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Paris à rebrousse-temps

Joël Cuénot

Historian Alfred Fierro had published a few years ago a Guide du Paris disparu (Guide of a Paris that no longer is). Joël Cuénot offers in his own manner a return to the capital’s past to bring back to life monuments that were knocked down a long time ago. Through an amusing fiction, on the pont des Arts in Paris, he runs into the Wandering Jew who is about to go up the Seine and through time, and he entrusts him with a camera and film (argentiques) which the biblical hero will know how to send back to him with the report of his adventures … The surprise is elsewhere. The author evoked the buildings of the past through anecdotes and, mainly, through very precise models. The pump of the Samaritaine and the palace of the Tuileries are side by side with the mill of the Monnaie or the Grand Châtelet, the sinister prison. Certain reconstitutions are models in their genre, such as the Saint-Michel and the Meuniers bridges, covered with half-timbered houses, the construction site of the Pont-Royal or the Louvre in the time of Charles V, overflowing with turrets and watchtowers. At the end of the journey, one is convinced that the Paris that disappeared is well worth the one that survived: one just needed some imagination to resurrect it in a convincing manner …

Paris à rebrousse-temps, Joël Cuénot publishing house, 2010, 216 p., 49 €.

Paris à rebrousse-temps - Joël Cuénot

Review published in the newsletter #197 - from 16 December 2010 to 5 January 2011

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