On ‘Paris Vagabond’ by Luc Sante

In Paris News, extra, News, Art of Travel News by Prof

Paris Vagabond, first published in 1952, is one of the most extraordinary books ever written about that city.   It follows in the lineage of great narratives by champion walkers—Louis-Sébastien Mercier’s Le Tableau de Paris (1781–1788), Nicolas-Edme Restif de la Bretonne’s Les Nuits de Paris (1788–1794), Alexandre Privat d’Anglemont’s Paris anecdote (1854), Léon-Paul Fargue’s Le Piéton de Paris (1939), among others—although its focus is more pointed and specific. Had a translation come out in the 1960s or 1970s, heyday of budget travel guides, someone might have been tempted to call it “Paris on Nothing a Day.” It is primarily concerned with all the ways in which people managed to survive in the city on no money at all, a way of life shared by Clébert himself.  Read more.