Articles on French literature

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‘I want to produce such an impression of utter weariness and ennui that my readers will imagine the book could only have been written by a cretin,’ Flaubert wrote. Photo by Nadar / ullstein bild via Getty Images

We’re living in the bizarre world that Flaubert envisioned

Is a 19th-century French author’s cosmic joke turning into a real-life global nightmare?
Mourners gather at a memorial for victims of the Nice, France attacks. EPA/OLIVIER ANRIGO

Reading French literature in a time of terror

The French novel uniquely blends social critique, personal struggle, entertainment and aesthetics – underpinned by an irony that winks at human weakness. Can it help us in these dark days of extremist violence?
Award-winning French author Michel Houellebecq is no stranger to controversy. kojoku/Shutterstock

Paris attack brings focus to French author Michel Houellebecq

When gunmen (thought to be radicalized Muslims) burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo on the morning of January 7, the front page of the satirical newspaper’s most recent edition featured a caricature…
Rumours of an affair have raised Hollande’s dander. AP Photo/Francois Mori

Memo to Francois Hollande: no sex please, we’re French

Liberté, égalité, infidélité. The three stout pillars of the French constitution. Mitterrand, Chirac, Sarkozy, and now François Hollande: it’s a grand tradition – and if you tot their conquests up they…

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