Filed under fiction | Tags: · 1940s, 1950s, existentialism, feminism, france, paris, philosophy, politics
In her famous novel, The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir takes an unflinching look at Parisian intellectual society at the end of World War II. In fictionally relating the stories of those around her – Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Arthur Koestler, Nelson Algren – de Beauvoir dissects the emotional and philosophical currents of her time. At once an engrossing drama and an intriguing political tale, The Mandarins is the emotional odyssey of a woman torn between her inner desires and her public life.
First published in French as Les Mandarins, Gallimard, 1954
Translated by Leonard M. Friedman
First published in English in 1956
Publisher Harper, London, 2005
With an Introduction by Doris Lessing
François Cusset: French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States (2003–) [FR, EN]
Filed under book | Tags: · deconstruction, feminism, france, history, history of philosophy, literary theory, marxism, philosophy, politics, postmodern, poststructuralism, structuralism, theory, united states
“During the last three decades of the twentieth century, a disparate group of radical French thinkers achieved an improbable level of influence and fame in the United States. Compared by at least one journalist to the British rock ‘n’ roll invasion, the arrival of works by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari on American shores in the late 1970s and 1980s caused a sensation.
Outside the academy, “French theory” had a profound impact on the era’s emerging identity politics while also becoming, in the 1980s, the target of right-wing propagandists. At the same time in academic departments across the country, their poststructuralist form of radical suspicion transformed disciplines from literature to anthropology to architecture. By the 1990s, French theory was woven deeply into America’s cultural and intellectual fabric.
French Theory is the first comprehensive account of the American fortunes of these unlikely philosophical celebrities. François Cusset looks at why America proved to be such fertile ground for French theory, how such demanding writings could become so widely influential, and the peculiarly American readings of these works. Reveling in the gossipy history, Cusset also provides a lively exploration of the many provocative critical practices inspired by French theory. Ultimately, he dares to shine a bright light on the exultation of these thinkers to assess the relevance of critical theory to social and political activism today—showing, finally, how French theory has become inextricably bound with American life.”
Publisher La Découverte, Paris, 2003
Translated by Jeff Fort, With Josephine Berganza and Marlon Jones
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2008
ISBN 0816647321, 9780816647323
French Theory: Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze & Cie et les mutations de la vie intellectuelle aux États-Unis. (French)
French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States. (English)
Filed under book | Tags: · cultural history, enlightenment, france, history, reading
“When the apprentices of a Paris printing shop in the 1730s held a series of mock trials and then hanged all the cats they could lay their hands on, why did they find it so hilariously funny that they choked with laughter when they reenacted it in pantomime some twenty times? Why in the eighteenth-century version of Little Red Riding Hood did the wolf eat the child at the end? What did the anonymous townsman of Montpelier have in mind when he kept an exhaustive dossier on all the activities of his native city? These are some of the provocative questions Robert Darnton answers in this classic work of European history in what we like to call ‘The Age of Enlightenment.'”
First published in 1984
Publisher Basic Books, New York, 1990
Reviews: Roger Chartier (Journal of Modern History, 1985), David E. Apter (American Journal of Sociology, 1985).
Commentaries: Darnton (Journal of Modern History, 1986), Dominick LaCapra (Journal of Modern History, 1988), Philip Stewart (Journal of Modern History, 1994).