Saturday, 15 July 2017
Not so down and out now
One reason for their doing so, and for so many of them being American, is that this general area was the classic "Left Bank" for writers and artists of the 20s and 30s, where many an aspirant moved in for a while, and many a building round about has a plaque to mark the passage of Joyce, Hemingway and so on.
One who is not favoured with a plaque is George Orwell, who lodged along this street while working as a washer-up in a local restaurant, an experience whose misery is recorded - and possibly somewhat embroidered - in Down and Out in Paris and London. The street must, by all accounts, have looked and felt much less up-market then, by comparison (to judge by the estate agents' windows) with the entire area nowadays. All those plaques must add a certain value - to the point that someone has chosen to add one to celebrate the great achievement of eating cake while on a diet: