March Potpourri: Tableaux, Toasts, Trees, and Uplifting Tales

Focus Image Brusseler

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of francophile-related articles, blogs, images, books, or videos that I’d like to share with readers. I’ve combined this potpourri of news items into a single post. Below are some of the gems from March. However, if you only have time for one…

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On the Trail of the Golden Owl, Lucrative Quest or Wild-Goose-Chase?

In April of 1993, a man calling himself Max Valentin, buried a bronze replica of a golden statue said to be worth 1 million French francs. Valentin claimed that the statue, which resembled an owl in flight, was hidden somewhere in mainland France. The following month, he published a book…

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The Satirical Art of Claire Bretécher, Lampooning at its Finest

Nouvel Observateur, August 1997

Claire Bretécher was one of France’s most prominent socio-satirical comic strip authors for more than 4 decades. Bretécher is an icon in the world of bandes dessinées who has served as a role model to aspiring dessinatrices that dream of becoming successful cartoonists. Born in 1940, Bretécher broke into comics…

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Whodunit? The Deadly Bullets that Narrowly Missed General de Gaulle

On the afternoon of August 26, 1944, after 4 years of deprivation and humiliation under German occupation, an estimated 1 million Parisians flocked to the streets to cheer the return of their beloved General Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle had reluctantly fled to England within days of Germany’s taking control…

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February Potpourri: Spectacular Domains, Dali, Dirty Dancing, and More

Jardin au Musée Rodin

Below you’ll find a few cultural tidbits from France that I came across in February. I also review a bande dessinée, which I read last month, by one of my favorite political cartoonists, Patrick Chappatte. In many cases, I provide a link that you can follow to the original source…

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Jules Verne, Captivating Storyteller and Harbinger of the Future

Jules Verne on Magazine Cover

Almost 150 years after the publication of Around the World in 80 Days, people still refer to Jules Verne’s fictional adventure each time someone comes close to breaking a record for circumnavigating the globe. Such was the case for this year’s Vendée Globe, a round-the-world sailing challenge, where the winners…

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Gustave Doré, Illustrious Illustrator Dismissed by the Elite

Scene from Puss in Boots

Last year I received an email that contained a poem by Jean de La Fontaine, the French poet whose fables are classics of French literature. These poems are delightful and that day, I enjoyed lingering over Le petit Poisson et le Pêcheur. However, what struck me more than the verse…

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January Potpourri: Parks, Pipes, Pics, and Popular Portrayals

Eiffel Tower in Winter

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of francophile-related articles, blogs, images, books, or videos that I’d like to share with readers. I’ve combined this potpourri of news items into a single post. Here are some of the gems from January as well as a brief book review…

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