Highly recommended. An evocative collection of images by snappers from the Keystone Agency, founded by Bert Garai after World War I. Depicting Parisians at work, rest and play from the 1930s to the late 1960s, it provides an often amusing reflection of a city that’s always changing and yet still the same.
The shot of a group of children clamouring to look at the inviting window display of a Montmartre pâtisserie could have been taken yesterday, and a 1930 sign promoting ‘organic bread’ is uncannily prescient of today’s mores. However, some of the photos invite further enquiry by the reader. The image of giggling women on the Champs-Élysées had us in thrall to the notion of ‘Catherinettes’ – women who were still single at 25 would have a special celebration on the Feast of Saint Catherine.
But one of the most enduring shots is simple: a couple sharing a clinch on a bench beneath the Tour Eiffel. How very Parisian!
Forever Paris by the Keystone Press Agency. Published by Flammarion. List price $12.95.
From France Today magazine