Monday, August 23, 2010


An American in Paris

Guy Davenport, "Travel Reconsidered," in The Hunter Gracchus and Other Papers on Literature and Art (Washington: Counterpoint, 1996), pp. 314-317 (at 315):
As best as I can ascertain from casual research, the typical American trip to, say, Paris, has been standardized into four events as mandatory as the stages of a religious progress from shrine to shrine. These are an evening at the Moo Land Rouge (which ceased to exist years ago, but the crafty French have built a place so called), the Lido, and Mont Mart Tree, where you can see Impressionist painters at their canvases hard by Sacker Curr, and a tour by bus of "the old parts of the city."
A trip abroad isn't necessary for the innocent who wishes to experience Paris. When I lived in Florida, an acquaintance told me, in all seriousness, that it made no sense for him ever to visit France, when all he needed to do was take a day trip to the France Pavilion at Disney's Epcot Theme Park.

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