Tagged with France
A better new decade?
I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year: I am certain I am not the only one hoping that this new decade will mark a new beginning.Read the article
Pooling Anglo-French defence: a sign of progress, or of decline?
Pooling Anglo-French defence: a sign of progress, or of decline?Read the article
Can the Fifth Republic survive M Sarkozy?
The dangerous path on which France's once admirable institutions have been taken over the past few years has just reached a new low with even the existence of Cabinet solidarity apparently forgotten by the current administration.Read the article
Does French tech have any future at all?
France, historically a cradle of cutting-edge technology, has gradually departed from that stance and has increasingly turned into a sort of cultural but irrelevant DisneylandRead the article
Whither France’s institutions? The tragic and unlamented end of a thirty-year golden age
From 1962 to 1992, the system put in place by de Gaulle was highly successful. This has now given way to a period of instability, governmental weakness and disillusionmentRead the article
My difficult start to a new decade, and the tribulations of the French healthcare system, which is still probably the world's bestRead the article
Why does literature seek to give meaning to the yearning for death?
French letters since the eighteenth century are strongly coloured by death and, more particularly, by death wishes. In this post I look at a subject that most will regard as unnecessarily stern in an age where happiness has been erected into a moral imperative.Read the article
Yvonne, princesse de Bourgogne: Gerard Mortier shuts his bolt pretty triumphantly
Over the past four years, Gerard Mortier has presided over a quiet revolution in style, matched by a major shift in the audience of that venerable Parisian institutionRead the article
Should France change her national anthem?
A modest, and rather frivolous, contribution to the debate that sometimes recurs about the words of France's national anthem.Read the article
I have been know to enjoy Rosenkavalier sometimes
A review of Gerard Mortier's lovely production of Strauss's Rosenkavalier at the Paris Bastille Opera.Read the article
When in France, don't ever wear brown shoes after 6 pm
Never, ever, ever wear brown shoes in Paris after 6 p.m.Read the article
Jonathan Littell is no match for Julien Green
A review of American-born Jonathan Littel's rather heavy-handed novel, *Les Bienveillantes*. One inevitably comes to the conclusion that he is not is the same league as the other, more famous American writer who wrote in French, Julien Green.Read the article
The French themselves don't realise how beautifully French Les Troyens is
A quick review of *Les Troyens*, arguably France's most beautiful opera, and rather inexplicably quite misunderstood. Gerard Mortier, director of the Paris Opera, has rightly gone against this trend by making it the highlight of the year's season.Read the article
Cheap Monday or how to be thin, poor and fashionable
If you want to be fashionable, you can never be too thin (that bit hasn’t changed), or too poor.Read the article
La Dame aux Camélias: crusty old fogeys, jumping for joy
A review of Neumeier's *La Dame aux camellias*. I wonder why it took so long for this wonderful ballet piece, created in 1978, to be included in the Opera’s *répertoire*.Read the article
Don't let the French president get elected by chance
A quick look at the result of the French 2002 presidential election: the two-ballot winner-takes-all system could potentially again result in one of the two mainstream candidates not making it to the second ballot. Yet nobody seems to care.Read the article
Would the Social Register types in New York hate Haneke too?
A review of Heneke's *Don Giovanni* at the Palais Garnier, which received an absolutely awful welcome from the pretentious Parisian public.Read the article