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“One Is Not Born a Dramatist”

The Genesis of Sartre’s Theatrical Career in Writings to, with, and by Beauvoir

Dennis A. Gilbert

attract him to a career in dramatic writing and theatrical performance? This vast subject, the genesis of Sartre’s theatrical career, exceeds the limitations of this article. In the pages that follow, I focus only on the most revealing sources of this

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Bleu, Blanc…Green?

France and Climate Change

Éloi Laurent

The deadly heat wave of August 2003 convinced a majority of French of the dramatic impact of climate change. This article aims at presenting evidence and analysis about public perception, environmental performance, and policy development in France with regards to this major public apprehension. The French are indeed among the most concerned people in the world and the EU about climate change, and they seem more willing than others to act resolutely to mitigate it. Yet, if the performance of the French economy in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (GHS) is flattering, ambitious public policies will have to be implemented to achieve the "factor 4" objective set in 2005 (a four-fold reduction of GHG by 2050). This was precisely the main purpose of the "Grenelle environnement," which in 2007 tried to build into the law the national consensus on climate change and the sustainability of which is bound to be tested by acute economic difficulties.

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Marino De Luca

Several parties throughout the world are democratizing their internal processes. The most notable tools for achieving this aim are the primary elections through which electoral candidates and party leaders are selected. This article seek to analyze these “selections” by using survey data relating to primary elections held in October 2011 by the French Socialist Party. In particular, we make use of survey data to describe extensively some social and political characteristics of the voters and to connect them with the electoral performances of the candidates.

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Tony Fisher

The article develops Sartre's remarks on the paradox of the actor in two ways. Firstly, it derives from them an 'existential ontology' of mimetic performance - an 'onto-mimetology'. Secondly, it uses this reconstruction in order to put pressure on Sartre's analogy of the actor with bad faith. In grasping the problem of acting from a Sartrean perspective, I show that this analogy is not as clear cut as he assumes and that a crucial difference exists between the situation of the theatre and that of bad faith. To master the paradox of his own being I argue the actor's technique indeed utilizes the same 'non-persuasiveness-of-belief ' thesis identified by Sartre as the condition of possibility for bad faith, yet in the actor's case it need not necessitate the condition of bad faith. In conclusion, I propose that through the notion of play, the actor sheds intriguing light on Sartre's notion of freedom.

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The Mendès France Milk Regime

Alcoholism as a Problem of Agricultural Subsidies, 1954–1955

Joseph Bohling

In 1954, Pierre Mendès France committed the state to curbing alcoholism as part of an effort to reorient important agricultural sectors and improve French economic performance, using milk as a symbol of his government's new direction. While Mendès France's milk drinking was often portrayed as the whim of a maverick politician, this article shows instead that it was the expression of a broadly based movement to modernize the economy. Challenging the view of an insular state that exclusively served the powerful alcohol lobbies, this article contends that the success of alcohol reform hinged on Mendès France's ability to overcome parliament and pit other economic sectors and a public health movement against those lobbies. Although it would require the more centralized authority of the Fifth Republic to implement lasting reforms to the alcohol sector, the Mendès France government helped raise public awareness about the purported link between alcoholism and agricultural subsidies that kept uncompetitive producers on the land at the taxpayer's expense.

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Panique Celtique

Manau's Celtic Rap, Breton Cultural Expression, and Contestatory Performance in Contemporary France

Charles R. Batson

The highly successful 1998 album Panique celtique launched the group of rappers known as Manau and their self-styled "Celtic rap fusion" onto the French musical scene, bringing Breton binious to join the beatboxes on France's hip-hop radio stations and concert stages. As they engage a strikingly heteroclite blending of both rap and Breton musical traditions, Manau's work configures a Celtic Brittany as a rich site of contestation and revalorization. This article traces histories of French-language rap and Breton musical expression and analyzes their politicized uses in their respective historico-cultural contexts. Concluding with an exploration of current questions concerning how the past informs the shape of present performance, especially in light of Breton cultural particularities, the author suggests that Manau's rapped Celtic stylings both occasion an interrogation of cultural identity through music and point to charged social meanings attributed to performed Frenchness and Otherness in early twenty-first-century France.

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Danièle Hervieu-Léger

Il est toujours hasardeux d’évaluer l’importance d’un livre à son format et à son nombre de pages. Ce serait en l’occurrence une lourde erreur que de sousestimer la portée de ce petit livre, sous le prétexte qu’il se présente comme la reprise écrite et apparemment « facile » d’une conférence donnée en mars 1996 dans le cadre du Cercle Condorcet. Mon sentiment est au contraire que cet ouvrage réalise, en 127 pages, une double performance intellectuelle et pédagogique. Il met d’abord à portée de lecteurs non nécessairement familiers des outils théoriques de la philosophie politique la thèse principale du livre majeur paru en 19851 quant au devenir de la religion dans les sociétés modernes. Il offre ensuite une perspective d’une cohérence lumineuse pour penser la mutation présente des idéaux et de la pratique de la démocratie : une mutation qui fait vaciller l’édifice de la laïcité à la française.

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The Far Right Vote in France

From Consolidation to Collapse?

James Shields

The presidential and legislative elections of 2007 are widely seen to have marked the end of the Far Right as a major political force in France. How could this occur only five years after Le Pen's qualification for the presidential run-off, and with his party seemingly in the ascendant? This article discusses recent fluctuations in Far Right electoral performance in France. It focuses largely on the presidential elections of 2002 and 2007, re-examining the (supposed) upswell of Far Right support in 2002 and its (supposed) subsidence in 2007. Both elections require nuanced interpretation. Both confounded poll predictions, which in 2007 failed to measure the effect of Sarkozy's hard-right campaign and, crucially, the extent to which the border between “mainstream Right” and “Far Right” had shifted since 2002. This allowed Sarkozy to drain part of Le Pen's electorate, and raises questions over the wider impact of Le Pen and the FN on the political agenda in France.

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René, Ginette, Louise et les autres

nostalgie et authenticité dans la chanson néo-réaliste

Barbara Lebrun

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.

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Andrew Ryder

Sartre's play Les Mouches (The Flies), first performed in 1943 under German occupation, has long been controversial. While intended to encourage resistance against the Nazis, its approval by the censor indicates that the regime did not recognize the play as a threat. Further, its apparently violent and solitary themes have been read as irresponsible or apolitical. For these reasons, the play has been characterized as ambiguous or worse. Sartre himself later saw it as overemphasizing individual autonomy, and in the view of one critic, it conveys an “existentialist fascism.” In response to this reading, it is necessary to attend to the elements of the play that already emphasize duty to society. From this perspective, the play can be seen as anticipating the concern with collective responsibility usually associated with the later Sartre of the 1960s. More than this, the play's apparent “ambiguity” can be found to exemplify a didacticism that is much more complex than sometimes attributed to Sartre. It is not only an exhortation about ethical responsibility, but also a performance of the difficulties attendant to that duty.