Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ten top books set in Paris

Malcolm Burgess is the publisher of Oxygen Books' City-Lit series, featuring writing on cities including Berlin, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Venice and Dublin.

For the Guardian, in 2011 he named ten of the best books set in Paris, including:
Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), 1831

As a visitor it's almost impossible not to see the splendid Notre-Dame Cathedral through the eyes of Victor Hugo and his creation Quasimodo.

"When, after groping your way lengthily up the gloomy spiral staircase, which rises vertically up through the thick wall of the bell towers, you abruptly emerged at last on to one of the two lofty platforms, flooded with air and daylight, a beautiful panorama unfolded itself …"
Ile de la Cité, 4th arrondissement
Read about another novel on the list.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame appears among Jessica Duchen's top ten literary Gypsies and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best cathedrals in literature and ten of the best bells in literature.

Also see: Wai Chee Dimock's five top books on Hemingway in Paris and the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five books on Americans in Paris.

--Marshal Zeringue