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Parisian Sketches

Author: J.-K. Huysmans

Translator: Brendan King   Cover design: Marie Lane   Cover illustration: Eugène Atget  

First published in 1880, same year as Edgar Degas' The Dancing Lesson and Edouard Manet's solo show of brasserie paintings at La Vie Moderne gallery, J.-K. Huysmans' Parisian Sketches shares with these vibrant Impressionist works a fascination with the contemporary life of Paris, an exuberant Paris in the era of the Opéra Garnier and the Folies-Bergères. Like the striking images of the early Impressionists, whom Huysmans championed when it was unfashionable to do so, Parisian Sketches is an all-out assault on the visual senses. Composed of a series of intense, meticulously observed impressions - of café concerts and circus performers, of streetwalkers and hot-chestnut sellers, of run-down slums and forgotten quarters in the grimy, shiny 'City of Light'- Parisian Sketches recreates the Paris of the bal masqué and the cancan, the brasseries à femme and the buveurs d'absinthe, all captured with an intimacy and an immediacy that confirms Huysmans as one of the masters of 19th century French prose.

Huysmans captures the pre-Haussmann Paris which was soon to disappear with his big boulevards and extensive building programme. An impressionist masterpiece in words.

RRP: £8.99

No. of pages: 196

Publication date: 05.02.2004

Re-print date: 15.10.2014

ISBN numbers:
978 1 903517 24 6
978 1 907650 19 2

Dedalus World English language in this translation