I was recently reading The White Cities, Joseph Roth’s reports from France, 1925–1939, when, amongst many other moments, I was struck by the following passage: The manufacturers have their villas on the other side of the Rhône. That’s where the workers live – not in villas, alas, but in tenements. I go there for my evenings. It’s only among the poor that one can get a sense of what an evening is. For everyone else evening is an extension of their day. For the poor it signifies peace and rest. They sit outside their doors, they wander slowly down to the river and watch the water. The enormous fatigue of the day drops from their hard hands.
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Conference paper (unpublished)
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Society for the Study of French History Annual Conference
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