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Paris, France

Paris has always been France for most Francophiles, and even those who have had no special love or even liking for France. In nineteenth-century Paris, it was acknowledged that this capital of a country was far from being only a regional center: it was, or certainly it seemed, the center of the European world. (That is, of course, to those to whom Europe was the world.) It is a mythology, perhaps, but one that has endured. That fame has spread out beyond the borders of the nation and earned a place in the hearts and minds of multitudes. In the world of fiction, which often, in Paris, seems to be the real world, it was clear how the following statement was equivalent to truth: “Paris ...

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