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My generation doesn’t eat supper

The young North American men who flocked to Montparnasse in the 1920s came to drink not to eat. The women were another matter. The men of the “Lost Generation,” as they were famously dubbed by Gertrude Stein, scorned the previous generations of wealthy tourists, like Henry James’s Christopher Newman, who came to improve their “taste” and […]

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The American

The very first place in Paris that Christopher Newman, the tourist-hero of Henry James’s 1876-7 novel The American, visits when he arrives is a fine restaurant. Newman is every bit the prototypical American that his name, with its allusion to the famous Genovese explorer and the world he discovered, suggests. The book opens in the […]

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Canard à la Presse

Growing up in America during the late 1970s and 80s, my juvenile imagination equated the word “Paris” with one thing: gourmet food. And if there was one fancy restaurant in Paris that I knew the name of as a child, it was “La Tour d’Argent.” The silver tower. The words had a ring to them, they […]

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