Masterful Street Artists Across France Hail Ukraine, Vilify Putin

Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, people around the world have found myriad ways to show their support for the besieged European nation. The French are no exception. The day after Putin’s first attack, the Eiffel tower was illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. A week later, Notre Dame…

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Battle for Ukraine, Through the Eyes of French Editorial Cartoonists

Putin's table by Chappatte

We can argue about whether editorial cartoons make us laugh or cry, but the best among them should make us think. Here are some of my favorites from France which take aim at Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine and the West’s counter-reaction. See Also Masterful Street Artists Across France Hail…

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Pondering Diderot’s Encyclopedia Never Ceases to Blow My Mind

In the fall of 2011, I signed up for a French literature course at Eastern Michigan University. I loved the class and am indebted to our professor, Benjamin Palmer, who improved my understanding of great literature and its relationship to history. I enthusiastically enrolled in a second semester that winter…

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Into the Lobster Pot—French Immersion in Montpellier

Montpellier

For the last two weeks, I’ve been taking an online course on writing creative nonfiction. The instructor, Josh Rivkin, has provided a steady stream of informative tips, interesting reading assignments, and inspiring prompts. My blog for this week features the beginning of a longer story about my trip to Montpellier,…

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The Indefatigable Nadar and his Pantheon of Cultural Big Wigs

Nadar focus image

Perhaps you’ve heard of Nadar, an industrious, yet chaotic, bon vivant who lived in Paris at the end of the 19th century. I had not until writing about the life of Gustave Doré, a brilliant illustrator whose career was launched, in part, through Nadar’s promotional efforts. His name popped up…

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Two French Films that Will Make You Appreciate the Cold

Pallas's cat

As I’ve mentioned before, winter here in Michigan is longer than I would like. However, as I struggle to stay warm inside my drafty home, the phrase “if you can’t beat it, join it” often comes to mind. Here are two recently-viewed French films that have helped me appreciate the…

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La Tour Triangle, Controversial New Skyscraper to Grace Paris

La Tour Triangle

The city of Paris is known for many cultural treasures, including a long history of architectural marvels. To maintain the city’s celebrated beauty, however, skyscrapers have largely been forbidden. Other than the Eiffel Tower, constructed in 1889, and La Tour Montparnasse, an office building erected in 1973, there are no…

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