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American writers in Paris: Anais Nin - Houseboat - ; James Baldwin ' Equal in Paris '

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  1. The Quays: a refuge at the heart of the city
  2. Blurring boundaries
  3. Dream and trip: the fragile sources of freedom and creation
  4. James Baldwin: ?Equal in Paris?
    1. Paris and the Parisians
    2. Loneliness and Melancholy
    3. The Arrest: between Fiction and Reality
  5. Conclusion

Anaïs Nin's tale starts with an anguished description of the Parisian atmosphere. The individual represented as is stifled and tossed about by the crowd in the French capital. The city-dwellers are too numerous, too diverse and too indifferent to live in harmony. Like in Baudelaire's poem ?A une passante', the street seems to overwhelm the artist: she has no alternative but to run away. Paradoxically enough, Anaïs Nin feels more insecure in the underground world of the Quays. There she lives near the wretched refuse of the society- the tramps. These people have chosen their own fate. They too have fled the hustle and bustle as well as the burdens of city life and voluntarily rejected the ordinary social life, as is revealed by their ritual of throwing the newspapers into the river. The world they live in is much more egalitarian than the one they left. In the shade of the Napoleonic walls all men are alike and even their physical appearance has been smoothed by time and hardship.

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