A month of love & intellectual exchange

January 30, 2014 | By Antonin Baudry

Dear Friends,

Intellectuals, existentialists, and lovers, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir exchanged intense letters throughout a life-long friendship and romance.  In one of these letters, Sartre gushes “At Toulouse I simply loved you. Tonight I love you on a spring evening. I love you with the window open” His words are proof of a consuming passion.

This February, we invite you to celebrate a month of love and intellectual exchange.  On the 6th, the French Embassy will present the first French Voices Awards ceremony and will honor the late non-profit publishing pioneer André Schiffrin (who introduced Sartre, among several other great writers, to the U.S.).  The French Voices Awards recognize translators and American publishers for encouraging the publication of French titles in the U.S. Created in 2006, the French Voices program has supported the translation and publication of more than 82 French titles.  The French Voices Awards were established with goals that align perfectly with Schiffrin’s mission: to expand the selection of translated works in America, and to prove that high-quality literature and successful sales are not mutually exclusive.  

While the French Voices Awards stimulate a cross-cultural dialogue rooted in the written word, Conversations with Chevaliers sets up discussions between illustrious cultural figures. The series highlights the contributions of the artists and intellectuals from around the world who have received the prestigious French Legion of Honor or Order of Arts and Letters awards, and honors the historic French-American relationship.

Let French culture be your valentine this February: be wooed by Sartre, awed by the best French literary voices, and inspired by all-stars of the French cultural scene.  With uninhibited love, Sartre ends his letter to Beauvoir with, “I love you with all my heart and soul.”  To you, reader, mon semblable, mon frère*, I wish a month full of love and French-American exchange!  

Sincerely,

Antonin Baudry

*From Baudelaire’s Fleurs du mal ; famously quoted in T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland

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