July 28, 2017

Parisian Sketches by J. K. Huysmans

Parisian SketchesParisian Sketches is exactly what it says – a series of sketches of scenes Huysmans saw around Paris in the nineteenth century.

Each sketch is very well written – you really feel the emotions of the subjects, and feel the pressures and activities you’re reading about. These sketches don’t focus on the top of society – it’s what’s happening lower down. So we meet the girls at the dance trying to capture a soldier, the older women trying to leave before the whores arrive. Bus conductors, bakers, chestnut sellers and more.

It’s not just a series of sketches of people, the book is divided into subjects so we have “Parisian characters”, “Landscapes”, and (possibly my favourites, and certainly the most literary) “Fantasties and Forgotten corners”. Then it’s “Still Lifes”, and finally “Paraphrases”.

A great book to dip into.

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