Saturday, February 22, 2020

Coffee and Revolution

From History:
Parisian Cafés, with their social egalitarianism, were an ideal location for Republican agitation and organization during the French Revolution. A royalist of the era complained: 
“Where does so much mad agitation come from? From a crowd of minor clerks and lawyers, from unknown writers, starving scribblers, who go about rabble rousing in clubs and cafés. These are the hotbeds that have forged the weapons with which the masses are armed today.” 
The Paris's Café de Foy hosted the call to arms for the storming of the Bastille. During the Enlightenment, the Café Procope had been the place where men like Rousseau, Diderot and Voltaire gathered to hone their philosophies and art. After the Revolution, Parisian café culture again became the haunt of writers and thinkers gathering to exchange ideas and work on their next masterpiece. 
Expatriates like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot met at La Rotonde. French poet and critic Apollinaire worked on his art review, “Les Soirées de Paris,” at the Café de Flore, sitting alongside André Breton. By midcentury, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre debated and created philosophies from its tables. (Read more.)

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