Any denizen of France will tell you: Certes, Athens, Florence and a few other cities had their moments, but Paris has reigned as the Western wellspring and magnet for arts and artists for centuries. The influence of French visual art, music and literature reaches beyond Euro-America into Asia and Africa, while drawing freely from those […]

ONE RIDER DOWN With at least one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Trump, Putin, Orban, Erdogan, Modi et al.) knocked out of his saddle this morning, the world looks a little less damned. The Amazon can breathe! My intent yesterday was to ignore politics completely in this letter, but the defeat of Boss Bolsonaro […]

Not surprisingly with a political flavor. Dear readers in French, have you read Aneantir? Your thoughts? BOOK REVIEWS WORLD LITERATURE TODAY Michel Houellebecq, Political Animal? July 12, 2022 by Kai Maristed According to Christian Authier, himself a prizewinning novelist and recently the author of Houellebecq politique(Flammarion, 2022), Michel Houellebecq is “uncontestably the major [French] writer of […]

At a few minutes past 8 p.m., in Nice, the multiple knots in pointdevue’s tummy are unwinding. Around midday rumors were swirling (fed by Belgian TV) that the race looked too close to call. I wandered around town, restless and anxious, with a real touch of vertigo. Too much at stake to list here at […]

Only the speechifiers, with a p.a. system at their disposal, can make themselves heard over the deafening drumbeats and burst of song from hundred of militant throats. These are festive militants enjoying the national tradition of taking to the streets (thank god yesterday’s rain is over!) many in clownish costumes or yellow vests. But all […]

Poetry Review: Writer Alain Mabanckou — Taking Life Both to Heart and in Stride November 30, 2021 1 Comment By Kai Maristed Take a dive into any of Alain Mabanckou’s works in English — and definitely score a copy of the new translation, As Long as Trees Take Root in the Earth, beautifully crafted and […]

Talking Trash or Talking Straight?‘Emmerder,’ loosely translated by the US media as ‘to piss off’, should certainly be voted January’s Mot du Moi, Word of the Month. Emmanuel Macron (e-m-… is there a conspiracy afoot here?) has been forever lambasted as an elitist out of touch with le Peuple. Not so! In a recent interview […]