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Europeanising Spaces in Paris c. 1947-1962$
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Hugh McDonnell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383025

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383025.001.0001

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The Paris Café as a Europeanising Space

The Paris Café as a Europeanising Space

(p.16) Chapter 1 The Paris Café as a Europeanising Space
Europeanising Spaces in Paris c. 1947-1962

Hugh McDonnell

Liverpool University Press

This chapter takes as its point of departure the critic George Steiner’s citation of the café as an essential marker of the idea of Europe. It then reviews the café’s place in Paris as part of an image of European cosmopolitanism and as a forum in which discourse about Europe was produced. It then considers the implications of the centrality of the café for non-European Parisian residents given the institution’s putative quintessential Europeanness. Here particular attention is paid to Algerians and black Americans. Further, the serenity of the café is juxtaposed to the experience of violence that often underscored discourse about Europe, particularly in regard to the Algerian war of decolonisation and the Cold War. Finally, the chapter considers the function of the café in the image of Jean-Paul Sartre, and its connection to his output on the question of Europe.

Keywords:   Paris, Café, Europe, African Americans, Algerians, Jean-Paul Sartre

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