Haitians on Haiti

Jean-Claude Bajeux is director of the Ecumenical Center for Human Rights in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and one of the leaders of the political party Konakom. He and his family left Haiti in October 1993 after their house was attacked by members of FRAPH, and he has recently returned. Haiti, with its …

The Umbrella, the Night World, and the Lonely Moon

Chronique des Sept Misères

by Patrick Chamoiseau

Solibo Magnifique

by Patrick Chamoiseau
A Legendary Meeting In 1941, on his way to exile in America, André Breton stopped in Martinique. First he was interned by the Vichy sympathizers then in power, then released a few days later. Walking around Fort-de-France, he went into a haberdasher’s, where he found an issue of a local …

Rousseau in the Revolution

Rousseau and the Republic of Virtue: The Language of Politics in the French Revolution

by Carol Blum

A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution

edited by François Furet, edited by Mona Ozouf
Rousseau was the great critic of his own society and he made his case against it brilliantly and provocatively. In place of the evil that he denounced he put forward his vision of a just society and a happier world with an eloquence admired even by his opponents. He conquered …

The Passions of Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville: Selected Letters on Politics and Society

edited by Roger Boesche, translated by James Toupin and Roger Boesche
Tocqueville is best known as the author of three works, Democracy in America, the Recollections, and the Ancien Régime, although his complete works (of which publication is still unfinished) run to some thirty volumes. In one sense, it is neither unfair nor absurd that Tocqueville’s lasting reputation rests on these …

A Long-Suppressed Episode

The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion

by Leo Steinberg
Professor Steinberg’s book will shock only those who stop at his title and refuse to enter into the subtle language and logic of his argument. But serious readers (and everyone interested in Renaissance art should be a serious reader of this essay) may well find themselves tossed into a pit …

The Novel and Europe

In 1935, three years before his death, Edmund Husserl gave his celebrated lectures in Vienna and Prague on the crisis of European humanity. For Husserl, “European” was not so much a term of geography (it could include America, for example) as a spiritual identity deriving from the philosophy of classical …

Double Trouble

The Return of Martin Guerre

by Natalie Zemon Davis
The biographies of peasants and especially the autobiographies of country people are a longstanding problem. We owe to the habits of Protestant introspection the fascinating life history of the Swiss mountain dweller, Thomas Platter, written in the sixteenth century; for the seventeenth century, as far as I know, nothing of …


Georges Perec’s Lost Novel

Georges Perec, Paris, November 23, 1965

I went to dine with a former journalist who’d met Georges Perec at the Moulin d’Andé, the writer’s retreat in Normandy that was Perec’s second home in the later 1960s. Toward the end of the evening, he let it out that someone had once given him a Perec manuscript to look at. Could I perhaps tell him what it was? He went to a wardrobe, pulled out a manila envelope and handed it to me.