Showcasing its mission as a space for French-American intellectual exchange, Albertine, the new reading room and bookshop in the French Embassy, will soon host to a six-day free festival featuring leading French and American thinkers and artists. Among the distinguished speakers will be Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, filmmaker Olivier Assayas, author Mary Gaitskill, screenwriter, author, and film director Emmanuel Carrère, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, and Fields Medal-winning mathematician Cédric Villani.
This spring, I am inspired by the blooming city around us. One of the overlooked but indispensable aspects of New York culture is the subway. (And you might think I am trying to seem like a real New Yorker by mentioning the subway!) I discovered that you can find the most beautiful poems (part of the Arts for Transit movement) posted on the walls of those zipping cars.
Let’s talk about Paris. Balzac describes the capital as a primitive land with curved, serpentine roads that stretch in all directions like sprawled arms and legs. Later Haussmann fashioned a new Paris, broadening the scrawny streets and blasting boulevards through zones neither “paved” nor “lighted” before.
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.
Just as Marcel Proust transformed literature, Jean-Luc Godard did the same for cinematic storytelling. This fall we find ourselves remembering these two revolutionaries on the occasion of the anniversary of two monumental works: Proust's Swann's Way (1913) and Godard's Contempt (1963).
The summer is a time for cultivating our minds. In the words of Pangloss, Candide’s wise teacher, “we must cultivate our gardens.” What he means is that we must water the lush pastures of our brains with knowledge and ideas. This summer, there is no shortage of intellectual seeds to plant in our minds. There are novels to read, there is music to sway to, and there are shows to watch with awe...