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SIGNATURE MOMENT
Enjoying superb views of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro
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Walking in the footsteps of Hemingway, Apollinaire and other writers
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Seeing major works in the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art
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Savouring café life in some of Paris’s most iconic establishments

They Came to Paris: Literature 1910–1940

May 13-19, 2021

7 days | France | Literary Adventures

Readings: Selections from Alcools by Guillaume Apollinaire; The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway; Nadja by André Breton; selected French poetry; selected short works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; selected WWI poetry.

It is 1910 in Paris, and Coco Chanel has just opened a shop selling stylish, lightweight hats near Place Vendôme. A little farther down the Seine, visitors to the Paris Motor Show can admire the new neon lights on display. Up the hill in Montmartre and across the river in Montparnasse, a quiet revolution is underway. Pablo Picasso has already painted (although not yet publicly exhibited) his shocking, angular Demoiselles d’Avignon. His friend Guillaume Apollinaire is working on a collection of “cubist” poems, Alcools, that experiment with perspective and will pave the way for generations of European and American poets looking for new modes of expression.

Step back into this world at once foreign and familiar, and experience the cultural history of Paris from a different angle. The 1920s of the “lost generation” are often seen as the beginning of modernism and its rupture with the conventions and values of the pre-war world. In fact, by the early 1900s a new order is already taking shape. Paris will be the epicentre, drawing ambitious writers and artists from across France and around the world. But the work done here will reflect a restlessness felt far beyond the French capital.

On this journey, you’ll trace the rise of modernism through the cafés and clubs of Montmartre and Montparnasse, the Champs-Élysées theatres that staged daring new productions, the grand public projects in the Trocadéro, and the cinemas of the post-war years. Custom guided walks, literary discussions and museum visits will deepen your understanding of life in Paris in the early years of the 20th century and the role the city played in the creative explosion that took place during and after World War I. You’ll see how the war intensified and accelerated a profound cultural and social shift we still feel one hundred years later. On our optional post-trip extension to the Somme, with excursions to Beaumont Hamel and Vimy Ridge, see up close the contradictory nature of the war, at once a source of literal and artistic destruction and creation.

You’ll meet plenty of larger-than-life characters along the way, including Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Guillaume Apollinaire, Le Corbusier, Paul Valéry, Kiki de Montparnasse, and Mary Borden. They lived through and tried to make sense of a time that was exhilarating and glamorous but also desperate and confusing. Read favourite works with fresh eyes, and let new readings give you an expanded sense of how writers, artists, architects and musicians strove to create a new way of being in a world that had become unrecognizable.

Join Classical Pursuits on a unique voyage that will take you from the turn of the century to the eve of the Second World War, and change forever the way you see the City of Light.
Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. US$3395
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants

What’s included: Accommodation based on double occupancy in hotel listed or similar, breakfast daily; lunch or dinner daily; Paris Métro tickets; all activities and literary discussions; all entrance fees to sites visited with the group; services of specialized English-speaking guides; all gratuities for local guides, hotel, and group meals; all taxes; hosted by Melanie Blake.

"Fun activities and great food." - 2019 literary adventure traveller

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Meet in Paris 
2Exploring Montmartre
3Montparnasse and the Musée d’Art Moderne
4Cinema history and the Centre Pompidou
5Gallimard and St-Germain-des-Prés
6Trocadéro and Fondation Le Corbusier
7Depart Paris  
Optional Extension Vimy Ridge and the Somme
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Your Tour Leaders

Lisa Pasold is a Canadian writer who divides her time between Paris and New Orleans. She is currently the host of Discovery’s travel show, “Paris Next Stop.” She has published a novel and three books of poetry.

Melanie Blake is a writer and editor who developed a deep interest in fiction from Asia during a three-year stint in India. She has canoed, kayaked, sailed, trekked and cycled down or along rivers ranging from the Hudson to the Dordogne to the Indus.

Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. US$3395
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants

What’s included: Accommodation based on double occupancy in hotel listed or similar, breakfast daily; lunch or dinner daily; Paris Métro tickets; all activities and literary discussions; all entrance fees to sites visited with the group; services of specialized English-speaking guides; all gratuities for local guides, hotel, and group meals; all taxes; hosted by Melanie Blake.

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They Came to Paris: Literature 1910–1940

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