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Spotlight on France

French reject intellectual posturing but thirsty for ideas

Audio 12:04
French writers read their work at the Nuit des Idées
French writers read their work at the Nuit des Idées Pierre Haski/Rue89

France is no longer the hotbed of ideas it was back in the 18th and 19th century Englightenment or in post-war years where Left-bank thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre changed the role of the intellectual in society. But recent media reports, both French and foreign, announcing the demise of French intellectual life, are premature. 4,000 people flocked to the recent Nuit des Idées or evening of ideas, at Paris's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The French are still in love with ideas, but want more collective thinking. 

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