May 7, 1974
As you must realize, I am no longer the young man of Adolf Dehn’s drawing, being now 64, ‘bi’, and a little ralenti. But I still have the same feeling for youth and for the Paris which is its constant expression and true locality.
When you say you would like to go back ‘in time’ to the Paris of the 20’s, I can’t resist telling you that in those 20’s many of us were no less fascinated by the Paris of the ’90’s, the so-called Belle Epoque. And the people of those days had, in their turn, a nostalgia for the belle époque of Offenbach and the 2nd Empire. And the 2nd Empire doubtless looked back wistfully to the 18th century. And so it goes. But Paris itself remains. As you already seem to have divined, it is the city of one’s dreams, not of any reality: in other words, it’s what we ourselves make it, though its beauty remains.