france

14 articles
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Behind Claude’s Doors

Now 91, she was once the “world’s most exclusive madam.”

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Palace Intrigue

François Hollande campaigned as “Monsieur Normal,” but after taking office as France’s President, a single tweet exposed his twisted 20-year love triangle.

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Afro-Europe in the World Cup

How the children of African immigrants came to control the destiny of teams in France and Belgium and what it says about European identity.

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The French As Dostoevsky Saw Them

“Americans find it hard to believe that foreigners are unalterably foreign, for they have seen generations of immigrants who became Americans.”

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Al Qaeda Wants Africa

A war travelogue through Mali alongside French troops as a “place just like Afghanistan” descends into chaos.

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L’Étranger

France, wealth and the saga of tax exile Gérard Depardieu.

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French Women Worry About Getting Fat, Too

On Jenny Craig’s European expansion and how dieting differs in France and the States.

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The New French Hacker-Artist Underground

On the French urban exploration group UX—”sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself.”

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What Really Happened to Strauss-Kahn?

An investigation into the events surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s May 2011 arrest for sexual assault.

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Long Day's Journey

Two weeks spent walking across Provence.

There is something about entering an ancient town on foot that's radically different from entering the same place by car. Keep in mind that these old French towns were all designed by people on foot for people on foot. So when you walk in, you're approaching the place as it was intended to be approached—slowly and naturally, the way Dorothy came upon Oz (spires rising in the distance, a sense of mounting mystery: What kind of city will this be?).

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The Life & Times Of M. Serge Gainsbourg

Gainsbourg decked out his home at 5 Rue de Verneuil in Saint Germain all in black, inspired by a time when he was younger when he'd somehow got the keys to Salvador Dali's house and made love to his first wife in every room while Dali was away. He even stole a small token souvenir in the form of a picture from Dali's porn collection. (Serge was obsessed with Dali and the pair later became friends. The title of 'Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus' - roughly translated as 'I love you, me neither' - was inspired by something Dali was once supposed to have said: "Picasso is Spanish - so am I; Picasso is a genius - so am I; Picasso is a communist - me neither.")
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The Assassin in the Vineyard

Who would poison the vines of La Romanée-Conti, the tiny, centuries-old vineyard that produces what most agree is Burgundy’s finest, rarest, and most expensive wine?

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Fading Horrors of the Grand Guignol

The macabre, ultra-violent plays put on at the Grand Guignol defined an era in Paris, attracting foreign tourists, aristocrats, and celebrities. Goering and Patton saw plays there in the same year. But the carnage of WWII ultimately undermined the shock of Guignol’s brutality, and audiences disappeared.

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The Lizard, the Catacombs, and the Clock

The story of the most secret underground society in Paris.