France

Why the French Election Matters

On May 6, Americans will understandably be more impatient to watch the 2012 Comedy Awards than to discover the winner of the second round of the French presidential elections. And this is not because now that Stephen Colbert has a Super-Pac, American politics have officially merged with comedy. 

Au Travail

One of the first dramatic conflicts to propel The Map And The Territory, Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, is a quintessentially French scene of heroism and vexation: the protagonist’s water-heater wheezes, hisses, sputters, peters out and dies.  It’s Christmas Eve (when else for a  water-heater to die but on extended week-end holi

Beyond Strauss-Kahn, An Indictment of French Political Culture

“It’s our September 11th” confides a socialist supporter to reporters as the news broke that former IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, also known as “DSK,” has been charged for sexual assault and attempted rape in New York. And as for September 11th, there are some in France that are more comfortable imagining fictions of conspiracies than trying to think through the unthinkable.