By: Mehreen Ahmed
The city’s spirit is aptly sensed, by none, other than Gil, in Midnight in Paris. La Ville-Lumiere or “the city of light,” as Paris sometimes is called, is full of cultural sophistication and sensuous get up; something it owes largely to fashion, the glamour glitz and a tradition of fine arts. A city decorated with gardens and a regal past, as well as a place where kings and queens have lived, ruled, and fought bloody revolutions. Just as the Tuileries and the Chateaus symbolize the splendor of the royal heritage, the huge endowment, the French revolution, marks a turning point in history, as documented in Dickens’, The Tale of two cities and Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Of course, we already know about the much needed French history; how the mighty rulers perished under the guillotine. However, it is quite a different feeling to visit those sites in the flesh. These streets have taken me back to the past; I see though a porthole of my mind’s eye, the passing chain of events; the artists, writers and the poets mingling, having coffee together and discussing topics, both enlightening and eternal; Edith Piaf, Flaubert and Maupassant; I almost see Flaubert writing Madam Bovery. Those very words, as he crafts them patiently, into the delicate artistry of writing: