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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January Potpourri: Buzz, Beauty, and Beguiling Media from France

EU Blue Eiffel Tower-focus

Fun and informative Francophone news items that came across my screen in January. France Heads the European Union Until this month, I didn’t realize that the presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates between its various member states, changing every 6 months. Starting January 1 and ending June…

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Rebuilding Notre Dame, Painstaking Battle Between New and Old

Notre Dame on Fire

This spring will mark the 3-year anniversary of the devastating fire that destroyed the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A day after the inferno, President Emmanuel Macron announced to the world that within 5 years France would “rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, more beautiful than ever”. Since then,…

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Tactless or Tactical? French President Macron Threatens Anti-Vaxers

Un Communiqué par Déligne

Many people love the French language for its flowing sonorous qualities or its meticulous adherence to grammatical rules. Once you’ve studied French a bit, you’re also likely to appreciate the language’s elaborate lexicon of profanity. Last week, President Macron stepped outside of the usual guardrails of European political decorum and…

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Year-End Humor from France, Ring Out 2021 with a Laugh

As we ring in 2022, here are holiday gags from some of my favorite French cartoonists, along with English translations. I’ve also included a charming little video for those of you who do or do not speak French. Thank you to everyone who’s read or commented on my blog in…

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