Michel Foucault

Teasing the French academy to death

13 May 2017 9:00 am

On 25 February 1980, Roland Barthes, the great French intellectual, was run over by a laundry van in Paris. He…

La France as I knew her n’existe plus

23 July 2016 9:00 am

From my bedroom window I can see a little girl with blonde pigtails riding her bicycle round and round for…

Flamboyant intellectuals: René Descartes (main picture) and Bernard-Henri Lévy (below), in 1978

Liberty, philosophy and 246 types of cheese

20 June 2015 9:00 am

The French have always favoured grand, elegant abstractions about the human condition, says Ruth Scurr. It’s part of their national identity