American ‘Unculture’ in French Drama: Homo Americanus and by Les Essif

By Les Essif

A ebook concerning the position the USA performs within the French mind's eye, because it interprets to the French level. knowledgeable by means of a wealthy number of Western cultural scholarship, Essif examines dozen post-1960 works representing essentially the most leading edge dramaturgy of the final part century, together with works through Gatti, Obaldia, Cixous, Koltes, and Vinaver.

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Additional resources for American ‘Unculture’ in French Drama: Homo Americanus and the Post-1960 French Resistance

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Have you Americans ever dared to remain seated during a public performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’? * The Ohio radio station WLW plays ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ every halfhour, 24 hours a day. * Americans hear many stories of the scarcity of goods in other countries, especially those on the United States’ enemy list of the day, like China, Cuba, or the former Soviet Union. In the United States, on the other hand, today you can walk into any one of the grocery chains and find five or more brands of maple syrup on the shelf – but not one of which contains genuine, pure maple syrup from a maple tree.

The point I want to make with these insights and predictions from Tocqueville is that – as with Karl Marx – though his observations are always uniquely perceptive, at least some of his conclusions are necessarily flawed and do not survive the long term. ’ Europeans on the whole do not reject socialism out of hand, because they believe in a social contract that derives from dialogic and dialectical principles (they recognize the contradictions inherent in culture) and from processes of oppositional evolution.

Though I would hope that my homo americanus-based discussion would render these counterclaims less relevant, let me very generally and gently remark that, on the one hand, French consumerism and French ‘right-wing’ political parties are relative to French culture and, on the other, French consumerism and politics are both affected by homo americanus unculture. The power of the ‘extreme right’ National Front French political party remains limited to less than 20 percent of the French electorate, and the party’s very existence – the fact that its membership identifies itself and has a voice – represents a mostly positive effect of the French multiparty political system.

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