Tag Archives: Paris

Classic Book Review: “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway

We revisit Hemingway's classic to contemplate how the deaths of WWI hovered over Paris' "roaring" years.

I’d never meditated on “A Moveable Feast“’s relationship with death. Sure, I’d thought of Ernest Hemingway’s classic as a book about the obvious: hunger and gratitude, honesty and unrelenting love. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were champions of the latter … Continue reading

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Death in Tahiti: Gauguin’s “Spirit of the Dead Watching”

Paul Gauguin made many paintings in his beloved Tahiti — but one stands out above the rest for its fixation on Tahitian death beliefs

Artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) fell in love with Tahiti. A native Parisian, the painter’s productivity thrived in a setting that provided an otherwise unimaginable landscape filled with inspiration. What makes his oeuvre unique is not only its integral role in … Continue reading

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Behind Death Masks: A History of How a Funeral Decoration Transformed Into a Tool to Improve Lives

The ancient funerary art of death masks allows us to look through the eyes of our ancestors

The practice of creating death masks to remember those who have passed is a ritual that can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Rome. The most recognizable death mask comes from the tomb of Tutankhamun himself. The likeness of … Continue reading

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A Very Easy Death by Simone de Beauvoir

In writing on her mother's death, French writer Simone de Beauvoir touched on palliative and end-of-life care questions long before her time

The most remarkable thing about Simone de Beauvoir’s A Very Easy Death (1964) is its author’s deft choice to seek the ordinary. Beauvoir’s is not a story we haven’t heard before — mother is diagnosed with cancer; children struggle by … Continue reading

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The Catacombs of Paris: Unique Burial Site of Ancient France

The history behind the creation of one of the world’s most famous burial sites

Prior to a 1785 ban on future burials within the center of Paris, an abundance of church cemeteries existed throughout the city. A combination of greed and neglect in performing proper burials led to human remains being placed in church … Continue reading

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Coping With Death: Pierre Bergé and a Life in Objects

Bergé's partner, Yves Saint Laurent, died from a terminal illness in 2008 -- but Bergé says it wasn't just a disease that made his life cancerous

Friday, June 6th 2008 – the streets of Paris were brimming with citizens, all gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of couturier Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). Along with Chanel, YSL is known as one of the great bookends … Continue reading

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