Forget Simone De Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, and Naomi Wolf. Descartes gave us all that we needed to claim gender equality a long time ago.


"FRANCE HAS A NEW PRESIDENT." It does not look like much of a statement on paper, or on a computer screen: five little words, almost too short for a tweet. But France today is still dazed from the news, floating between disbelief, relief, and exhaustion.


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. 


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


Michel Houellebecq is quite a character. The bad boy of French letters has made his name building post-humanist novels where dogs and clones are the rare creatures achieving a modicum of happiness.


So Twitter can hide some tweets, and does, and will continue to do so, now with a toothpick precision to tailor its approach according to the law of the land (or landline) where the 140 character chirp has been posted. And everyone is up in arms and ready to boycott the addictive site for… a day.


It's hard to catch up with the latest episodes in the Strauss-Kahn drama (rumor has it that screenwriters are frantically taking notes to spurt out a series for cable television come September).


The debate heats up in France after a pointed critique of "Le Féminisme à la française" by Joan W. Scott in Libération (06/10/2011). [Edited 07/06/2011]


“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.


I love words. And I love books. And I have been known to fall in love with a couple databases (specifically those I don’t have to compile myself).


Cecile Alduy's picture
Cecile Alduy
« Je ne puis tenir registre de ma vie par mes actions: fortune les met trop bas; je le tiens par mes fantasies. » Montaigne, Essais, III, 9, 945 A prescient definition of blogging, no? Cécile Alduy, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of French Studies at Stanford University. A former student from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, she teaches French literature and film, with an emphasis on gender and ethnic studies.  Her research interests include Renaissance literature and culture, the history of the body, poetry, cognitive theory, and more generally how we make sense of the world.