Et dans l ternit je ne m ennuierai pas
« Né en 1930 dans le Midi de la France, dans un milieu presque populaire, je suis professeur honoraire d histoire romaine au Collège de France. Je me suis marié trois fois, comme Cicéron, César et Ovide. J ai été membre du Parti communiste dans ma jeunesse et j ai écrit des livres sur des sujets divers. Je vis depuis longtemps dans un village de Provence, au pied du mont Ventoux. » Souvenirs d une traversée du siècle, promenade dans l Antiquité, réflexions profondes et anecdotes savoureuses, souvent émouvantes, récits d expériences personnelles parfois douloureuses émaillent ce beau livre qui est comme l aboutissement d une vie hors norme. Paul Veyne, le grand historien de Rome qui a bousculé tant d idées reçues, s y montre tour à tour facétieux, grave, indifférent à l opinion d autrui. Avide de culture et de poésie, détaché du monde académique, il préfère à la société des hommes la contemplation des nuages.
As one of the leading proponents of the nouveau roman, Nathalie Sarraute is often remembered for her novels, including The Golden Fruits, which earned her the Prix international de litterature in 1964. But her carefully crafted and evocative memoir Childhood may in fact be Sarraute’s most accessible and emotionally open work. Written when the author was eighty-three years old, but dealing with only the first twelve years of her life, Childhood is constructed as a dialogue between Sarraute and her memory. Sarraute gently interrogates her interlocutor in search of her own intentions, more precise accuracy, and indeed, the truth. Her relationships with her mother in Russia and her stepmother in Paris are especially heartbreaking: long-gone actions are prodded and poked at by Sarraute until they yield some semblance of fact, imbuing these maternalistic interactions with new, deeper meaning. Each vignette is bristling with detail and shows the power of memory through prose by turns funny, sad, and poetic. Capturing the ambience of Paris and Russia in the earliest part of the twentieth century, while never giving up the lyrical style of Sarraute’s novels, this book has much to offer both memoir enthusiasts and fiction lovers.
When Our World Became Christian
This short book by one of France's leading historians deals with a big question: how was it that Christianity, that masterpiece of religious invention, managed, between 300 and 400 AD, to impose itself upon the whole of the Western world? In his erudite and inimitable way, Paul Veyne suggests three possible explanations. Was it because a Roman emperor, Constantine, who was master of the Western world at the time, became a sincere convert to Christianity and set out to Christianize the whole world in order to save it? Or was it because, as a great emperor, Constantine needed a great religion, and in comparison to the pagan gods, Christianity, despite being a minority sect, was an avant-garde religion unlike anything seen before? Or was it because Constantine limited himself to helping the Christians set up their Church, a network of bishoprics that covered the vast Roman Empire, and that gradually and with little overt resistance the pagan masses embraced Christianity as their own religion? In the course of deciding between these explanations Paul Veyne sheds fresh light on one of the most profound transformations that shaped the modern world - the Christianization of the West. A bestseller in France, this book will appeal to a wide readership interested in history, religion and the rise of the modern world.
Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths
"[Veyne's] present book has some kinship with his sprightly theoretical work Comment on ecrit l'histoire; and he declares that its aim was to provoke reflection on the way our conception of truth is built up and changes over the centuries. . . . The style is brilliant and exhilarating."—Jasper Griffin, Times Literary Supplement
Flight to Arras
A recollection of the shattering days during World War II when, though the fall of France was imminent, a handful of French pilots continued to fight on against the Germans. Translated by Lewis Galantière.
Before I Fall
They say ‘live every day as if it’s your last’ – but you never actually think it’s going to be. At least I didn’t. The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens. You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or – in my case – remember to say goodbye to them at all. But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you’d want to change...?
Etudes D cembre 2014
« L’Eglise qui a la faveur de Péguy est celle qui constitue socialement une communion, un peuple immense, une “religion peuple”. » Robert Scholtus « Les chrétiens et les musulmans doivent résister ensemble aux forces nouvelles de l’extrémisme et de la destruction. » David Neuhaus « On peut éviter les effets environnementaux négatifs en produisant beaucoup tout en obéissant aux lois de l’écologie. » Michel Griffon
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
‘I resolved to write a book which would create some stir in the world and continue to do after I had gone from it.’ - Choderlos de Laclos A great sensation at the time of first publication, Les Liaisons Dangereuses reads as much the most 'modern' of eighteenth-century novels. Viewed by some critics as a morality tale and others as a subtle inquiry into libertinism, it brilliantly depicts the foibles of the French aristocracy on the eve of the French Revolution. Renowned for its exploration of lust, revenge and human malice, and still carrying a tremendous power to shock, its adaptations for screen and stage have made its central characters notorious for their sophisticated and ultimately tragic games of seduction and manipulation.
S n que
"L'essentiel n'est pas de vivre longtemps, mais de vivre pleinement. " De l'Andalousie à Rome, Lucius Annaeus Seneca a mené l'existence accomplie d'un intellectuel au pouvoir. Il fut philosophe et banquier, sénateur et homme de lettres, sage et conseiller du prince. C'était là chose non seulement possible mais - il le pensait - très agréable. Sénèque a vécu la succession des prospérités et des disgrâces en maître du stoïcisme, philosophie de la vertu, de la constance et du bonheur. Il a pensé et exécuté sa mort volontaire, sur l'ordre de Néron, comme la plus haute manifestation de la liberté humaine. Paul Veyne dresse ici le portrait d'une existence tumultueuse, véritable roman des temps julio-claudiens, et d'une philosophie qui n'a rien perdu de son actualité. Il a choisi de l'illustrer par la lettre 70 à Lucilius.