Saturday, February 03, 2007

I Take That Back...

Remember how yesterday I said "I doubt there's a better book about the history of sex in Paris"?

Well, I'd forgotten one of my oldest rules, which is that no matter how obscure or odd a topic may be, there's inevitably already a whole shelf-ful of books about it.

And so I get that lesson again, when I open up this week's New York Times Book Review and find, on p.13, a full-page review of a book by Andrew Hussey called Paris: The Secret History. This one sounds better than the John Baxter book I finished yesterday; it's certainly longer, and the review says its illustrated. Hussey's book also seems to cover both more time (Baxter's is pretty much limited to the 20th century, and concentrates on the '20s) and more sides of "underground" Paris (his book covers "marginal and subversive elements," which includes but is not limited to sexual matters).

Once again, there's always something else around the next corner. This is probably why editors are proverbially such optimists.

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