In the French polemics over the Islamic headscarf, the relationship betweensecularism and sexual equality has sometimes been made out to be an artificialone. The articulation between politics, religion, secularism, and women'srights is examined here over the longue durée. Since the beginning of the secularizationprocess during the French Revolution, a minority has championedan egalitarian conception of secularization. Rivalries between or convergencesof political and religious authorities have driven an ambivalent and not veryequal secularization, creating secular pacts that rely on gender pacts to thedetriment of equality. This dynamic reversed itself beginning in the 1960swith the battle for legal contraception and abortion, which shook one of thevery bases of French Catholicism to its foundation. The headscarf affairsrevealed the egalitarian effects of secularism and favored the elaboration ofthought about secularism in conjunction with sexual equality, which, whateverthe various interpretations of that thought may be, could prove to be anon-negligible benefit.
Colette and the French Singularity
French women writers of the past: Il se manifeste en ce moment, parmi les femmes de lettres, une réaction contre le ‘genre Colette.’ Il y a cinq ans, sur dix femmes prosateurs, huit imitaient Colette; aujourd'hui, il n'y en a plus que quatre. La mode chez
The Projects of Christophe Boltanski and Ivan Jablonka
liberty of re-remembering [ ressouvenir ].” He sees Daniel Mendelsohn’s quest to recover the lives of family members who died in the Holocaust as “a new genre of witnessing, that of the ‘witness by procuration’, who involves his readers in the emotional
nostalgie et authenticité dans la chanson néo-réaliste
France's retro rock music (chanson néo-réaliste) of the 1990s and 2000s favors acoustic music and "old-fashioned" instruments such as the accordion in order to reject today's fascination with novelty and consumerism. In doing so, this music genre looks back to pre-war France and rehabilitates an all-white national culture that is problematically nostalgic, in a similar fashion to the film Amélie. This article explores the ways in which chanson néo-réaliste still manages to forge a sense of protest identity in contemporary France, while engaging in apparently reactionary tactics. The specificities of this music genre are explored through an analysis of the lyrics, music, iconography and performance of, primarily, the group Têtes Raides, while contrasting their nostalgia of "protest" with that of the more commercially successful genre of variétés.
Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson, Jane Mayo Roos, Robin Walz, and Tamara Chaplin Matheson
Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson Paris: Capital of the World, trans. Arthur Goldhammer by Patrice Higonnet
Jane Mayo Roos Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life under Siege 1870-71 by Hollis Clayson
Robin Walz Genre, Myth, and Convention in the French Cinema, 1929-1939 by Colin Crisp
Tamara Chaplin Matheson The de Gaulle Presidency and the Media: Statism and Public Communications by Jean K. Chalaby
This article explores the relationship between existentialism and the horror genre. Noël Carroll and others have proposed that horror monsters defy established categories. Carroll also argues that the emotion they provoke - 'art-horror' - is a 'composite' of fear and disgust. I argue that the sometimes horrifying images and metaphors of Sartre's early philosophy, which correlate with nausea and anxiety, have a non-coincidental commonality with art-horror explained by existentialism's preoccupation with the interstitial nature of the self. Further, it is argued that, as with some of the more sophisticated examples of the horror genre, the way for existential protagonists like Roquentin and Gregor Samsa to meet the challenge of the horrifying involves an accommodation of these features of the existential condition within their developing identity, which results in them appearing monstrous to others. Lastly, it is claimed that the association between existentialism and art-horror can explain the (paradoxical) appeal of horror.
For those of us accustomed to thinking of French cinema as a low-budget, philosophical alternative to Hollywood, the past few years might have been a bit disorienting. Established auteurs (Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Agnès Varda) and challenging newcomers (Gaspard Noé, Catherine Breillat, Erick Zonca) continue to impress, but their idiosyncratic views are now complemented by an increasing number of what look a lot like, well, French “blockbusters.” These are popular genre films that feature special effects and glossy production values.
Pour étudier le débat public sur la reconnaissance des unions de même sexe, la comparaison transatlantique nous confronte à un paradoxe1. D’une part, pendant les années 1990, la référence aux États-Unis est systématiquement invoquée en France, qu’il s’agisse de genre ou de sexualité, mais aussi d’ethnicité ou de race. D’autre part, durant la même période, en France comme aux États-Unis, on débat publiquement de la reconnaissance du couple homosexuel : on parle ainsi en même temps de choses comparables des deux côtés de l’Atlantique.
un mal français
Les deux dernières décennies de la chronique politique française ont été caractérisées, entre autres, par l’éclosion incessante d’« affaires » mettant en cause la probité des dirigeants. Les « scandales » à répétition qui émaillent désormais le débat public en ont profondément affecté la nature. Cet article ne prétend pas proposer une interprétation d’ensemble du phénomène. Il se contente, sur la base des observations de l’auteur, d’avancer quelques pistes de compréhension de cette « corruption » à la française. Nous nous limiterons ici à la sphère proprement politique, même si les « affaires » de ce genre n’épargnent évidemment pas les domaines administratif et économique.
Edward C. Knox
In the last ten to fifteen years, at least twenty personal narratives and sets of essays have appeared, recounting attempts by Americans to fit in, to belong at some level in France. These texts, of which Adam Gopnik’s Paris to the Moon is probably the best known, have by now become a full-fledged genre, one that appears, moreover, to be more prominent on France than on any other country or culture, with Italy/Tuscany as the only competitor. Two became bestsellers (Gopnik and Sedaris) and a third (Kaplan) was a National Book Award finalist. Nor is this an isolated phenomenon, as Carolyn Durham demonstrates in the area of fiction elsewhere in this issue.