looked forward with pleasure to spending an hour or two at the Café Wepler before going to dinner. The rosy glow which suffused the place emanated from the cluster of whores who usually congregated near the entrance. As they gradually distributed themselves among the clientele, the place became not only warm and rosy but fragrant. They fluttered about in the dimming light like perfumed fireflies. Those who had not been fortunate enough to find a customer would saunter slowly out to the street, usually to return in a little while and resume their old places. Others swaggered in, looking fresh and ready for the evening’s work. In the corner where they usually congregated it was like an exchange, the sex market, which has its ups and downs like other exchanges. A rainy day was usually a good day, it seemed to me. There are only two things you can do on a rainy day, as the saying goes, and the whores never wasted time playing cards. »
Which are the most beautiful villages in Ile de France? We would say that there is no right or wrong answer since there are so many pretty towns around Paris. Although many people would agree that Auvers-sur-Oise is on their top list. Vincent Van Gogh described Auvers-sur-Oise as ‘Seriously beautiful’ in his correspondance with his […]
Do you know that 20ème arrondissement is a very important arrondissement in Paris in terms of street art ? Different from the 13eme arrondissement where the richness of the street art is driven by a local political strategy, the street art scene in the 20ème is purely created by local artists and it has been […]
Although you may pass it by many times without noticing it, we warmly invite you to have look when you’re around at this little peace haven, perfectly hidden and discrete behind the Grand Palais. Located on the edge of Cours la Reine, the Jardin de la Nouvelle France was created in the 17th century by […]
October in Paris always rhymes with art fairs, much to our pleasure! And while we are patiently waiting for the new edition of Asia Now next weekend, we had the chance to attend the private opening of Private Choice, the most magical art fair « at human size »! Every year, Private Choice means the assurance of […]
Last weekend, the Design Biennale Emergence had the good taste to take place at the Centre National de la Danse, in Pantin – a majestic brutalist building by Jacques Kalisz, initally built as an administrative centre and today turned into a contemporary dance venue. This session of the biennale was focusing on « Ressources » and was the […]
Last weekend was also the occasion for us to have a cultural stroll around our neighbourhood. The association Les Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville organised an open door weekend of about 85 different artists’ studios! For a lack of time, we decided to only visit the ones around our home. Still, that meant already a bit […]
The Nuit Blanche 2020 finally took place last night, despite the fear it may be canceled due to new restrictions. During this night the entire city is charged with all kinds of art installations and artistic performances, museums are open and the city becomes a big open air art center! The Nuit Blanche 2020 was […]
As mentioned in my previous post, the idea of this new blog is a.o. to share with you some bits of our lives, but also information about Paris and some advice based on our experience of the city. But when it comes to advising, what could we better talk about than our own neighbourhood? 😉 […]
When Nikki and I met a few years ago, and after starting to dig through Paris’s secrets and discovering what’s going on outside the périphérique, we soon started a blog, which we called “Brussels Beijing Paris”, after the cities we were from and the one we met and live in. We wanted to relate our […]