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The French disease

It has taken an American to crystallise what France doesn't want to admit: that French culture is no longer an international force to be reckoned with

Que reste-t-il de la culture française? By Donald Morrison & Antoine Compagnon, translated by Michel Bessières (Denoel, €13) In late 2007, Donald Morrison lobbed a small grenade into the playground of the French intelligentsia by writing an article for Time magazine—for which he was European correspondent—entitled “The Death of French Culture.” Morrison, for his trouble, was pilloried by the French press and sections of the American too. Yet he decided not to let things rest and opted in 2008 to write a longer, pamphlet-like piece, entitled “What is left of French culture?”

Translated into French and published by Denoel, the…

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