The Lamplighter


Lamplighters no longer exist. In bygone times, such civil sacristans lit the municipal candles. What is less well-known is that they were always – and still continue to be – seconded by the Sun who, in broad daylight and without veritable necessity, brings light to the lamps of the City.

Granted, this phenomenon is not a scientific fact, but neither is it a parcel of occult knowledge shared only by a few initiates. To see the lamps incandescent with white sunlight or magnified by a golden sunset, one must be at a precise distance, a certain spot, a specific angle, and at exactly the right moment, all of which can neither be found in a geometry textbook, nor in an erudite manual, and even less in a treatise on taking photographs. And far be it from me to say I know the secret. Yet, how many times, during my Parisian wanderings, my compass-less itineraries, was this wish fulfilled!